Sunday, December 19, 2004

[The Sun 20/12/04]

Gigi Lai has confirmed that she has signed with TVB as a salaried artiste and TVB has arranged a plan of heavy promotion for her to push her career to new heights. There have been many rumours that Gigi formed a deal to exchange an award for the contract, but with the support of TVB executives, these have been disproved.

When Gigi beat Sheren Tang to take the award for "Favourite Female Lead Role" at this year's TVB anniversary, there was an immediate backlash to her success with suggestions that she won the award because she agreed to sign a contract with TVB, but strong denials at the time from Gigi and TVB executives calmed the rumours at the time. The latest reports are that she has now signed with TVB to become a salaried artiste and TVB's Production Resource Deputy Chief Lok Yik Ling has confirmed this, saying: "I am very happy that we have successfully signed Gigi and as well as arranging for her to film series for us, there are also plans to promote her and find her a constant stream of jobs so that she can take her career to another level. (Are Gigi's terms the highest of any female artiste?) She did not have any special requirements and TVB's terms are very reasonable."

When asked whether she was afraid of this being linked with the "Contracts for Awards" rumours, Ms Lok supports Gigi, saying: "If you are afraid of everything, then nothing will happen. Whether or not Gigi signs for us is nothing to do with the awards and I would like nothing more than to shoot four, five or six birds with one arrow and sign them all, but it is easier said than done. There is only one award and this ties in with the time, people and place. Anyway, the award is not everything and not winning does not mean that TVB does not value them."

Receiving this promise of promotion, Gigi returns thanks to TVB: "I am very happy to sign with TVB. (TVB say they will promote you.) I am very thankful to them." Also, taking part in an event yesterday for the "Take an Extra Step Campaign", Gigi pledged to do 38 good things in a year. After the swearing in session, Gigi smiled: "I think I can do 38 good deeds in a week." When asked if she would buy a luxury home with her earnings, she says: "It depends how big the apartment is."


[Ta Kung Pao 20/12/04]

Christmas is coming and the cast members of "Virtues of Harmony" were on a Christmas promotion in a shopping mall yesterday, plying games with the Christmas shoppers. Cast members including Nancy Sit, Michael Tse, Kingdom Yuen and Bondy Chiu joined with Miss Hong Kong representatives Kate Tsui, Queenie Chu and Priscilla Chik [Em's correction: Fu Sze Sze] at the event. Bondy's character in "Virtues" is currently pregnant and as the birth will be taking place this week, then she and screen husband Michael played a 'birthing' game on the stage, where Kingdom and Rain Lau crawled under her legs to be 'born' and Louis Yuen took charge of the 'delivery', leaving the audience in great fits of laughter.

Nancy indicates that she will be spending Christmas with her children and her eldest daughter San San has returned to Hong Kong from Canada and she has to choose Hong Kong film to be shown at the University of California Film Festival. Nancy says that last year, they showed "The God of Cookery" and the response was great. Her daughter would like her to contact Stephen Chow to see whether he would allow his latest movie "Kung Fu Hustle" to be shown this year. Nancy says that as this is a new movie, then it may be more difficult, so perhaps "Kung Fu Soccer" or "Infernal Affairs" would represent Hong Kong just as well.

Nancy laughs that her film co-starring William Hung, "My Crazy Mother" is also not bad. Her daughter had originally tried to arrange for William to speak at her school about the transition from singing to acting, but as he is very busy, he may not have time to take part. Nancy says that her children have inherited her love and interest for the movie industry.

When Nancy was asked if she would be exchanging gifts with her boyfriend for Christmas, she says that she will, but she has not had time to buy it yet. Maybe she will give him a watch. What would she like to receive? She says she does not mind and when asked whether she would like to receive a ring, Nancy responded quite strongly saying: "No thanks, I am even more afraid than you!" She laughs that as long he is not like her ex-husband, who would buy her gifts worth just $88, then she will be happy. However, she says that even when she received those presents, she still found it very sweet showing that she is really quite naive.


[Oriental Daily 20/12/04]

Shek Sau's son Sam Chan was spotted earlier holding hands with Lina Yuen, the younger sister of Fiona Yuen and looking very sweet in each others company. Afterwards, he openly admitted that they had been dating for six months and have met each others parents. Sam says that this is the first time he has made their relationship public and he hopes that this will be a lasting one.

