Friday, January 21, 2005

[Ta Kung Pao, The Sun & Oriental Daily 22/01/05]

After a four year run, the TVB situation comedy blockbuster "Virtues of Harmony" is finally drawing to a close as the final episode is aired this evening. As well as the originally planned ending, there will also be a half hour special for the show's cast to share some of the interesting moments over the years.

In the show, Steven Ma will be explaining the earlier news about the ghostly apparition of a figure resembling Anita Mui in an earlier episode. He says: "When I was shooting the scene, there was a canvas bookcase behind us and on the shelf was a magazine. The image could have been from the magazine, but afterwards, the crew could not find any trace of the magazine." He also says that when the episode was aired, he was in Hengdian filming and only saw it when a friend emailed it to him. Apart from this scene, another spooky time was when three heads appeared on the kitchen counter whilst Linda Chung was in a scene cooking breakfast. Steven says: "I think that those must have been computer generated. (Are you afraid?) I have never been afraid of ghostly incidents because I have not done anything wrong."

As most of the cast members will be away doing stage appearances over the Chinese New Year, the cast and crew had an early New Year dinner and cast members present included Nancy Sit, Steven Ma, Linda Chung, Louis Yuen, Joyce Chen, Michael Tse and Bondy Chiu. The deputy director of drama department Catherine Tsang also took part an shared some funny moments with everyone as well as giving Nancy a big hug on the stage. During the event, many records set by "Virtues" were announced such as the 772 episodes each of 30 minutes resulting in 23,160 minutes of airtime; racking up 6,948,000 characters in the scripts that if stacked together would be over ten feet thick. Also the show used 33,196 metres of film that is almost as long as the Airport Express railway line.

Nancy, Louis, Michael and Cutie will be heading out to America on 26th for some stage shows and Nancy will also be seeking out a suitable university for her son on this trip. When asked if her boyfriend would be accompanying her, Nancy said hesitantly: "He is very busy, but I will be returning to Hong Kong on the fourth day of the new year because the fifth is Valentines day." Last year, as Nancy was busy filming for "Virtues", then even her stage performances were very rushed, always flying out at night and returning in the morning. However, now that the show has finished, she can breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy her trips. After the new year, she will be heading out to Australia and New Zealand to do stage shows. Originally, the promoters agreed to let her head back to Hong Kong early, but she insisted on staying a little longer to take in the sights.

Nancy led the rest of the cast members in a singalong at the event, but she was so excited that she fluffed the words and went out of tune, whilst Steven and Yu Yeung were rolling around causing great amusement. With happiness, there comes a moment of sadness and Nancy said weepily: "After filming, there will be a lot of people jobless again, but I know that Catherine will make arrangements. Although there were some 'meetings with the management' during filming, it was all for our own good."


[Ta Kung Pao 22/01/05]

Yoyo Mung and Sharon Chan were filming at an old fashioned cinema in Fanling for "Rouge and Powder" yesterday in a scene where Yoyo is helping Moses Chan to court Sharon by telling him to take her to the cinema, so Yoyo hands the tickets to Sharon.

Yoyo exclaims that she never knew there were still cinemas in Hong Kong so old and she remembers that when she was in high school, she played truant and went to a cinema in Sheung Shui to watch "All About Ah Long" and she sat on wooden benches to watch the show. She laughs: "At the time, everyone had seen the film and if I didn't watch it then it would be behind the times, so I had to skip school to go and watch it."

In real life, has she helped a man to court a girl? She says she has not because if they split up, then she would feel guilty about hurting the girl. However, she has introduced men to her female friends, for example during filming for "Split Second", she met a girl through Alex Fong's girlfriend Mok Ho Yan and they became friends, then she introduced her to a male friend and they started dating. They are getting along very well and for Yoyo, she feels happy to have done a good deed.

Sharon wore a chipao for yesterday's scene and as she suffers from low blood sugar, she is very susceptible to the cold, so she wore two pairs of tights and also plenty of heat pads underneath. Despite her condtion, Sharon still wants to lose weight and she will only eat boiled vegetables after work each evening. She says: "I can't help it, the producer says he thinks my cheeks are rather puffy and filming this period series does require a slimmer face to look good. I just love eating too much, so I did put on a lot of weight before and when I wear the chipao's for this show, I am afraid to breathe too deeply in case I split the clasp. Once when Moses heard the buttons pop, he couldn't help laughing, so I really have to lose weight."


[The Sun 22/01/05]

Leila Tong was spotted at the radio station yesterday and said happily that she will be heading to Hengdian to film a historical TV series. At first, she thought she would be spending a lonely Lunar New Year there, but the crew have announced that to tie in with everyone's schedules, then they will not begin filming until after the new year and so she can spend the festival at home with her family. Leila says that her Mandarin is okay, but she has never used it to speak her lines, so she will try it this time: "When it comes to the dubbing, it will be easier to match my own lip sync."


[The Sun 22/01/05]

Natalie Ng has announced that she will be marrying her boyfriend of five years, Kim who works in investment. Although when she mentioned her intentions to friends earlier, there were remarks that this Rooster year is a 'blind' year and not suitable for marriage, she says she has consulted with an expert, who says that despite this, the couple are very suited to getting married this year, so they have decided to tie the knot in November or December.

The couple were originally planning to hold the marriage ceremony on the beautiful beaches of the Maldives, but after the disastrous tsunami devastated the island, they have changed their minds and will be staying in Hong Kong instead. When reporters called to congratulate Natalie, she was a little surprised, but still revealed her excitement, saying: "Don't ask me about it yet, because a lot of things are yet to be decided. When the time is right, I will tell everyone. (Has your fiance asked you to retire from showbiz after your marriage?) What era are we in now? My boyfriend is very supportive and I will definitely not be retiring because I love this career. (Will you have children after you get married?) No, this is too far in the future, so I will think about it later."


[The Sun & Oriental Daily 22/01/05]

Gigi Lai was very well wrapped up as she wore a fur coat and a high neck dress to the opening of a casino in Macau yesterday. Arriving in a helicopter at the event, she earned a six-figure fee for two hours work, proving her current popularity.

After her arrival, she joined gambling tycoon Stanley Ho and his fourth wife Angela Leong for the opening ceremony and although faced with the highly attractive Gigi, Mr Ho seemed rather distanced, possibly because of the presence of Ms Leong, not even speaking to her at all during the ceremony.

After the opening, Gigi tried her luck at the tables and used her complimentary chips to play on the electronic roulette and horse racing machines, finally winning $30 and taking the first luck of the day. Gigi says that she does not gamble very much and is very gullible, so her friends like to play mah jong with her. She says: "This is the first time I have been to a casino in Macau and to win money just before the new year is a good start." Gigi emphases though that a little flutter can be fun, but definitely don't get addicted.

With the news breaking of a gunfight at Macau's New Century Hotel, Gigi was rather shocked to hear this: "I was not worried about my safety because there are many high ranking officials here from the Chinese and Macau government offices, so security is very tight." However, Gigi says that she would not dare to travel to Macau on her own in the future. Towards the end of the event, a man rushed into Gigi suddenly causing a minor security alert. It turned out that he just wanted a photo with her and she was in no danger.


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