Thursday, April 12, 2007

[Ming Pao & Ta Kung Pao 12/04/07]

Past Winners Support Miss Hong Kong 2007 Recruitment

The Miss Hong Kong Pageant 2007 will be taking place at the Hong Kong Coliseum on 21st July and as this year marks the tenth anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China, the slogan for this year's contest has been revealed as 'The Feelings of Ten Years of Return, Witnessed by Your Beauty'. The press conference to launch the event yesterday was held at Wanchai's Golden Bauhinia Square and attended by past winners, including Virginia Yung, Anne Heung, Shirley Yeung, Mandy Cho, Tracy Ip and Aimee Chan. Around twenty other past contestants were also present for the photocall attracted a large crowd of tourists, causing some chaos.

Originally, Sonija Kwok was also due to attend, but she pulled out at the last minute indicating that she was suffering from stomachache, sprouting rumours about her absence. However, TVB executives Mr Ho Lai Chuen and Ms Rosa Chan both supported her. Ms Chan indicated that Sonija had been suffering from stomach problems the night before so she notified them through the artiste department that she would be absent from the event. She says that Sonija had booked time into her schedule to take part and she did not have to do this if she did not want to attend. Mr Ho does not feel that the recent negative press has affected Sonija's Miss Hong Kong image and the showbiz industry is one full of truths and fallacies. Sonija is quite a significant Miss Hong Kong winner as she took the Miss Hong Kong title in 1999 and also won the Miss Chinese International contest in 2000, so they hope that she can attend another event in the future.

Mr Ho indicates that the overseas recruitment is now complete and they have selected four overseas contestants to take part in the finals. As this year is the tenth anniversary of the return of Hong Kong rule to China and also marks the year of preparation for the Beijing Olympics next year, they will be taking the location shoot to Beijing like they did ten years ago, planning to visit the Olympic stadiums in Beijing and Tianjin as well as arranging for the girls to be accompanied by Olympic athletes for the shoot. The initial interviews for the pageant will take place at the beginning of May and past winners will be invited to be on the judging panel.

At the event yesterday, the ladies all appeared in their own outfits and Anne, Tracy and Sharon Luk's outfits were the sexiest, however, 'big sis' Virginia has kept very well and did not lose the limelight. Mandy appears to have put on some weight, especially on her hips. Asked if she is putting on the pounds because she is happy now she is dating, she says: "I have got fitter!"

Virginia comments that the past ten years have passed in the blink of an eye and at first she had thought about whether or not to take part in this event because she was worried about people knowing her age. However, she has accepted that after entering Miss Hong Kong, you cannot hide this and the most important thing is to keep looking good. Originally she was on vacation in Japan and she returned early especially for this event. Her husband was not too happy about her attending the event because he was worried that she could not look after their son, so she had to give him plenty of notice. As for the other winners of her year (Vivian Lee & Charmaine Sheh), she says that she did bump into Charmaine earlier. She also reveals that she is looking for pretty girls to take part in this year's contest and that Kate Tsui was nominated by one of her friends.

Suki Chui indicated that she learned a lot by taking part in the contest last year and it has changed her life. Asked if she will be nominating her sister to take part, she says her sister refused because she is not brave enough. The event was hosted yesterday by Wong Yi Hing, but Suki kept her distance despite having worked together, seemingly trying to avoid further rumours between them. She says: "Of course not, he was not the only one and it has blown over now." She also indicates that they are good friends. Yi Hing slipped up during his introductions, when he forgot Mandy and Virginia's names.


[Ta Kung Pao 12/04/07]

Mandy Cho has Put on Weight

Some of the past Miss Hong Kong winners at yesterday's press conference seemed to be displaying rounder looks and figures than usual, including Anne Heung, Mandy Cho and 2002 first runner up Cathy Wu.

Mandy appeared in a short dress that showed off her enlarged hips and asked if she had put on weight, she replied that her figure is similar to what it was before, but of course she was very slim when she took part in the contest. The reporters pointed out that she was very fit when she played her part in the recently aired series "War and Destiny" and she said: "That was when I was at my fittest." She says that usually when she is filming, then her figure will naturally slim down.

Mandy also reveals that she has filmed a special show for the Wai Yin Society, interviewing Ellen Wong, Ellen Ng and Shallin Tse. She has found that they are all very artistically talented in painting and calligraphy. She hopes to learn to paint too and when the reporters pointed out that they are all 'ladies of leisure', Mandy says she wants to learn oil painting first.

Cathy has put on some weight after appearing in her pageant in 2002 and she ays that after leaving showbiz, she became a cabin attendant, but has stopped flying in the past six months, moving to work in a PR company instead. She is also studying hotel management. She says that she has put on some weight, but because she does not have to go on camera, then there is no pressure.


[Ta Kung Pao 12/04/07]

Shirley Yeung Denies Being 'Frozen'

Appearing yesterday at the Miss Hong Kong press event at Golden Bauhinia Square, Shirley Yeung was the most recognised out of all the Miss Hong Kong winners and many members of the public commented that she looks like a young girl and that they remembered her mother made her soup. Shirley explains that they have probably watched her mother cooking on a variety show, but being referred to as a 'young girl' makes her very happy because it makes her seem a few years younger. Thinking back to how she looked when she won her title, Shirley says that she has developed more spots now, but she has kept her spirits high and has not changed very much at all.

Asked if her greatest achievement after the pageant was meeting her boyfriend Gregory Lee, Shirley laughs that she gained a lot of experience from the contest and at first she had never imagined she would win, because she is just an ordinary person. So is her boyfriend's greatest achievement finding her? Shirley laughs: "Achievement is your own and it was chance for us to meet."

There have been reports that after openly supporting her boyfriend earlier, Shirley has been reprimanded for making her relationship too public and has been 'frozen' for two months by the company. Shirley says that their relationship has never been high profile and it is just the press who report on her when they see her dating. She also says that maybe it is because not many artistes will still be together after so many years. However, she says that the company will look at the performance of their artistes' work and will not curb someone's progress because they have a boyfriend.

Asked if she feels she has less work lately, Shirley says that she is waiting for her new series to begin filming. When the reporters support her saying that it is not fair for her to be frozen just for dating and not even being a third party, she says awkwardly: "I am just doing my job." She also says that the company will be signing some newcomers, so they have to offer them opportunities, leaving the older artistes waiting for parts. She believes that the company will not hold back work because of her dating and she says that this has been going on for a few years now, during which she has still been working hard.


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