Tuesday, September 28, 2004

[Ta Kung Pao & Oriental Daily 29/09/04]

On yesterday's mid-autumn festival, a group of cast members from TVB's "War and Beauty", including Bowie Lam, Gigi Lai, Moses Chan, Bibi Wong and Patricial Liu headed to Tsimshatsui in the afternoon to celebrate with the public. As well as cutting fruit to share with the locals, the artistes also handed out mooncakes and lanterns and in a scramble by the audience to receive the gifts, there was some disorder, but luckily no-one was hurt.

Bowie and Gigi arrived together, but they were half an hour late. Bowie said: "I was not late and even arrived ten minutes early at the local car park, it was waiting for Gigi that made me late." However, Bowie was not angry at Gigi for being late and even put his hand around her waist as they posed for photographs. When Bowie was asked if he had become good friends with Gigi after filming "War", he indicated that at first he thought she was okay, just that she took a long time in make up, but that is acceptable because whilst they were waiting for her, he and Bowie could catch an hour or twos extra sleep. Now that Bowie and Gigi are working together again in "Healing Hands III", but they insist that they have not developed feelings for each other over time.

Despite the good reviews for "War", the ratings have only lingered around 32 to 33 points and this puzzles Bowie. As for the suggestions that they should film a sequel, Bowie indicates that the chance of this is slim, but maybe a prequel is a possibility.

Gigi explained her lateness as being due to an appointment with her herbalist earlier and then getting stuck in traffic. She says: "The doctor said I was too exhausted, but in fact I am not as busy as before. With filming and promotion at the moment and the constant following from the press, I am feeling a little mental stress, but I hope this will not affect the progress of 'Healing Hands'." As for reports that Gigi has been saying she will win the anniversary award with her performance in "war", she clarifies that she has never said this and has never thought about winning any award because the success of a show is down to the hard work of all the cast and crew before and behind the camera. Putting aside the question of awards, Gigi has gained more offers of stage shows and advertisements, but as she is currently filming a series, she can only turn away some of the work. When asked how much money she has lost, she says: "Actually I had not even spoken about prices yet, before turning them away because of my schedule. I guess it is about several hundred thousand dollars."

Saturday's special charity screening of the grand finale to "War" to be held in Tsuen Wan by TVB has proven very popular as all five hundred tickets were completely sold out within half an hour of them being released at 8pm yesterday.


[Ta Kung Pao & Oriental Daily 29/09/04]

The third episode in the new series of "Super Trio Show" was recorded two days ago and guests included Andy Hui, Shawn Yue, Stephanie Cheng, Belinda Hamnett, Ruby Wong and Lam Suet. There were sparks right from the start when Eric Tsang asked Shawn if he won the award for Best Male Singer, what would be better about him than Andy? Shawn replied awkwardly: "I am a little bit younger than him." At this point, Andy, who was standing to one side immediately rushed onto the stage pretending to be angry and shocking Shawn into running away. Andy then pointed at Shawn and joked: "You will have a day when you are old!"

During a game, Eric make them yell insults at each other and Shawn and Stephanie were at each others necks, with Stephanie even bordering on using a rude expletive that caused a few gasps from the audience. Also Lam Suet's mispronounciation of 'so easy' made it sound like he too was swearing, but Chin Ka Lok supported him, saying it was just a pronunciation error. Lam explains that he is from Tianjin, so his Cantonese is not perfect and sometimes he has to ask the director to change the script to accommodated this. As for nearly swearing, he shook his head and said: "At the time I was a little frightened, I never though it would be so easy to get into trouble." Stephanie explained that she did not mean to be rude: "Shawn and I are from the same record company, so I know he is a good sport, but next time I will be more careful." Shawn also denies that there are any personal conflicts between him and Stephanie, laughing that they were just stirring up some atmosphere because they knew each other well. As for him calling out all night to win the $5000 cash prize and then not winning it, he says he does not mind because he took nearly $100,000 in prizes.

Also, last week's first episode of the show aired on Sunday and gained average ratings of 28 points, peaking at 31 points. This is not a bad result, but the seaweed eating contest received some complaints. Producer Chan Chi Kau indicates that every time they air the show there are complaints, but these are dealt with by the company and the games in future episodes will be rearranged accordingly. Jerry Lamb responded to the complaints about the show being a bad influence on children, saying that people should not be so critical of gameshows because they are designed to bring happiness. He laughs: "Hong Kong people look at other people with moral standards, but have a different stance when it comes to teaching their own children. With only five complaints, if we change because of them, then how will we react to the complaints of the other several million people?"


[Ta Kung Pao 29/09/04]

Sonija Kwok was at a diamond event earlier and was presented with a one-carat diamond etched with her birthday "0722". She indicated that she will make the stone into a pendant. She says that she really likes this gift because it has her birthday on it and she admits that this diamond is the largest that she has ever been given.

Sonija will be heading out to Venice next month to shoot some photographic ads for this company and will be spending a week there. She smiles that as well as receiving the diamond, she will also be paid a rather substantial fee and she is very pleased with this. Sonija admits that she likes diamonds a lot, but when asked if her boyfriend has given her any, she did not want to say, pointing out that she can buy her own. She says: "Diamonds are a very precious gift and not easy to buy, I like diamonds that are elegant and gracious."

