Thursday, November 18, 2004

[Ta Kung Pao, Oriental Daily & The Sun 19/11/04]

TVB will be airing its Anniversary Celebration this evening at 8:00 pm and a blessing ceremony was held and opening sequence filmed at TVB City yesterday. The awards were also placed on display and the reporters asked three leading females Charmaine Sheh, Kenix Kwok and Sonija Kwok to hold them when posing for the photos, but they all dare not because these are senstive times and they want to avoid anything embarrassing, so they need to be careful.

Despite her injury earlier, Shirley Yeung was ready for filming yesterday evening, but she was wearing a neck brace and she had a swelling on the left side of her head. When she emerged briefly from the studio, she appeared to be crying, but she quickly went back in. Producer Lam Ka Wing indicated that he had suggested to Shirley not to push it too hard, but Shirley insisted on taking part and was so agitated she started to cry. In the end, the company has decided to let her carry on filming, but just to pose for the cameras. The line up for yesterday's shoot was leading stars in the first row and youthful newcomers in the second row. Shirley was placed in the second row and originally she had to wear a drum and play it, but she did not need to do this for the recording.

Talking of Charmaine's revelation of her jewellery sponsorship of $80 million yesterday being quickly surpassed by Kenix Kwok and her $100 million, Charmaine laughs that hopefully everyone will look good and she does not care too much about valueas long as she looks beautiful because every girl is vain. As for Kenix, she says that she is thankful to the sponsors for their special treatment, as they had sent her photo to the designers in Italy and the set of jewels was designed especially for her to wear. They have also presented her with a set of diamonds to keep.

There are reports that a food event had originally invited both Charmaine and Gigi Lai to take part, but Gigi had indicated that they could not work together, so the sponsors did not invite Charmaine. Charmaine says that she only knows that she had to take part in a particular event, but because they changed the date, it clashed with another appointment, but she doesn't know anything else after that. As for Gigi, she explains that she does not have the power to change people's plans like that and they are in charge, so if she did do that, she would be very silly indeed.

During the rehearsals, there were many of TVB's clients present who asked the artistes for photos together and one video distributor from China even put his hand on Sonija's shoulder, whilst another man rush over and sandwiched her between them, leaving her not knowing what to do. When the TVB staff saw this, they immediately apologised to her. Sonija was constantly chatting away to Charmaine at the event as they seemed rather friendly, but they indicated that they were not talking about work nor gossiping because they are afraid of a conflict of interests. They do not compete agressively, but instead work together to improve.

Gigi was showing off a new watch yesterday and she says it was sponsored. She has received many items from sponsors recently and she laughs she is still missing a lingerie sponsor. As for Kenix's $100 million jewellery collection, Gigi says: "It doesn't matter as long as we look good. Also it depends on one's preferences, some people like exaggeration, but I prefer a simpler cleaner look. I feel that my diamond jewellery this year is enough and does its part."

During the blessing ceremony, there was a lucky draw and Ngo Ka Nin was the lucky one to be drawn out to win the cash prize of $3,800 and Myolie Wu and some others immediately urged Nat Chan to donate another prize of $3,800. He laughingly suggested that Lydia Shum should do the same, but she ignored him. Eventually, Nat's prize was won by Matt Yeung. He laughed that he would sort it out in private, but in the end he did not produce the money as Matt smiles: "Nat owes me $3,800!"

With all the votes in for the viewer's contribution to the decision for the "My Favourite TV Character" awards, the situation at the final vote count leaves Sheren Tang at the top still, but Gigi Lai has jumped from eighth position to fourth and second among the women. With the viewers' decisions in, the TVB executives then had a 12 hour meeting to make their decisions on who will win the awards.

Reports suggest that the biggest argument was the decision of who to give the 'My Favourite Female Lead Role' award to as there are rumours that Lok Yik Ling and Catherine Tsang are supporting Sheren and Gigi respectively and the discussions went on until the early evening. Although both artistes performances in "War and Beauty" have been highly praised, the more difficult character to play was 'Yuk Ying' over Sheren's 'Yu Fei', so it would appear that Gigi's chances of winning will be higher. This year's Special Award for Outstanding Achievement goes to Leung Shun Yin.


[Ta Kung Pao 19/11/04]

During yesterday's rehearsals for the TVB celebration, Gregory Lee was paired with Chan Hoi Yee, but as Hoi Yee was unable to be lifted up onto Gregory's shoulder, she was scolded loudly by the action co-ordinator and she hid away to cry. Afterwards, Hoi Yee explained that it was not that she had not rehearsed and she had been dancing every day, but at first, her partner was Amigo Chui (Kin Pong), but later he was swapped for Gregory and in a moment of nerves, she was unable to complete the action, as she was nervous and afraid.

Gregory supported Hoi Yee, saying: "This item was constantly changing partners and at first I was paired with Choi Kit Man, then it was a dancer and now it is Hoi Yee. (Did she not rehearse?) Maybe she has been busy filming, but I have been to every rehearsal because there is a register." He also says that Hoi Yee could do the action, but she was too nervous and this had a negative effect.