Sam was spotted holding hands with his girlfriend by reporters in Tsim Sha Tsui's Harbour City and it turned out that she was Lina, who had guest starred in TVB youth drama "Sunshine Heartbeat" this year. After filming the show, she had returned to Germany and it is believed that she is back in Hong Kong over the Christmas vacation to spend the time with her boyfriend.

Even though he was recognised by passers-by, Sam was so deeply entranced by his company that he did not care about the stares he was receiving and he held on tightly to Lina's hand as they walked around the shopping mall and after a while, they went for lunch with some friends in a Japanese restaurant, where he took great care of her and made sure she had plenty to eat. After about an hour, he couple saw the press as they left and immediately went their own ways in a marked change from earlier on.

In the past when Sam had dated Kawaii and Cerina De Graca, he had never spoken about his relationships nor appeared in public with them, but when he was called about this latest sighting, he openly admitted that he had been dating Lina for nearly six months and he is revealing this relationship because he hopes it will be a lasting one. He says: "We were introduced to each other through friends and as we have both studied abroad, then speaking in a foreign language was very natural to us and I am very happy with her because she has a very happy personality. Being so public about our dates means that we are very serious and hope it will be a lasting relationship, so I hope that there will be a future for our love. We have met each other's parents and my father likes her a lot."

When asked what he thought of Lina's performance in "Sunshine Heartbeat", Sam says he has not watched it: "I did not even know that she was going to guest star in the show until she told me after finishing filming. She does not like this industry though, so after Christmas, she will be returning to Germany to continue her studies." When asked if he is confident to keep this long distance relationship going, Sam says: "Just go with the flow, I am working hard to save some money so that I can afford the plane tickets to go and visit her more often."


[Ta Kung Pao 20/12/04]

Animated movie "The Polar Express" premiered in Hong Kong on Saturday evening and guests at the event included Claire Yiu and her boyfriend Thomas Lam, Theresa Carpio, Crystal Kwok, Isabella Kau, Remus Choi, Agnes Cheung and Chan Wai Yi.

Claire does not have any new series to film just yet and she thinks that her next job will begin after the new year, so she is taking the prime opportunity over the Christmas holiday to go and make extra money through modelling jobs and a stage performance with Thomas in Foshan. She also laughs that her ambition since she was very young was to become a model and when asked about reports suggesting that the traditional 'second job' (prostitution) of artistes now spreading into the model world, Claire says she has many friends who are models, but reserved comment on the subject: "I don't think they are all like that. I don't know who the report is about and I have not heard about 'second jobs'. Most of my model friends are very well off anyway and they all married rich husbands, so she would also like to marry a rich man!"


[Ta Kung Pao 20/12/04]

Hacken Lee recently invited Andy Lau to film a series of special interviews for TVB's "Jade Starbiz" and Andy brought along a pack of cards to read Hacken's fortune and indicated that this year's "Jade Solid Gold Most Popular Male Singer" will go to Hacken.

Andy says he is an expert fortune reader and did a reading for Hacken's luck this year to see whether he would take the JSG award for the third year running. Hacken was rather shocked by Andy's actions, but followed his instructions. Andy first dealt the cards and asked Hacken to choose, saying to him: "The cards you choose represent the steps in your life where you choose your own destiny. Take your time and choose carefully. If the card left at the bottom is the Ace of Spades, then you will definitely win the award and I will have to stand aside. Haha! If the card is not the Ace of Spades, then you have to let me win the award. Hahaha..."

After Hacken had chosen a large pile of cards, the last card remained and Andy called out: "It looks like I will have to step down now! Haha!" Then he picked up the Ace of Spades and passed it to Hacken saying: "Congratulations! It's yours!" At first Hacken dare not take it and asked Andy if this was a magic trick. Andy replied: "Keep the card. I hope that it will bring you good luck for your new album and the awards ceremonies at the end of the year." This is not magic, it is foretelling te future. Haha!"

Hacken was very touched when he heard this and immediately took the card, saying: "Master Lau, do I need to take it home and boil it up with a bowl of water and then pour it away before sticking the card over my bed?" Andy replied: "Don't throw the water away, you drink a little first, then share it with all the other singers. It is more fun when everyone gets an award!"

Hacken says that Andy has always been a good supportive friend to him, but he never thought that Andy would use this magic trick to give him encouragement. Whether or not he wins the award this year is not important, the most important thing is that he can always have a good friend like Andy. Andy adds: "Of course I will support Hacken, he deserves everything and this year's achievements together with all his experience over the years puts him at the top of the younger generation of singers. If you ask me, then I think he will win it this year. He is the only person I would feel justified losing out to. Haha!"


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