Wednesday, February 02, 2005

[Oriental Daily, Ta Kung Pao & The Sun 02/02/05]

TVB will be broadcasting a selection of special shows over the Lunar New Year period and it showcased the schedules yesterday in a presentation attended by guests including Boyz, Yumiko Cheng and Isabella Leung as well as artistes Linda Chung and Shirley Yeung. There was also a prize draw during the event, with Linda, Don Li and Renee Tai all winning a golden chicken each.

Linda seemed extremely happy when she won the prize and she revealed that she has not had any luck when it comes to draws since she was fifteen and she hopes that this is the beginning of a good run. Linda will be working over the new year and with her family all in Vancouver, then she naturally feels a little lonely. She says: "It is the first time I have spent the new year in hong Kong and without my family here, it will not be as warm. My mum has sent me a lucky packet though and I am old enough now to learn a little independence."

Yumiko will be heading out to Canada with Nicholas Tse on the 2nd day of the new year to take part in the "Four Seas One Heart" show, taking time out to go and visit her grandmother there. However, Yumiko has to then rush back to Hong Kong to record her album and do promotional work, so she cannot stay for long. As this is the first time she has visited Canada, she feels it is a shame she cannot stay and take in the sights. She Smiles: "I am worried that being in Canada means I will not receive as many lucky packets. Last year I received a five figure sum in lucky money, but it was not enough to cover what I handed out. Even so, I am still happy because it proves I have work and I receive a day's worth of special treatment from my colleagues!"

Although Yumiko will be away for the new year, she will still be buyig some flowers, especially the plum blossom because as an artiste, popularity is important. Is she also after some romance too? She smiles: "Of course to have it would be better than not to. (Have you checked on your romance horoscope for the year?) Some magazines say it is not strong only having 2 stars so I hope that it is not right!"


[The Sun & Oriental Daily 02/02/05]

Bosco Wong's series "Wong Fei Hung - Master of Kung Fu" has had fairly good ratings since it began airing, averaging at 30 points, but when Bosc was spotted in TVB City yesterday, he did not seem too pleased: "I though that it would keep improving and reach 31 points at least! It doesn't matter though, I hope that the final week will achieve 33 points, if so, I will hand out lucky packets to everyone so we are all happy!" He says that two weeks ago, he saw Law Ka Ying visiting Liza Wang on the set of "My Sassy Mother-in-Law" and although he is very ill, Bosco says that he looks in good spirits and should be better soon.

TVB's other primetime show at the moment is the Korean series "Jewel in the Palace" and after the show achieved ratings of 30 points in its first week, there have been rumours that there are plans to promote it even further by airing the show a little earlier, swapping with Alex Fong and Shirley Yeung's series "My Family". However, TVB's General Manager Stephen Chan denied this yesterday, saying: "The audience's preferences are very even and it is unclear whether they want the shows to be changed around or not. I have received an email from a high ranking official who has asked for it not to be changed because they have not yet returned home at the earlier time, so at the moment we have no plans to move the schedules." Producer of "My Family" Amy Wong has not heard about the plans to change, but will leave it in the hands of TVB.

It is yet unclear whether "Jewel" will prove the massive hit that "War and Beauty" was last year, but there are already pirate copies of the show on the market by people eager to cash in. A trip to Mongkok quickly reveals copies of the show placed in the focus of many stalls, with prices ranging from just over $100 to $300 or more. The official distributors who own the show's copyright have filed a case with customs to investigate this widespread piracy activity. Faced with the sales of official and illegal copies of the show in direct competition, TVB is still confident in its ratings, as TVB External Affairs Deputy Chief Tsang Sing Ming responded: "The version that TVB is airing has been especially edited and dubbed by our professionals, so the effect on ratings should be minimal."


(File Photo)

[The Sun 02/02/05]

After gaining the award for "My Favourite Male Lead" for his role in "War and Beauty" last year, reports indicate that Bowie Lam will be signing under TVB management soon. TVB is promoting Bowie quite heavily at the moment, arranging for him to present New Year wishes to Sir Run Run Shaw on Chinese New Year's Day and also being invited to the salaried artistes year end dinner yesterday by Lok Yee Ling and Catherine Tsang yesterday evening.

Having just returned to Hong Kong from Atlantic City, Bowie was asked whether he has signed for TVB. He says: "Not yet, but the discussions are almost complete and are just lacking a signature. My heart turns towards TVB and I am thankful for all the opportunities they have given me in the past. If it wasn't for TVB series, my show in Atlantic City would not have sold out!"


[Oriental Daily 02/02/05]

Former Miss Hong Kong contestant, Sung Chih Ling was travelling in the company transport to film on location in Ma On Shan for "Rouge and Powder" on Monday when after falling asleep, she woke to find that her mobile phone had been stolen from her bag. The show's producer Mui Siu Ching has promised to investigate the incident.

At around 10am, over twenty cast members gathered to film a funeral scene, including Gigi Lai, Yoyo Mung, Anne Heung, Mandy Cho and Moses Chan. Apart from Gigi and Moses who took their own transport, all the others were driven to the location from TKO TVB City in two 24-seater coaches. The vehicle that Chih Ling was in carried just artistes and no crew or extras.

Chih Ling's phone was a new model that had been bought for her by her boyfriend and during the journey, she had received several text messages on it. After reading them, she placed the phone in the side pocket of her sports bag. When she reached the destination, as the other artistes queued to retrieve their costumes, Chih Ling took a short nap, but when she woke up and searched for her phone, it was nowhere to be found and Chih Ling was so upset that she burst into tears. There was a commotion and the director asked if she wanted to have bags searched, but as they were due to film a big scene, Chih Ling turned down the offer because she did not want to delay filming.

Chih Ling was called by reporters yesterday and she said: "The bus was just full of artistes and I really can't believe that any of them would steal my phone, would they be comfortable doing something like that? I once spotted a diamond ring on the floor in the make up room and immediately alerted a member of the crew because I understand that when the owner lost it, then they would be very distressed. I trusted the other artistes in the bus, so I did not think twice about putting my phone in my bag. I never imagined this would happen." However, Chih Ling laughs that after comforting her, all the other artistes went to check that their phones were still there and breathed a sigh of relief when they found it.

When the show's producer Mui Siu Ching was asked about this, she indicated that she did not know because the director and PA at the time had not yet reported the incident to her. As theft is a serious issue, she will be launching an investigation into the matter.


[Ta Kung Pao 02/02/05]

Shirley Yeung will be working on the day of the Chinese New Year, but she says she does not mind, laughing that she can really soak in the New Year atmosphere. As her two grandmothers are still alive, Shirley will have to spend time with them to have the New Year's Eve dinner. As for her mother-in-law to be Sze Ming, then Shirley will make time for her.

Shirley's series "My Family" has just begun airing, but because of the popularity of Korean drama "Jewel in the Palace", TVB plans to switch the broadcast slots for the two series so that "Jewel" will be aired first and "My Family" will be aired later. When Shirley was asked for her thoughts, she says she did not know about this and it is all in the hands of the company anyway. As for whether she is worried about the ratings for "My Family", she says she doesn't mind as long as someone likes it. At the moment, a lot of people have to work overtime and a lot later, so airing it early may not necessarily be a good thing. It may be better airing later because people can then watch when they get home after work.

Shirley will begin working on 14th for new series "Always on Standby" and as her boyfriend Gregory Lee also has a part in the show, she was asked if they would be spending Valentine's Day together at work. She says she does not know yet. As for whether she has prepared a present for him, she smiles: "When your in love, a glass of water is often enough and even if we just have a piece of cake and some water, then we will be happy, so we don't need to think too much."


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