Friday, May 11, 2007

[Ta Kung Pao 12/05/07]

Michael Tse Would Like to Shave Charmaine's Legs

Michael Tse and Jordan Chan prepared for their new series "Steel Lips Silver Teeth" with a headshaving ceremony, joined by female lead Charmaine Sheh. Seeing the men having so much fun, she wanted to join in the fun, so she picked up the shaver and helped them out, but left their heads in a bit of a mess. Michael requested the stylist to leave him with a punk hairstyle until he shaves it clear later on today.

Michael says that he will miss his hair a little, but he has not kept any as a memento because it will slowly grow back again. He says: "Yesterday, I originally asked my wife to give me a punk hairdo, but after an hour, it failed and we just gave up and I had to ask the stylist to do it for me." Michael has not worked with Jordan for a while now and he hopes to convince him into giving up smoking, but says disappointedly: "I don't think he can do it, I can just mention it more in front of him."

For Jordan, this is the second time he has shaved his hair for a series after "Duke of Mount Deer" earlier. He is used to it now, but he laughs: "I had my hair permed especially for this!" As for Michael hoping he will quit smoking, he says with confusion: "In the show he has to smoke a pipe, so we will have to see if he is quitting or if I am." For Charmaine who will have her costume fitting today, she says she is envious of their shaved heads because it seems so refreshing and she would not have to spend so much time doing her hair, especially when schedules are tight, then a bald head is more convenient. As for her first attempt at shaving someone's head, she says she was worried about hurting them. When asked about her catching the top of Michael's head, she laughs: "It serves him right, he is always so cheeky. He just said he would like to shave my legs for me!"


[Ta Kung Pao 12/05/07]

Sheren Tang Leads the Housewives against "Heart of Greed"

Sheren Tang's new series "The Family Link" will begin airing on Monday, but as she is currently visiting Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand on a gospel tour, she will not be able to join in the promotional activities. However, her trip has been cut short and she plans to return to Hong Kong on 21st, where she will take part in further promotional activities and she hopes to see what reviews her first role as a housewife will have.

Sheren says happily: "I am very happy on this gospel tour because my parents and my cousins totalling 11 people have come out to see me and it has been many years since we were all together." Talking of many viewers having good expectations after watching the promotional clips from "Family Link", the cameraderie of the housewives should lead to a rise in ratings. Asked what her target ratings are, Sheren says she has never really paid much attention to ratings. She says that she hopes to convey the hardships of the housewives and find some recognition for them, so she hopes that after the show has been aired, the title of 'housewife' will be a beautiful thing."

As for the ratings of "Heart of Greed" building up some ratings hype, with many citizens discussing the storylines after dinner, is Sheren afraid of being compared? She smiles lightly: "This is the executives' business, different shows will have different strengths and the most important things are the reviews. If the show is not good, then no matter how much you promote it, the viewers will still not watch." She says that her mother has been avidly watching "Heart", praising Lee Si Keiand Michelle Yim for their great performances.


(File Photo)

[Ta Kung Pao 12/05/07]

Virginia Lok Jeers at ATV's Weaknesses

There have been recent reports that since former TVB executive Ho Ding Kwan joined ATV, there has been a frenzy of activity to attract TVB's artistes to the competition, with huge sums of money being offered to the more popular stars, such as Charmaine Sheh. This has allegedly caused TVB to become very nervous and react by offering very long contracts and higher salaries to fight back. Faced with all the rumours, TVB executive Virginia Lok took part in a radio interview with Cha Siu Yan yesterday and asked if she was feeling the pressure of the headhunting, she says that she has always put pressure on herself, so it is nothing new and not related to the prospect of people leaving.

As for the reports of TVB raising salaries and extending contracts, Ms Lok says that if you only start offering more money and contracts when people are coming to grab from you, then it will have no effect and treating people well is not something that has only just started. Their relationship with the artistes has been built up over time and they have to gain trust and care in each other. Using the lure of money is not something that they have done recently and this can be a very short term measure. If the artistes discuss contract extensions, will the company be more generous now? Ms Lok says that they have already started doing this two years ago and they have not reacted to the competition in this way at all. She suggests that if in eight or ten years time, when the competition start doing well then this will give artistes more choice. Asked if she feels that there is no choice for artistes at the moment, she denies this and says that TVB is a training ground and somewhere were you can really hone your skills. With the mainland market so big, then many artistes have gone there seeking gold over the years and this is their harvest period.

As for the rumours about Bosco Wong's contract running to 2017, Ms Lok openly admits this and says that he is not the only one as there is a big group of these contracts and they have not just appeared recently. As for the rumours that ATV are offering an 8-figure sum to attract Charmaine, she says that she has been in contact with Charmaine and there is no such thing. In any case TVB still has a long contract with Charmaine. Ms Lok adds that Charmaine has just had what should be her happiest year and a very fruitful one, so she should cherish and enjoy her status. Asked if she would be offering an invitation to the established artistes without contracts, such as Gallen Lo, Maggie Cheung, Frankie Lam and Kenix Kwok, she says that they all have contracts already. Asked whether she herself has been approached to join the competition, she laughs that she is still a newcomer and she has not been approached and no matter how much they offer, she will not leave. How about Ho Lai Chuen - will he leave? She says that he will not leave either. Asked if they will be inviting Ho Sau Shun and Lee Heung Kam back, Ms Lok says that they are arranging this now.


[Ta Kung Pao 12/05/07]

Stephen Chan interviews Lyricist Lam Chik and commnts on Bosco Wong's Contract

TVB General Manager Stephen Chan's chat show "Be My Guest" was filming earlier with special guest and famed lyricist Lam Chik. Stephen prepared a Cartier pen and a tea set as a gift for Lam, who laughed that he likes to use designer items, so he does like the pen very much.

There have been stories that Lam has a 'close friend', so did Stephen discuss this in the show? He says that he will talk about anything and just treat it as a chat and there is nothing that he cannot ask about. However Lam laughs that there is nothing he cannot ask, but he may just not respond or hide the truth! Is he afraid of being asked about his romantic life? He says he has never had anything to hide and there is nothing to fear, but he has no plans to make his love life public. As for the recent reports about him buying a luxury home, he says coyly that if he has a clear path, he will make more money, but even if he doesn't then he will still make money.

With recent rumours of ATV offering large sums of money to attract artistes, leading to a battle between the TV stations, Stephen says that these are just rumours and they will write about anything, even if it is impossible, maybe because the TV pages have been quiet lately. He says that TVB is not worried at all and in this industry there will always be people coming in where other people leave. So is TVB offering sweeteners to keep people? He feels that money is not a strong element to keep people and the most important thing is whether the company is able to develop the person and work well with them. As for the reports that Bosco has indicated that he has a contract with them until 2017, Stephen says that this is a commercial secret, saying: "Did he (Bosco) tell you how old he is? He is a silly boy, this is a commercial secret."


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