Friday, June 01, 2007

[Ta Kung Pao & The Sun 02/06/07]

'Heart of Greed' Finale Fever Sweeps the City

The finale of "Heart of Greed" was aired yesterday and to mark the occasion, TVB held a special abalone banquet in a shopping mall, where over 400 people, including TVB executives, cast and crew members and their families and some lucky viewers joined together for an abalone feast to watch the grand finale and then play games in a very lively and happy affair.

A similar occasion to mark the finale of "War and Beauty" consisted of 38 tables and TVB executive Tsang Sing Ming indicated that that was because it was TVB's 38th Anniversary that year, so this year as it is the 40th Anniversary, they have taken the number of tables to 40, with the first half an hour of festivities aired live on magazine programme "Scoop", followed by coverage of the remaining event on TVB Pay Vision's Entertainment News Channel. To gain entry, fans could either take part in the games played on stage, or they could splash out $588 on a DVD set of the series and a soundtrack CD. One of the first to enter was a nine-year old fan, who has been following the series closely, with her favourite character being Dai Kai (Lee Si Kei) and her least favourite being Sai Kai (Susanna Kwan) and Sheung Joi Tak (Lee Shing Cheung).

All the major cast members were present at the event, except for Bosco Wong, who was busy on promotion in Thailand. The female celebrities all dressed up for the event, with Tracy Ip stealing the show in her white deep V dress, even though she had barely 15 minutes of airtime in the series. She denied trying to outshine Dai Kai and Sai Kai, saying that the dress was provided by her sponsors. Ha Yu appeared wearing a $5000 suit and he laughs that he has more expensive outfits at home, so this is nothing special. As for the magazines publishing photos of him with his 'windmill head' [slang - balding?], he says that the magazines are sneaky, but adds: "It does not affect me, I am a character actor. It is not bad, for people only to notice now. I have over ten different wigs for different occasions." Si Kei has also been photographed without her wig on and she says she is very angry, but she is not afraid of it affecting her image. Her outfit yesterday and the diamond necklace were her own. Susanna's outfit was arranged by the company and in reaction to the little girl saying she hated 'Wong Sau Kam', she felt that the girl was very clear about her opinions, but she was not afraid of being scolded, because they are just scolding her character.

The event was opened yesterday by a live performance of Susanna singing the theme song to the show. Then Sai Kai and Dai Kai had an argument on the stage. TVB General Manager was asked about his thoughts on the show and he used Dai Kai's tone to say: "We have filmed now for forty years, you can tell at a glance whether the show is good or not." There then followed some previews of the finale and then some 're-enactments' of scenes, in which Moses Chan played Sai Kai and Louis Yuen played Dai Kai in a classic scene that brought them much applause.

Two lucky viewers were selected to have a scolding match at Sheung Joi Tak to win abalone, winning six if they lasted a minute. First up was a little girl, but no-one understood what she was saying, so she just took away one abalone. The second contestant didn't do much better and gave up after a few seconds, but still taking away one abalone for her efforts. The luckiest person on the night was Si Kei, who after being presented with a $12,000 abalone by Stephen Chan earlier, was drawn in the raffle to win 40 South African abalone. However, she says she will not enjoy them alone and will share them with the rest of the Tong Family.


[Ta Kung Pao 02/06/07]

Raymond Lam Wants to Marry a Strong Swimmer

Raymond Lam and Leanne Li have been signed as spokespersons for a wedding salon recently and yesterday, they took part as guest models at a catwalk show at the Wedding Expo, modelling several outfits. However, Raymond seemed rather stiff and did not know how to follow the camera. He later explained that this was down to nerves.

However, Raymond reveals that he had been a model for his friend's wedding shoot when he was at university. He smiles: "At the time they used cameras with film and one pose would take a long time to set up and shoot. Now with digital cameras, then it is more convenient. (Has this job encouraged you to start thinking about having a family of your own?) I have always wanted to date, especially seeing Hacken Lee and Frankie Lam getting married, this has given me the urge to get married too."

Raymond also hopes that he can have an underwater wedding, so his future wife will have to be a good swimmer. So will he go abroad to shoot his wedding photos? He immediately went back into advertising mode and said: "I did think about this before, but after this shoot for the sponsors, then I have found they have a lot of backgrounds and in just one day, it feels like I have been to many places, so you don't need to go abroad. (Will you have a secret wedding in the future?) Definitely not, because my family want me to have a huge banquet and there should be two receptions because apart from friends and family in Hong Kong, I also have to go back to our hometown for a celebration."


