Sunday, November 18, 2007

Lydia Sum Touches Hearts At TVB Awards

The annual TVB anniversary awards ceremony was held this evening at TVB City. The star-studded event is a celebration of the hard work by artistes over the year and is highly anticipated by TV fans worldwide.

Seventeen awards were presented at the gala, with six of them, including the Best Drama award, going to the highly-acclaimed series Heart Of Greed <溏心風暴>, which once again affirmed its status as the most popular series of the year. On the other hand, the much hyped joint production with CCTV The Drive Of Life <歲月風雲> was left only with the consolation prize of the marketing team creatives winning an award for a promotional short.

As the highlight of the show, Lydia Sum (沈殿霞) was recognised for her achievements in television, receiving the Special Achievement award from TVB Vice-President Mr Norman Leung (梁乃鵬). After a ferocious battle against cancer, everyone was pleased to see her appear in person to receive the award and although she was seated in a wheelchair and looking much thinner than before, in her pink dress chosen especially for the occasion, Lydia still radiated her usual aura of fun and joy as she spoke of her love for her work in television and performance. In her acceptance speech, she said: "I hope for good health, to get better and better every day and see more of everyone. I will not let go easily of my career in television that I love. Thank you."

As everyone stood to raise rapturous applause and show their admiration, the show's MC and Lydia's good friend Carol Cheng (鄭裕玲) was moved to tears and Liza Wang (汪明荃) presented Lydia with a bunch of flowers. Lydia's daughter Joyce Cheng (鄭欣宜) then performed a song with her mentor Liu Jia-Chang (劉家昌) in honour of her mother. Liza was pleased to see Lydia looking well and hoped to continue working with her long into the future, saying that variety shows are not the same without Lydia's presence.

Five years after winning the Most Improved Male Artiste award in 2002, Moses Chan (陳豪) emerged as the biggest individual winner of the night, taking the title of Best Actor as well as scooping the My Favourite Male TV Character award for his portrayal of "Tong Chi On" (唐至安) in Heart.

When the award for My Favourite Male TV Character was announced, Moses seemed a little disappointed as he assumed this meant he was out of the running for the best actor award. However, in a repeat of the situation that Charmaine Sheh (佘詩曼) found herself in last year, he was thrilled to go on and take the top award later on.

Whist giving his acceptance speech after being presented with his award for Best Actor by Kathy Chow (周海媚), there was some heckling in the audience for him to give thanks to his rumoured girlfriend Bernice Liu (廖碧兒). At the end of his speech he said shyly: "Thank you to ... too!", still unwilling to admit to any relationship. He said afterwards: "The award is finally in my hands! The award is so special and is the reward for many years of work, but I am thankful to TVB for developing me."

After her stellar performance in Heart Of Greed, Lee Si Kei (李司棋) had been favourite to win the Best Actress award and she did not disappoint as she received her award to a standing ovation from the other artistes in the audience. She also received an extra surprise when her daughter, Leslie Yip (葉子青), who resides in Canada, appeared on the stage to present her with flowers and be the first to congratulate her.

Si Kei said in her acceptance: "I have never thought about or cared for winning awards, but after the atmosphere and anticipation of the last few days, I have felt nervous and found it hard to sleep. If I did not have an award on my desk when I retire, then I would feel regret, now I have it, I feel so fortunate." She then went on to thank her friends and family and expressed how happy she was to see her daughter.

After 23 years in the television industry, Louis Yuen (阮兆祥) was awarded the Best Supporting Actor award for his performance as "Uncle Bor" in Heart. Receiving his award from Kent Cheng (鄭則士), joker Louis raised a few laughs by pulling out a speech he had prepared and then saying he had written it for Bobby Au Yeung (歐陽震華) to use at the Emmys. He then described this opportunity as a gift from heaven because it was originally Wayne Lai (黎耀祥) who was supposed to play this role and he was only asked to take the role because Wayne was busy with another project. He also extended his congratulations to the other nominees for this award, because they are all good actors. Asked if he would be celebrating his win, Louis said that he and many of the artistes had to carry on working after the show, so they will wait until the gala party on the evening of the anniversary extravaganza on 19 November before they celebrate properly.

The Best Supporting Actress gong went to Fala Chen (陳法拉), who was very calm when she received her award. She said afterwards that this a great encouragement to her and she will continue to film more series in the coming years.

Gigi Lai (黎姿) was announced as the Mainland's Favourite Female Artiste, but she commented that in light of the recent incidents in her life after her brother's tragic accident, awards are no longer of any importance to her. She said that good health is the most important thing in life and what she needs now is simply love. Asked how her brother's condition is, Gigi said he is getting better and he is fine provided he does not suffer from infections. She said she will be taking some time out after finishing filming for The Gem Of Life <珠光寶氣> to look after her brother.

There was no surprise when Raymond Lam (林峯) was announced as the Mainland's Favourite Male Artiste.

Presenting this new award category for this year, TVB general manager Stephen Chan (陳志雲) explained the significance of the award, which was voted for by members of the audience in mainland China, saying that it was wrong for the press to dismiss it as a consolation prize. He pointed out that the award is a recognition of the work that the artistes have done and should be cherished.

When Kate Tsui (徐子珊) was presented with her award for the Most Improved Female Artiste, she was very emotional and seemed close to tears as she accepted her award. She also thanked everyone who had reprimanded her in the past. After she had calmed down backstage, she said: "Thank you for putting up with my clumsiness on stage. My manager had warned me that I probably would not win, but I should prepare something to say just in case."

Amigo Chui (崔建邦) emerged as a surprise winner of the award for Most Improved Male Artiste, recognising him for his work hosting some of TVB's popular chat shows and gossip programmes, but sparking off further rumours of favouritism because Amigo is known to be one of the executives' favourite artistes. He said that he is thankful to TVB for showing him an alternative stage for his performances because he did want to be an actor originally, but was advised by his manager that he would find greater success in hosting because of his inferior looks. He added that this award signifies that he has found the right arena for his work.

The second series of popular travelogue programmed On The Road <向世界出發> was awarded the Best Variety Show and Liza represented the artistes on the show to receive the award with the series producer. Liza revealed that during her two week trip to Kyoto to film for the series, she had learned to understand life a little more and realised what she should cherish in life.

Harlem Yu (庾澄慶) and Patrick Tang (鄧健泓) lived up to everyone's expectations by taking the award for bests hosts after emerging this year as the rather unusual, but extremely successful partnership that headed up hilarious game show Foodie 2 Shoes <味分高下>.

Harlem said that this was quite a memorable achievement for him to be the first Taiwanese artiste to host a show in Hong Kong and win an award for it. As for Patrick who has truly marked his return to TVB this year following several years in the wilderness, he said modestly that the real credit should go to the show and to Harlem and he was just tagging along in the glory.

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