Tuesday, January 25, 2005

[Ta Kung Pao 26/01/05]

Alex Fong (Lik San)'s first TVB series "My Family" will begin airing on MOnday and yesterday morning, he took part in an interview for Metro Radio alongside fellow cast members Shirley Yeung, Chung King Fai, Hawick Lau and Sam Chan. Afterwards, Alex took part in a press conference and told of his travels with Oxfam to Lanzhou.

Alex indicates that with this being his first series and as he will also be singing the theme tune, he is a little nervous and has bought himself a new video recorder to keep a personal record of his performance. As filming for the show was only completed last July, Alex is pleased that it will be aired so soon. He says: "I have something arranged for the new year, then I will be releasing an album, so I feel that everything is going very well. (Usually the New Year series are poorly received though?) Not necessarily, although a lot of people go away for the holiday, there are also those who come and visit Hong Kong. In any case, to have a series aired is always a good opportunity."

When asked how he thought his first performance went, Alex says: "I will need time to get accustomed to it. As I had other work on at the same time, and I am not very good at staying awake, there was one point when I fell asleep at the wheel during fiming, so when you see my appearance, you can tell that I was quite tired. Sometimes I would snatch some time to sleep and sometimes I would shoot without any make up on. (Wouldn't that cause continuity problems?) No, the lights will amend that. The happiest thing was when we filmed the family eating, so I felt that twenty episodes was too short. (Isn't the prop food really horrible?) No, it is very nice, like it has just been freshly cooked!"

Last month, Alex visited Lanzhou for the first time and stayed there for three days. He says: "The children there have to raise $500 to hire books to study in school, but for some people, their income is only $300, so their children are not able to study. Although Oxfam have successfully helped 92 children to go to school, but there are still a lot of children who cannot benefit from this and need everyone's assistance." Talking of his trip, the deepest impression he was left with was that for their team of over ten people, a generous and hearty meal in the hotel only cost $200, but when he went to visit a family of five, their living quarters were extremely cramped and they only had potatoes to eat for their three meals a day with not a scrap of meat. Alex says that thinking back to the meal he had just eaten, he realised how fortunate he is. He says: "When I was at school, I have played truant before, but when I see these children who thirst for knowledge, I feel that we should all treasure our opportunities to learn and work hard with it." In order to help these children go to school, Alex will be making monthly donations to the fund.

Shirley feels that "My Family" is very suited to air over the Chinese New Year Period because it is a light-hearted family comedy, but with comments that the ratings are usually poor around this time, it is easily for the expectation to fall to dust. Shirley says that as long as it is a good quality show, then she is not worried because "Square Pegs" did well around this time.

Shirley will be taking part in the costume tryout for TVB's new series "Always on Standby" and in the show she has mainly verbal scenes, whereas her boyfriend Gregory Lee will have a lot of action scenes, such as jumping from a plane. Asked if she was worried about him, Shirley laughs: "I am not worried because I have confidence in his ability. Accidents are hard to predict, like my accident at the anniversary show, but we just have to make sure we take safety precautions."

Also, Chung King Fai has returned to Hong Kong from Shanghai, where he has been rehearsing with the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre because his earlier HK production "Noises Off" is being performed there by local artists. His other forthcoming work will include "A Sentimental Journey" in February working with Connie Chan. When asked if he had any expectations for the ratings of "My Family", he says that he has never really cared for ratings as long as the audience enjoy the show.


[Ta Kung Pao & The Sun 26/01/05]

"My Sassy Mother-in-Law" was filming in TVB's Ancient Street yesterday in a scene where Bosco Wong is framed for murder and sentenced to death. Just as he is about to be executed, his mother Liza Wang and wife Myolie Wu arrive to rescue him and plead for mercy from the Emperor. Myolie was totally absorbed into the scene and cried real tears.

Bosco was kneeling for the whole day's filming chained at the wrists and he said straightly: "After kneeling for a day, my legs are weary and numb. Luckily I had prepared some knee pads." When asked if he felt that filming was hard work, he remarked obediently: "Of course not, because we often get to share Liza's home made soup. She prepares some for me every day, sometimes it is sharks fin, sometimes it is shellfish and even Dong Cong Cao. Even my own mother has not made this for me, if it wasn't for Liza, I would have dried out!"

Myolie says that she will be heading out to Thailand on vacation in February for the Chinese New Year and then heading out to Atlantic City at the end of the month for a stage performance, earning her a six figure fee for a great start to the new year!


[Ta Kung Pao 26/01/05]

Valerie Chow, Alex Fong (Chung Shun) and Christine Ng took part in a notebook PC promotion yesterday and were all presented with the latest products. Valerie often has to use a laptop computer for her work, but she says she has never experienced romance online. However, she has already decided to get married soon.

