Tuesday, November 02, 2004

[Ta Kung Pao 02/11/04]

TVB's Anniversary Celebration is approaching and all the artistes have begun to prepare for their performances on the night. Among them, Bernice Liu, Shirley Yeung, Mandy Cho and Winnie Yeung were in TVB City yesterday rehearsing a drum dancing routine.

Bernice indicates that she has already been practising for three days and she says that the teacher has encouraged them to rehearse more by giving them some little drums. As the drums weight between eight and ten pounds and they have to turn rather quickly for the routine, it is quite difficult and her hands are red from the practice. As well as playing the drums, Bernice will also be doing a wire act with Raymond Lam and she began rehearsing that yesterday. As she will be hanging from the wire for seven hours, she dare not eat too much in case she feels sick.

When it was mentioned that she did the wire piece with Bosco last year and now she has to do it again this year, she laughs: "Maybe the company feels I am okay with this because I am crazy and don't mind hard work!" Although Bernice is afraid of heights, she rarely has a chance to do wire workk usually, so she is still happy to be able to do the wire piece and has ordered a pair of special trousers for this from America. She says: "I tried wearing them last year and they are very safe, so even though they cost about $10,000, for the sake of my hip injury and for safety, my father has bought them for me."

Mandy admits she has a very poor sense of rhythm and as the drum is rather heavy, she is finding it all rather hard. When asked if she has been for a massage to relax, she laughs: "We have bought a massage chair for our home, but it is rather popular, so it has not been vacated at all."

As well as the drumming item for the celebration, Shirley will also be taking part in an act entitled "Wind, Fire, Thunder and Lightning". When asked if she has prepared an outfit for the evening, she says that she has a sponsor for her dress, but she has not discussed this properly yet and she does not have anything for accessories and jewellery yet. As for TVB preparing sponsorships for the MC's and senior ladies in the company, totalling $100 million, Shirley says that value is not important as long as it looks good.


[Ta Kung Pao 02/11/04]

TVB's new series "Hotel Turmoils" had their costume fitting ceremony yesterday and cast members include Kenix Kwok, Joe Ma, Ella Koon, Ron Ng, John Chiang and Elaine Yiu. Kenix plays a hotel PR officer, who is both good and bad and they will be heading out to Dongguan for location filming later.

Kenix appeared with long hair yesterday and said that originally, she wanted to cut her hair short, but the producer and everyone else felt that she suited long hair more because there can be more adjustments with longer hair, so she will not be cutting her hair for now. She laughs: "I was a little disappointed at not being able to cut my hair, but there will be a day when I will cut it short like Anita did for a Beckham look." When asked why she wants her hair so short, she says that it is because it is stylish! Also she wants a change after having long hair for so many years. Talking of her hairstyle being very similar to 'Miss Wong' from "Shine on You", she says that Miss Wong had a fringe, but this time she does not, so there should not be too much confusion between the two styles.

Ella will be playing a fishmonger in the show and she says that she will be visiting a market to observe reality as she has never sold fish before and she is a little afraid. Due to her character, she will only be wearing little make up for the show and she feels happy about this because it will save on cosmetics and make up time.

When asked how she spent Halloween, Ella says that she stayed at home because since entering showbiz, she rarely goes out, only going to Karaoke birthday parties with her colleagues at the most. With such routine to her life, is she worried that the day and night madness of filming series will wear her out? She admits that she is a little worried, but she is most worried about getting lost in TVB City because at the moment, she has lifts from the assistants, but when she is filming she may not have this and will need to depend on herself. She says: "Although I have had my drivers licence for a few years, I rarely drive and I think I will have to depend on taxis when the time comes."

In the series, Ella will be paired with the hotel owner's son Ron and there will be a scene where he has to kiss her violently. She laughs: "In filming there shouldn't be anything to worry about. Also I am a fishmonger girl who is strong enough to push him away. (Have you already given away your first screen kiss?) Yes, earlier I was filming for a movie with Chow Chun Wai and have given it to him, but after I kissed, my character died."

Earlier, for the sales presentation clip, Ron had to kiss Linda Chung. Now that the show is going ahead, Linda's role has been replaced with Ella. In response to Ella threatening to push him away hard if he tries to kiss her, Ron says: "I think she will like it really and anyway, she is just prawn fishing and not really fishing, so her strength will be limited!"


