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Friday, January 07, 2005

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Dishy local and Hong Kong stars serve up Food For Life!
January 5, 2005 Hong Kong’s TVB and Singapore’s MediaCorp Studios fry up a wok full of hot stars and spicy drama in their first co-production Food For Life!
Kwok Kar Peng

A force of galactic stars has descended upon Singapore! Heading the troupe are popular Hong Kong artistes Raymond Lam, Charmaine Sheh, Kevin Cheng and Yeung Yi, who are here to film the first co-production by MediaCorp Studios and TVBI: A 30-episode series titled Food For Life. Joining them in this drama are MediaCorp artistes Ben Yeo. Michelle Chia, Lynn Poh, Ezann Lee, Adam Chen, Jeff Wang, Alan Tern and Belinda Lee.
Shot on location in Hong Kong, China and Singapore, the drama revolves around five participants in a gourmet competition. Filming began in Hong Kong in October and is scheduled to be completed by February 2005. The Hong Kong actors have been here in rain-soaked Singapore since Jan 2 and will return in a month’s time. Hailing from the city of tantalising food themselves, what local food do Charmaine and Raymond absolutely drool over?
“Satay!” Charmaine immediately quipped. “And stingray! Luckily we went to Lau Pa Sat for filming, so we got to eat a lot of good food, like clams.” “We filmed till 3-4am for the 2 days since we arrived here, so we didn’t have time to tour around Singapore and try the different food,” Raymond added. But unlike many of us who feel guilty about putting on an extra few kilos, that is something this trim pair doesn’t have to worry about. “We use up a lot of energy every day, working more than 10 hours; we’ll need the food to charge us up,” the pretty and petite Charmaine opined.
Luckily for them, their co-actor Ben is the host of variety programme $2 Wonderfood before and is almost a walking directory of the best food in Singapore! The camaraderie between Ben and his onscreen pal Kevin Cheng has spilled over to real life, as Ben told us how Kevin took extra pains to take care of this ‘little brother’. “During play-back in filming, he’d not only look at his own acting, he’d also look at mine, and give me advice on how to improve, and taught me some acting tips,” Ben revealed. The kindness showed to him extended beyond work as well.
He continued, “Once, he rushed to buy eye-drops for me when he knew that my eye was infected. He refused to let me pay for it; he quickly grabbed an item from the shelves and said he needed to buy something too and paid for the purchases. I was quite touched. Even when we filmed till the wee hours and were very tired, he’d drop me off at my service apartment although he lived very far away.”
Kevin instead spoke humbly about his much-appreciated and thoughtful deeds. He explained, “I was only playing my role as a host to him. He came to Hong Kong and didn’t have any friends, it’s only right that we take care of him. Just like he takes care of us here in Singapore and brought us shopping and to eat Hainanese chicken rice and roti prata.”
On Ben’s self-acclaimed notoriously bad Cantonese, Kevin laughed and agreed, “There’s room for improvement; I’ll give him 51 marks.” Local viewers would not have a chance to hear Ben’s broken Cantonese on Channel U as the as the show will be dubbed in Mandarin when it goes on air! Food For Life will be telecast on TVB's channels in May 2005, and on Channel U at a later date.

Food For LifeCast: Charmaine Sheh (as Wen Xi), Kevin Cheng (Jia Le), Raymond Lam (Xue Li), Ben Yeo (Fu Sheng), Yeung Yi (Zhi Yin), Ng Ka Lok (Lo), Adam Chen (Rambo), Lynn Poh (Li Qi), Michelle Chia (Kai Shan), Ericia Lee (Mei Si), Shaun Chen (Shi Hao), Lina Ng (Michelle)

A television game show, which crosses the boundaries between the best of Singapore and Hong Kong’s cuisine contests, gathers a group of five young men and women who each have their eyes set on their own goals. The strength of endurance and the essence of humanity are put to the test, as hand in hand, these five young people fight for the future of their dreams!
Jia Le (Kevin Cheng), Xue Li (Raymond Lam), Fu Sheng (Ben Yeo) and Zhi Yin (Yeung Yi) are assigned as teammates in the semi-finals. Despite initial disagreements, they build a firm friendship within the team and emerge as the qualifying four for the finals! Hong Kong contestant Jia Le helps out at his parents’ street market chicken stall and is known as a walking ‘Chicken Encyclopedia’. He joins the competition on impulse and is more interested in the combination of good food, free travel and new friends, than in winning. His easygoing ways endear him to Singapore contestant Fu Sheng, who follows him around.
Fu Sheng, innocent and honest in character, is a typical Singaporean Chinese boy. He has been cheated of all his money by his new Hong Kong girlfriend, who has since disappeared. He uses the competition as an excuse to go to Hong Kong to look for her.
Xue Li is a suave and generous Hong Kong contestant who does everything in an impressive, high profile manner. His humorous nature charms many of the female contestants, especially Mei Si. He battles for Mei Si’s (Ericia Lee) affections with Shi Hao (Shaun Chen), a Singapore contestant. The ensuing tussle of wills creates trouble for the other participants, especially Jia Le, who is caught in the middle. Zhi Yin, a timid and insecure Hong Kong contestant, often brings trouble to everyone during the competition and usually makes matters worse. Even though she has suffered many setbacks, she steels herself and pushes on, so she can win the prize and save her father’s truck rental company.
Subsequently, Zhi Yin is exposed as being related to Wen Xi, the PR representative cum babysitter, and is thus disqualified. Fu Sheng is bent on looking for his girlfriend upon reaching Hong Kong and has no interest in competing; and Jia Le is focused on enjoying the game for what it is. Therefore, Shi Hao gets away with cheating and wins. The bird flu affects Jia Le’s family’s chicken stall business. Zhi Yin’s father’s truck rental company folds when the drivers resign en masse. Fu Sheng locates his girlfriend and is once again cheated of his money. Xue Li and Wen Xi’s magazine business encounters problems.
Just when things are at an all-time low for the group of friends, Jia Le learns that Shi Hao has been disqualified for cheating and he is the rightful owner of a bustling shop space! Jia Le decides to set up a food business and invites Xue Li, Fu Sheng, Wen Xi and Zhi Yin to be his partners, to bring together the power of friendship where everyone chips in with whatever they can, be it money or effort. But problems continue to plague the group as they struggle to bring their shop to life. Watch how friendship eventually reigns and savour the delicious food that they will serve to you!

Sehseh: It's nice to hear the HK cast enjoyed themselves in Singapore. But do they have to repetitively praised the food there? It's sound like that they're saying that to please the media.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey sehseh. Amanda here. Long time didn't visit your blog. So many stuffs to read! It'll take me ages!!!!

At least this will keep me occupied as I work. Phew!

Looks like you've done well with this blog. Your stuffs are really detailed.

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