[Ta Kung Pao 02/06/07]

Gigi Lai Says Brother is OK

TVB leading lady Gigi Lai's younger brother Lai Ying was seriously injured in a traffic accident on Thursday, whilst travelling in a taxi and was taken to Queen Mary Hospital for treatment. He underwent brain surgery and fell unconscious, so Gigi was there late at night to be with him and was back again to visit him yesterday afternoon.

A large group of reporters were waiting for her and Gigi was accompanied by TVB Artiste Dept Manager chan Pui Wah. She stayed for over an hour before leaving and when the reporters asked her how her brother was, she smiled and said: "OK" but would not reveal any more and refused to answer any questions. She kept a smile on her face throughout though and seemed in good spirits, suggesting that her brother is no longer in any danger.


[Ta Kung Pao 02/06/07]

Suki Chui Keeps a Low Profile - Matthew Ko Works Hard at his Chinese

Suki Chui and Matthew Ko took part in a promotional event for an eyewear company and they were both presented with a pair of reactions sunglasses, but they both have excellent eyesight, with Suki having perfect vision and Matthew only having about 50 degrees short sight.

This is the first time that Suki has worn reactive lenses and she feels it is like magic. As the glasses can protect her eyes, will she also buy a pair for her boyfriend? When she heard the word 'boyfriend', she was quite stunned and then said with embarrassment: "Let him do it himself. (Giving a gift to a friend is okay?) When we see something good, then we will go and buy it, that is the power of the media." Talking of sharing good things with friends, she continued to evade the question and said: "If I have a gift, I will share it with my mother and sister." As for whether she is avoiding talking about her boyfriend after pressure from TVB, she smiles: "I don't usually talk about him anyway."

With Father's Day approaching, Suki indicates that she will most likely be taking her father out for dinner. She smiles: "My dad likes to drink, so I will give him a bottle every year and this makes him very happy. (Drinking is bad for health, why don't you ask him to give it up?) He is very healthy and I don't want to take away his only interest in life." As for this year's Miss Hong Kong contestants, Suki has been paying attention and finds hot favourite Ho Ngo Yee most memorable because she is very sweet and calm. As for the trend that favourites usually don't win, she does not agree and says: "Her image is very clear and I support her."

Matthew is currently filming with Kenneth Ma in period drama "Background Master", but as his Chinese is limited, then he has to work hard every night after work, noting his script with phonetics and rehearsing with his sister. However, he still makes mistakes with his lines and in one scene where he had to act out three pages, he NG'ed eight times. Although the crew did not blame him, he bought everyone a drink to keep them appeased. To work on his Chinese, Matthew will be reading more newspapers. As he and Kenneth are both quite sweaty people, one evening when he was getting changed after filming, his hairpiece fell off because his sweat had melted the glue holding it in place.


[Ta Kung Pao 02/06/07]

Wong He Devoted to Buddhism but Not Quite Monk Material

It was an important Buddhist Festival on Thursday and a priest from China visited Hong Kong especially to promote Buddhism, with devoted Buddhist follower for seven years Wong He as the MC for the event, which introduced the history and principles of Buddhism. Wong He says that he often goes to work with the Buddhist group and centre and once visted Nepal and Tibet with them to see the high priests.

Ah He indicates that he was introduced to Tibetan Buddhism by his former manager, who went on to become a monk. Asked if he will do the same, he smiles: "It is not like in the wuxia novels that you can become a monk whenever you want to. It is up to the priests to tell you whether you have enough karma and fortune to become one." With his Buddhist title 'Chun Bo', Ah He may not have enough potential to be a monk, but he still has to follow the rules of the religion. He says: "There are a few major rules I have to follow, such as no perversion, no killing, no bad language and no stealing. I have kept to four of them, but there is one I cannot keep, I will let you think about which one." After becoming a Buddhist, he has convinced many of his friends to join up as well and even his mother has started reciting Buddhist mantras and listening to the stories. Ah He says: "Religion is a very personal thing and as long as it does not condone killing, then it is okay. We will not intentionally push people to join us."


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