[Ta Kung Pao 02/11/04]

Marco Ngai and Joyce Tang were on a working date promoting a watch label yesterday and were presented with watches. Joyce says that her boyfriend has given her watches before but not diamond ones. She believes that these things cannot be judged by value and as she likes to collect watches, then she goes for practicality more as she keeps her more valuable watches in the safety deposit box. She jokes: "I don't want them to end up in the landfill." (Joyce is referring to the earlier news about some safety deposit boxes in Hong Kong mistakenly taken to the rubbish tip.)

Joyce has recently signed a new contract with TVB, but will not reveal for how long. She says that as she has agreed to film a series in the Mainland, she will be heading out to Shanghai later and has had to take time off from the company and will not be at the anniversary celebration. As she has only had one series aired this year "Armed Reaction IV", then this is her propogation period and she had given up on a chance of an award a long time ago.

Marco will be taking part in a 'Wind Fire Thunder Lightning' dance at the anniversary. He says that he has been busy with stage appearances lately and plans to buy an apartment on Australia's Gold Coast because he can buy a seaview apartment there for just $2 million, but he has recently been considering buying property in Shanghai too, so he is yet to make a decision.

Michael Tao was also at the same event and as he is nominated for his role in "Shine on You" for the 'My Favourite Male Lead' award at the anniversary, Marco felt that he stood a chance of winning, but Michael does not agree, laughing that if he wins it would be big news at the anniversary!

He thinks that Bowie will win because he feels Bowie's performance in "War and Beauty" was very difficult and he did very well. Even without Bowie, his own co-star Bobby Au Yeung had a more difficult role than him, playing headmaster opposite his teacher role and also as he has only got one series this year, he does not feel that quantity or quality of his role is enough to win him the award. He says: "I think they will all do well, just not me." As for the female leads, he thinks that Sheren Tang will win.

Michael will begin filming another series for TVB in December, partnering Melissa Ng and he is very happy about this because he really admires her as she is a nice person, with great elegance and acting talent. Earlier during filming for the sales presentation clip, he had already expressed his admiration for her and with this chance to work together he hopes that they will produce some chemistry. Apart from Melissa, Michael would also most like to work with Sandra Ng and Margie Tsang. Sandra was in the same class as him at the TVB acting class but they have never had a chance to work together and he says that he should have offered to work as a customer in her film "Golden Chicken" to fulfil his ambition. As for Margie, he feels that she has kept her looks for so long and should return to the screen.


[Ta Kung Pao 02/11/04]

Bowie Lam, Bobby Au Yeung and Yoyo Mung were interviewed for "Celebrity Roadshow" yesterday and having known each other for over ten years, Bobby and Bowie laughed the other's bellies were still there. Bobby points out that he has not lost his figure over the years, but has not really been keeping fit, just going racing or playing ball once in a while. He is afraid that if he starts dieting, it will all pile back on when he loses patience.

Bowie likes to eat sweet things and yesterday he asked Bowie about his thoughts on keeping fit. Reporters jokingly asked him if he was worried he would not be able to be male lead if he became fat and Bowie says that he and Bowie are both character actors, but he would like to find a slimming centre to help him get rid of his belly. Having recently released an album, Bowie thanks his two friends beside him for their help in one of his songs "Sunday", where Bobby takes part in some of the rap sections and Yoyo has a few lines in the song. With this her first singing attempt, Yoyo says that she is not very confident.

Yoyo reveals that she has experienced being a production assistant, helping out her director friend in an advertisement. After trying out life behind the camera, she feels very lucky to be an artiste and she will not have any more complaints about the crew. Yoyo's investment in a reflexology centre has opened, but she has not asked about how business is. She wanted to try the services for herself earlier, but all the rooms had been fully booked and she was only able to use the large main room, so even as a boss, she did not have any special treatment.


Ratings Report

Adam Cheng's 'Ding Hai Effect' is certainly powerful as not only has he made the Hong Kong stock markets fall, even TVB's prime time ratings have taken a dive for the worse. Adam's "The Conqueror's Story" began airing last week following on from "Shine on You" but first week ratings only reached an average of 27 points and a peak at 31 points, giving disappointing results.

Apart from "Conqueror" bringing down the ratings, the effect has even caused ratings for "Virtues of Harmony" and "Split Second" to drop as the former fell by four points to an average of 28 points and the latter fell by two points to 26 points. The only show in the thirties was the "Super Trio Show" that achieved an average of 32 points, peaking at 35 points.

As TVB's ratings fell, ATV on the other hand reported rises. Apart from new series "My Date with a Vampire III" gaining an average of 7 points other shows saw slight rises as well.


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