Tuesday, January 04, 2005

[Ta Kung Pao & Oriental Daily 04/01/05]

TVB held its Fundraising Event for the Tsunami Disaster "Four Seas Join Hearts sending Care and Wishes" and as the response of artistes to take part in the show was so resounding, with many people willing to do their part, the show was extended again and again, eventually finishing at 1am instead of 12:15am. The total pledged duirng the show was around $48 million.

Jaycee Chan arrived at TVB City at 12:45am, the last to arrive, but straight off the plane back to Hong Kong from Phuket where he had been to see the situation for himself. Jaycee indicated that he had experienced some unforgettable scenes and when he visited the hospitals, he could not help crying himself because there were many people who had lost their family and felt life was not worth living. For some families, of the 7 people who went out, only one person survived. As well as filming the disaster scenes, Jaycee also took some photos himself and he told of when he visited the temples that were filled with decaying bodies, the smell was so horrendous that even wearing five masks was not enough to block it out. He went on to describe that there were bodies there that were young and old and even some pregnant women that were unbearable to look at. When asked if he would be releasing his pictures he says that if it will help then he does not mind: "If the 7 million people in Hong Kong all just donate $1, then they will have done their part and I will be proud of you all."

Sheren Tang took part in the event where she drank bitter tea to raise money, signifying sharing the bitterness with the victims of the disaster. Although she is very afraid of drinking the foul tasting herbal concoction, she says she does not mind if it is for charity and she laughs that the TVB production is very serious and the tea was extremely hard to drink. Sheren has heard that the medicinal power of the drink can lead to acne, but she is prepared for this and she says that compared to those suffering after the disaster, this is absolutely no comparison.

TVB executive Lok Yik Ling who experienced the disaster first hand in Thailand was also on the show to tell of her experience and thank her colleagues for their concern, in particular TVB boss Mona Fong, whom Ms Lok's husband went over to offering his personal thanks to her.

Elisa Chan and Anthony Lun joined together to sing "Somewhere", but because the station had to broadcast the news, their performance was cut short. As she was not warned about this, Elisa did not know whether she had to sing it again: "I have never been cut half way through a song, this is the first time. However, the timing was hard to judge and I do not mind, especially as there were no rehearsals beforehand and it is all for charity." Her partner Anthony is the Music Director for the 'Crossing Boundaries' fundraising event on January 7th had to rush to the recording of the event's title song 'Four Seas One Heart' due to the delay caused by the repeated performance. He says he does not mind as it is for charity, but at first he thought he had made a mistake before he was told it was time for the news.

As for Derek Li who was sent to report from Khao Lak in Thailand, he told of the deepest impression seeing all the bodies and he witnessed a post mortem that left him totally shocked and he is finding his emotions difficult to hold back.


Keep donating!
International Federation of the Red Cross - www.ifrc.org

[Ta Kung Pao 04/01/05]

TVB sitcom "Virtues of Harmony" will be ending its run at the end of this month and yesterday marked the last studio shoot for the series so a special party was held to mark the occasion with cast members including Nancy Sit, Joyce Chen, Bondy Chiu, Michael Tse, Louis Yuen, Johnny Tang, Kingdom Yuen, Lind Chung and Steven Ma taking part.

During the event, they cut and shared a cake and also drew lots of faces on prop eggs before sticking them onto a map, signifying that they will continue to bring laughs to many different places. Linda and Rain Lau were rather sentimental as they cried about the show coming to an end. Joker Louis then went on to laugh at Nancy, saying: "There are a few of us here who are 37, but you don't choose us and go outside, that's not fair!" He then went on to put tape on his lips and wear a cap, imitating Nancy's boyfriend before pretending to kiss her, making her laugh hard. After that he then imitated William Hung as he fed Nancy some cake and everyone was in fits of laughter.

Afterwards, Nancy laughed: "I did not know that Michael, Louis, Frankie [Lam] and Johnny were all 37 years old. However, I do not have a generation gap with them at all." Since Nancy revealed her relationship, her colleagues have often joked with her, but she does not mind because she knows they are all just happy for her. As for her boyfriend, he was a little wary at first, but now he is fine. However, she is still not prepared to bring her boyfriend out to meet the other artistes yet because she is worried he cannot handle it. As for the show drawing to a close, Nancy says: "After filming for four years, I will miss it because we have all shared so much together, such as suffering sunstroke, but there will always be a time when we have to say goodbye. Also I am very thankful for TVB for paying my children's school fees for so long, now even if they want to study masters, then this is not a problem." It is estimated that through filming "A Kindred Spirit" and "Virtues", Nancy has made an eight figure sum.