Also, talking of his own girlfriend Shirley Yeung taking part in the performance despite her injuries, Gregory hopes that she can still take part, because she has rehearsed for quite a while and it would be a shame to cancel her act. Since Shirley's original injury caused by falling off a horse, Gregory has encouraged her to do some stretching exercise to help with recovery and reduce the risk of injuring it again, but Shirley's isn't taking to it very well, so to avoid losing his patience with her, he does not practice with her very much. Shirley was under the care of Gregory's mother Sze Ming yesterday as Gregory had to attend his own rehearsals and was unable to look after her himself.


[Ta Kung Pao & The Sun 19/11/04]

The annual TVB anniversary is the occasion where the conflict between female lead stars is at a peak as they show off their jewels and compare their value. Originally, with her sponsors through TVB, 'Yu Fei' Sheren Tang's position was first pushed into the limelight, but later 'Lady Yuk Ying' Gigi Lai's $30 million sponsorship deal far outshone her. Afterwards, 'Lady Yee Shun' Charmaine Sheh announced that her sponsored jewels were worth a massive $80 million, but this lead did not last long as "Shine on You"'s Kenix Kwok revealed a jade and diamond collection worth over $100 milllion that beat all her "War and Beauty" competitors.

Sheren took part in a face mask promotion yesterday, where customers who spent more than $45 in products could have their photograph taken with Sheren. She was also presented with an award for having the best skin. When asked about the competitiveness between the ladies, she indicated that if they keep competing, they will all get very tired and there is a huge pressure wearing $100 million of jewellery. Talking of Michelle Ye taking the sexy route to stand out, Sheren laughs that if they try to compete in sexiness, then everyone will catch a chill, so she would rather keep her health. Some artistes have been dieting to keep their figures in shape, but Sheren says she is not interested in competing in skinniness, laughing that even if she did not eat for days, she would still not become very thin. As a result, she will not think about the three categories above, as she seeks simplicity as this can still bring out elegance. Sheren adds: "If it was promotion for 'Yu Fei' as a character, then I would go and fight them for it, but as Sheren Tang, I don't go for status as I focus more on inner beauty." It would appear that Sheren has a message for the other female artistes about face value!

Sheren is a favourite to win the 'My Favourite Female Lead Role' award this year and some betting companies have closed bets on her to win the competition. Sheren laughs that this is a good thing as this will not tempt people to bet and especially not because of her. Sheren would not reveal her fee for attending the event yesterday, because she is not a commodity and will not put a price on herself. She would rather be 'priceless' as this is even more precious!


[Ta Kung Pao & The Sun 19/11/04]

Lydia Shum headed out to Singapore to film a sitcom recently and only returned three days ago to Hong Kong. In response to magazine reports that her daughter Joyce Cheng has put on weight again, Lydia says that she does not understand what they mean and as Joyce is still studying, she will not be appearing again for a while. She also indicates that Joyce does not have any 'plans' for the future as she wants to enter university.

Lydia says that Joyce visited her in Singapore earlier and would rather go straight back to Vancouver than drop by in Hong Kong because she is so afraid of the Hong Kong paparazzi. Lydia hopes that the reporters will look on a young girl in a positive light and not write nonsense or false reports. In order to avoid the press, Joyce will not be coming back to Hong Kong for Christmas and Lydia will not head back to Vancouver as mother and daughter spend the holidays in a 'secret location'.

As for Joyce's fear of returning to Hong Kong, her father Adam Cheng thinks that she should try to become friends with the press. He says: "To appear in the media is a good thing, even if the news is not positive, then it still means people care about you. (Your opinion is very different from that of Lydia, will this be hard on Joyce?) No, the most important thing is that she makes her own decisions and she does think along the same lines as her mother more." This Christmas, Adam will be doing a stage performance in Atlantic City.


[Ta Kung Pao 19/11/04]

Directed by Johnnie To and starring Louis Koo, Edison Chen, Jay Chow and Vaness Wu, the 'Pepsi Community Clips' held their start of filming ceremony two days ago and the four artistes each took match shaped lighters to light some candles, symbolising offerings of incense to the gods.

In the short clips, the four will play different characters. Louis will be a cocktail barman, Edison will play a courier, Jay is an insurance salesman and Vaness is a clerk in a shoe shop. The stories will tell of four young people who are full of determination and form a team to take part in a cycling competition as they head towards a common goal. In order to film the cycling scene, the four actors had to wear tight fitting cycling suits.

Knowing that he would have to wear the skintight suits, Louis had prepared in advance and added pads in his 'sensitive areas'. He says that as there are many shots of him on a bike, then there will not be too many embarrassing shots. Jay commented that Louis has the best figure among the four and Louis replied modestly that he felt Vaness was better than him.

Although Louis has filmed advertisements for Pepsi's tea range, he rarely takes part in their larger events. Louis says that this is the first time he has taken part in a main Pepsi event and he feels like he has joined another company. When Louis was asked if he had 'Pepsi blood' flowing through him, he laughed that he has 'yellow blood' because he is responsible for tea ads, but sometimes he will have blue (Pepsi) blood and together with three coloured 'TVB' blood, he would appear to have multicoloured blood!


