Tuesday, November 02, 2004

(Crab pic from www.joeberkphotography.com/cuisine.htm)

[Oriental Daily 03/11/04]

"War and Beauty" has finished airing a while ago, but the legacy of the show still lingers and even the crab industry has latched onto the selling power of the show. Yu Fei, Yuk Ying, Yee Shun, On Sin and the Empress have become names of crabs, but their relative scale and quality reveal a lot as their value reflects the popularity of the characters. The most popular Yu Fei title has been given to the most expensive crabs and the local's 'Crab Queen', whereas On Sin is the least popular and this possibly reflects the likely outcome of TVB's 'My Favourite Female Lead' award.

Coinciding with the current crab season, these crabs were spotted by reporters in a crab store in Kowloon City and the storeowner had used the character names to label the quality of his crabs. Yu Fei crabs are the most expensive at $220 per catty and out of the three other concubines in the show, Yuk Ying crabs are the most expensive at $100 for three, Yee Shun crabs are $100 for five and On Sin Crabs are $100 for six - quite a bargain!

The stallholder indicates that although the Yu Fei crabs are the most expensive, they are as usual the most popular and as for the On Sin crabs being the cheapest, the stallholder laughs: "Of course, she started off as a lowly palace maid. My staff say that Yu Fei is great, so she takes the top position." With so much support from the locals, then it would seem that Sheren's chances of taking an award are rising even more. Atlhough there were rumours of Charmaine Sheh and Maggie Cheung not getting on in real life, the stallholder had arranged for Yee Shun and On Sin crabs to be neighbours. As for the male stars in the show, they have been overlooked by the owner and when Bowie Lam was told about this, he said: "I would have guessed it! When the show aired, we told producer Chik Kei Yi to open a butchers or anything to do with meat and name it 'Gum Chi Yuk Yip'. (Chinese Pun: 'Gum Chi Yuk Yip' is the Chinese title of "War and Beauty" and 'Yuk' (meaning desires) sounds the same as the word meaning meat.) (Would you go and buy from him?) No, unless he had a product called Suen Pak Yeung."

"War and Beauty" will be released on DVD on Friday, but retailers indicated yesterday that as TVB had only released 3000 sets and there had already been a lot of pre-orders from within the company, on the internet and in the TVB magazine, then only a very small number were available to be distributed through the shops and many stores have refused to stock the product in protest. The record industry retail association chairman Wong Ping Lun is currently in talks with the relevant parties and says: "It is not as serious as a joint protest, the industry would just like more to be available for sale because everyone would like more stock with the show being so popular." TVB spokesperson Miss Poon indicates that they have not yet received the relevant information.


[Oriental Daily 03/11/04]

Mandy Cho, Ron Ng and Sammul Chan were filming in TVB City for "Courageous Kunlun" yesterday and having been accused earlier of acts such as NG's, frowning and talking in English, Mandy seemed to be keeping out of Ron and Sammul's way as they did not speak to each other throughout the shoot and just spoke to Louisa So. She explained about this, saying: "There is nothing. If were have not fallen out then there are rumours, there isn't anything really, just work. If we're happy then we will be friends. (Are you always speaking in English?) There is no English in the script so why would I? The storyline is rather relaxed. (Are you just too direct when you speak?) I do have a chat and a laugh with the crew and we get on very happily. Kwok Fung plays my father and he has taught me a lot of things."

Mandy feels that the 'three crimes' report is someone out to get her and as for whether she is always having NG's all the time, she explains that it is rather hard work in an ancient drama because the language is very classical with lot of literary phrases and she finds this hard to handle and this leads to NG's. Later on she has really put her heart into the performance and has made some improvements now.


TVB to form "TVB Club" for $1200 each

[Oriental Daily 3/11/04]

TVB is looking into every way to raise more revenue and after raising the advertisement fees for next year, there are reports that indicate plans to introduce a "TVB Club", where members have priority in obtaining game show and variety show audience tickets as well as the chance to enter and tour TVB City. However, the membership fee is rumoured to be $1200 a year, but despite this the attraction of TVB's artistes will certainly raise a lot of income for the company.

At the moment, if the public want tickets to watch the recording of shows such as "Super Trio Show" or "Jade Solid Gold", then all they have to do is enter the draw via the TVB magazine and it is all free of charge. When TVB Club is established, then there will no longer be a 'free lunch' because of the costly membership fee required to take part in these shows.

When TVB's External Affairs Assistant Chief Tsang Sing Ming was asked about the matter, he admits that there is a committee looking into this at the moment, saying: "We are currently working on this TVB Club and it may be launched at the end of the year or at the beginning of next year, but nothing has been confirmed yet and the whole point of the club is to make it more convenient to group together viewers and bridge communications with them as well as raising the profile of the company. Making a profit from it is a secondary objective."

There have been comments that the membership fee of $1200 (approx US$150) is rather expensive and to this, Mr Tsang says: "There are a lot of things that are still in the early stages of planning and details such as membership fee and the benefits for members are yet to be defined."


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