Nancy was originally flying out to Malaysia on the 8th to take part in an awards ceremony because she has been voted as one of the top ten most popular TV characters, but after the Tsunami disaster, all entertainment activities have been suspended, so the trip may be postponed. If that is the case, then she will take part in the Hong Kong fundraising activities on Friday.

Linda and Steven's characters in "Virtues" have a happy ending as the couple finally tie the knot and yesterday they wore their wedding outfits for the party, where Linda shed a few tears because she did not want the show to end. She says that as this is her first job since winning the Miss International Pageant last year and staying in Hong Kong, she has been here alone, so with the crew always laughing and joking, she has been very happy and they are all nice and treat her like family, so she does not want to leave them. Even if they play tricks on her sometimes, she does not mind at all.

Although the studio scenes have finished now for "Virtues", Linda still has some location shoots left and will not have completely finished until tomorrow. Afterwards, she will begin preparing for her new series "Always on Standby". As she will be playing the only woman in the Government Flying Services team, she will soon be following them in their work so that her portrayal will be convincing.

Steven has worn a wedding suit for filming on many occasion, so he does not feel anything special about it, but he is pleased that he still matches Linda, who is just 20 years old, 12 years younger than him. As for Linda crying, Steven says: "I guess I have only been filming with them for three to four months and not three to four years like some of the others, so if I had to pretend to be emotional, I would not even convince myself." He also says that the artistes in the show have a very strong bond and it is difficult to tell when they are acting and when they are for real. For example, when he said hello earlier to Bondy Chiu, she replied coldly: "I don't know you very well." making Steven think he had upset her, later he found out that this was just how they spoke to each other on set.

After finishing "Virtues", Steven will be heading out to Beijing for some promotional work and then filming an advertisment in Guangzhou. After the Chinese New Year, he will be heading back to the mainland to film another series. He laughs: "The pay for mainland productions is much higher, but the only thing I am not used to is that they like to pay in cash when the job is completed and in $100 notes, so my manager has to get his hands dirty counting all the money."


[Ta Kung Pao 04/01/05]

A special German label promotional event was held in Shenzhen earlier and Moses Chan was invited to model some of the latest autumn and winter fashions by Hugo Boss as well as experience BMW's perfect drive exhibit, showing off the ideal match between these two leading brands.

This is the first time that Hugo Boss and BMW have worked together and also their first collaboration in the mainland. The organisers indicated that an exposition on this scale is rare in both China and the rest of the world, so holding it in Shenzhen was a bold move for both companies and it has roused great interest from fashion and motoring industries in China.


[Ta Kung Pao 04/01/05]

Kate Tsui took part in a press conference for the skincare product she is spokesperson for and wearing a white evening dress and the Miss Hong Kong crown, she went on to demonstrate doing a facial for a model. The event also premiered her advertising clip, but the result made Kate speak with a squeaky voice. Later, she explained that on the day of the shoot, she was just wearing a strappy dress and maybe because it was so cold, it made her voice sound very shrill. She says that she was shaking as she filmed and she did not have much breath, but she will be more aware next time.

As spokesperson for a skincare product, she will be presenting her friends and fellow Miss Hong Kong representatives with samples of the facial masks. As this is her first ad, she will be recording the ad when it airs. Recently there have been reports that although she is the reigning Miss Hong Kong, she does not wear make up when she goes out normally and this is affecting the Miss Hong Kong image. Kate says that she has read this report and on that day she just had light make up on. She says she will not be unhappy about this and laughs that she is not too bad and is still presentable even if she does not wear make up. Anyway, she has also read reports that say that she is not suited to wearing lots of make up, so beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

She adds that many young female artistes are always filming but still manage to keep their skin very well. Take Shirley Yeung for example, her skin is very good. As she will soon be participating in Miss Chinese International and the emphasis this year is on 5000 years of Chinese Culture, she is currently catching up on her Chinese History knowledge after studying abroad for so long.


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