[The Sun 19/11/04]

With tonight being anniversary night at TVB, the 'male lead role' award is not being fought out as strongly as the female award, but the two favourites Dayo Wong and Bowie Lam are level pegging and with the final votes announced, Bowie's chances are slightly higher, going into the final straight. The "My Favourite TV Character" poll results indicate that Bowie Lam has risen into third place from fifth place, but was pipped at the post by Dayo who held onto his second position. The decision is now up to the TVB judging panel and despite Dayo being the leader all along, the chance of signing Bowie for a management contract shortly and this 'stepson' of TVB having drawn in the viewing public in the past, the balance seems to swing in his favour.

Bowie says that to jump into third place in the vote makes him very happy and he is confident about the male lead award, but he has not yet thought about how he would feel if he were to win the award. He sasy: "If I don't win an award, then I would be very disappointed if I had prepared beforehand. I would like the anniversary to pass soon because all my family and friends have been congratulating me and they have put so much pressure on me that I feel very awkward."

As for the rumours of him signing for TVB raising his chances of winning, Bowie says: "The award is all about talent and they are all rumours. If Dayo wins, I will congratulate him but don't have a dual winner!" As for his outfit, Bowie says that there is no chance for the male artistes to 'show off' with millions of dollars of diamond jewellery, so he has to put his efforts on his suit. He says: "Men will just be in suits and ties, but I will be quite glamorous as I have been sponsored by Armani."

The other candidate for the award Dayo Wong has just returned from Hengdian to take part in the anniversary show and earlier, he took some rare free time out to go pubbling with William So in Happy Valley, when he seemed quite relaxed and not at all worried or excited about the awards.


[The Sun & Oriental Daily 19/11/04]

Bernice Liu, Raymond Lam, Mandy Cho and Ellesmere Choy will be appearing in a 'Net Dance' at the anniversary tonight and earlier they were all rehearsing carefully using new nets. Although she did not have to rehears, Bernice was watching the others carefully and exchanging tips with Raymond. Raymond says: "I know that Shirley Yeung has injured herself and this act is quite dangerous, so the stunt co-ordinator has said that if anything happens, to grab hold of a net. I have tried the new nets twice and it is not as difficult as I had imagined." He also laughs: "When I am performing, my life will be in the hands of the wire masters, so I will just have to be brave and do it. To work for TVB, you have to be omnipotent!"

Talking of Shirley's accident, Bernice says: "I am always very careful because no-one wants to get hurt. Each time I get on the nets, I am very worried because this is all about teamwork and Raymond and I have to work with other people to do this." She aso feels that each act has its difficulties and Shirley's balance dance is not easy for a non-professional dancer.

Mandy does not need to be hoisted high in this performance, but she does have to dance on the shoulders of a dancer. She says: "I will have to wear a short skirt and a tight top for this. (Are you afraid of revealing yourself?) I will wear something underneath, so there is nothing to see. When we rehearse, there is a soft landing, but when we do the performance, there will not be anything there."

During the rehearsal, Carlo Ng and Ellesmere often crashed into each other when they were on the wires and Carlo accidentally kicked Ellesmere in the groin. Afterwards, fearful that Ellesmere would kick him back, he kept holding onto himself and caused an amusing scene.


[The Sun 19/11/04]

Ekin Cheng commented in a radio interview yesterday clarifying his earlier words during a film premiere, where he urged people not to watch children's programmes in support of his former children's programme co-host Tam Yuk Ying, saying: "I did not mean that at all, I just felt that some things should be kept. I have already been 'frozen' for three years, I am sure I will be frozen again after this!" When asked if he will be taking part in the music awards at the end of the year, Ekin says: "I have not been for the last three years, so this year will not make any difference! (Have you given up on winning any awards?) No, I just have the right to choose not to go, the company understands that singing is just one of my interests."

Ekin goes on to say that after a long time observation, he has found a cure for baldness, but he would not reveal the formula: "This has never been tried before, but I feel it seems to work! Charlene Choi also agrees. I think I will take it to be patented later."


[The Sun 19/11/04]

Maggie Siu and Eddie Cheung were filming for new movie "Haunted House" yesterday and talking of her good friend finding success with "War and Beauty", Maggie feels that Sheren will win the female lead award.

As for TVB's intentions to film a large scale family conflicts drama, Maggie says that if she gets the chance, then she would like to take part. As for Eddie who has been nominated for a 'Best Supporting Actor' Golden Horse award says that he will buy some cigars to thank director Johnnie To.


[The Sun 19/11/04]

With recent rumours that Tam Yuk Ying will be moved out of children's programmes soon, former co-host Cheung Kwok Keung (KK) says that this would be a shame. He says: "I went for dinner with Yuk Ying a few days ago and laughed that after hosting children's programmes for so long she should be in the Guinness Book of Records. You don't need to worry about her though, she is actually a mini tycoon. (Are TVB being harsh?) You can't say that because everything has to come to an end. Take Stephen Chow and Tony Leung, they did well after leaving children's shows, so Yuk Ying could have the same opportunities."


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