Although the mid-autumn festival is a time for couples and families to be together, Sonija spent the evening working, but she still took some time out to go and spend time with her mother.


[Ta Kung Pao 29/09/04]

Maggie Cheung and Alice Tang have recently been the target of the press, but they continue to stick together and often join up to attend various public events without fear of rumours. The pair took part in a diamond event earlier and Maggie indicated that she was attending to support her friend as she is also a fan of diamond jewellery as she finds a clear and sparkling diamond extremely attractive. When asked if she collects jewellery, she says: "I do like to collect jewellery and watches, the most valuable watch I own is worth over $100,000." As for the first diamond that Maggie owned, it was one she bought herself with money she made from her salary and she has kept this as a souvenir.

As for the constant reports that suggest a romantic affair between her and Alice and also indicating their close relationship, Maggie does not mind about these reports, neither confirming nor denying them, just laughing that these puzzling issues are best left to the press to second guess. As for whether she has anyone courting her, she says that she is concentrating on work as she has to return to Shanghai tomorrow to continue filming for "Song of Everlasting Sorrow".


[Ta Kung Pao 29/09/04]

Yoyo Mung took part in a promotion for a skincare product and although she has not received an unlimited sponsorship, she does not mind because she has plenty of different products at home and it is already like a warehouse. She also laughs that usually people only use whitening products on their face, but she uses it all over her body so that she has perfectly pale skin.

Yoyo signed two years ago for M8 as her management company and during this time, many of their contracted artistes have left the company to find other paths, suggesting there is a problem with the company. However, she supports them, saying that every company has their own poliicies and she feels that she is working well with them. Some criticisms are that M8 are not the best management company in the business, but she says that the most important thing is for a good communication to exist between the artiste and the manager. When asked if she feels she is the most important artiste, she indicates that at first there were some unhappy times because the company was filming for "Kung Fu Soccer" and although she had a part, this was never announced and she was mistaken as being a second choice for her part. After two years, her relationship with the company has improed and they have built a mutual trust. At the moment she receives her own jobs before handing them off to the company to deal with. Maybe some people feel that signing a manager means everything is dealt with by them, but she would prefer to play a part in everything. Her contract with M8 expires next year, but whether she will extend is all down to their sincerity.


[Ta Kung Pao 29/08/04]

Gallen Lo has been filming for two series with China Central Television as well as doing a stage performance in Atlantic City, where all three thousand tickets were sold out to people having an early mid-autumn celebration with him.

The three thousand fans packed out the venue and some fans were without seats and had to sit on the floor. Many lavishly dressed fans tried to kiss Gallen as they went on stage to present him with flowers and one more mature female fan was a feng shui master, who as well as presenting him with flowers also gave him a lucky packet that left him pleasantly surprised. He says: "After so many years of stage shows, I have never received a lucky packet, so I was very touched and the happiest thing was that lady gave me a few phrases of fortunes as she presented the flowers, saying that I will have good fortune this year and next year, with good career success." Every time Gallen went to the edge of the stage, his female fans would rush onto the stage and although there were several tens of security guards present, they were of little use. When Gallen dismounted the stage to shake hands with his fans, they hugged him hard for a photo opportunity and when security had to step in to stop this, the fans were not happy and got into a fight with some of the guards.

With such a great reception each time he visits America, Gallen was immediately booked again by the organiser in the hope he would return again next year. As for the mid-autumn festival this year, Gallen will be heading back to Hong Kong to spend time with his family, but the next day he will be returning to Beijing to continue filming a new series for CCTV.


[The Sun 29/09/04]

Sonija Kwok, Shirley Yeung and Ekin Cheng took part in a blessing ceremony yesterday for the TVB mid-autumn festival Shatin show and when asked if she would be spending the festival with boyfriend Deric Wan, she says that Deric is currently working in the mainland at the moment. As for how Deric's salon business in China is doing, she seemed to evade the question: "You'd better ask him about his affairs, we are okay, but I don't want to reply on his behalf."

Sonija has been tuning into "War and Beauty" and believes that the many leads in the show have a chance to win the anniversary awards: "They have all performed very well and if there are any more series this good, I would like to take part. I think they all have a good chance of winning an award."

Also, Shirley responded to the complaints received against "Shine on You", saying: "The show is actually full of encouragement and afterwars the teachers and students work to protect their school and it is very touching. Just keep watching and you will see."


[Oriental Daily 29/09/04]

Bobby Au Yeung received notification earlier that his series "Hidden Treasures" will be airing soon on paid-TV channel exTV and he immediately responded with a little disappointment, saying: "That means that I have lost an opportunity to appear on Jade and a chance to get an award at the end of the year. It doesn't matter though, I have had an award before and I should leave these things to the youngsters now." He feels that Bowie Lam stands a good chance of an award for "War and Beauty", but he also supports good friend Michael Tao: "Michael did a great job in 'Shine on You', so he is in with a fighting chance."

Bobby admits that paid TV is not yet popular and feels that "Hidden" will be losing out, especially as it will not be repeated on Jade for at least another year or two and so is a little worried. However, he went on to praise his own creation, saying: "To be able to use it to make money it has to be good, otherwise they wouldn't air it. Anyway, I still have some exposure recently from 'Shine' and with the high ratings for the first week then it is no joke!"


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