1991 Miss Hong Kong Runner Up Valerie and Indian designer boyfriend have been dating for nine months and their love has blossomed, so on her birthday last December, he has proposed to her and she has agreeed, so they plan to get married at the end of this year in a ceremony abroad. When asked why she will not be getting married in Hong Kong, she says there would be too much pressure, she wants to keep things simple and this is difficult in Hong Kong.

When asked if her boyfriend had got down on one knee to propose, Valerie smiled: "He did everything. (You have not been together for even a year, is this a lightning wedding?) We are old enough and know what we are doing. (What attracts you to your boyfriend?) He is a good person and we do not need to compromise for each other as we are so alike and it is very comfortable. (Will you be having children after you marry?) At the moment, my career comes first because it is getting better and better and there are a lot of opportunities, so I do not want to give it up yet. (How does your boyfriend feel?) He lets me make my own decisions."

Alex goes on the internet every day, but he only has one laptop at home and sometimes when he and his girlfriend need to go and work away, they will fight over who takes the computer. Now he has been given another one, he can avoid this conflict. He laughs: "Originally I was going to buy another one, but my girlfriend said it would be a waste, so now we have been given one, it is the best thing tht could have happened!"

Talking of his recent developments, Alex says that originally he was planning to head to the mainland to shoot a series in March, but because of a problem with the script, it has been delayed until June. However, he has agreed to film a series for TVB in May, so he does not know what to do. As for the three months he has in the meantime, will he be going on vacation? He says that his girlfriend will be heading over to Thailand for work in February, so he will be going diving with Jacky Lui and some friends in Malaysia. When asked if there was any effects to the area from the earlier Tsunami disaster, Alex says the effects are enormous because the sea bed will take at least eight to ten years to return to normal. When asked if he was worried about further earthquakes, he says: "If it was to quake, Hong Kong would be destroyed to, you cannot underestimate the power of nature."


[The Sun 26/01/05]

Shirley Yeung, Bernice Liu and Michelle Ye took part in an opening and promotion for a health product yesterday and Bernice's strappy top was the most eye-catching of the three girls. On hearing this, she laughs: "I am not the sexiest, I am showing off my top half and the others are showing off their bottom halves!"

Shirley was asked how she felt about having to work opposite her rumoured arch rival Charmaine Sheh in forthcoming series "Always on Standby" and she says: "It will be good to work with her again, but I am not worried because we do not have too many scenes together." She says that earlier when she was doing a promotion with Charmaine in Singapore earlier, she had the chance to try a lot of lovely food and also brought back a lot of Pandan Cake as souvenirs.


[The Sun 26/01/05]

After "Virtues of Harmony", TVB's new sitcom will be very female orientated and has been dubbed as the Hong Kong version of "Sex and the City" starring Christine Ng, Kingdom Yuen and Joyce Chen.

This "HK Sex and the City" will begin filming in March and the male leads are yet to be confirmed, but there are reports that Dayo Wong and William So are being considered. However, producer Tsui Ching Hong indicates that there are problems with Dayo's schedules, so he is unlikely to accept the role. As for the female leads, they are still being selected, but there are some preliminary selections, including Christine, Kingdom, Joyce and Joyce Tang. When Christine was asked if she had accepted, she says: "TVB have asked me and said that someone would be in touch, but I have not heard anything yet, so I do not know if it is real or not. I am feeling a sense of insecurity at the moment and do not know whether to take on other work, but I would like to try a sitcom because I have never filmed anything like this before."

As for Kingdom, Louis and Joyce who seem to be 'staying on' in the world of sitcom, Kingdom says she has heard about this, but she has not received official notice yet. "I am thankful to the company to give me this opportunity. (You have been in five sitcoms in a row, are you looking to be crowned 'Queen of Sitcom'?) Surely not, the reason I keep being given this is simple, I am not pretty, so I am of little threat. Also I am kind, caring and friendly, so people are very at ease when people introduce me to their other halves. They call me the 'ancient well type', so I am very popular with other women!"


[The Sun 26/01/05]

There have been reports recently that whilst filming in Dongguan for "Revolving Doors of Vengeance", Joe Ma has been trying to become friendly with Kenix Kwok to step up the ranks and they have had an affair. Kenix indicated in a telephone interview yesterday that they are just having a laugh at the rumours and there is no need to respond. The magazine reports also suggested earlier that they had fallen out, so they seem to have changed their tune rather quickly to say they are having an affair now. Joe says that he is unhappy with the report but will not comment.

Frankie Lam has just returned to Hong Kong after visiting his wife in Dongguan and he says: "The trip was not to win her back, we had planned the trip a while ago and when the report was printed, we knew that there would be these suggestions, so we will not be angry or let it affect our relationship. I trust Kenix 100%." He emphasises that if it is not something that he sees and hears with his own eyes and ears, then he will not believe the reports: "I have already told Kenix about this and she did not respond very much at all."


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