Category Archives: TV

Usher in the year of the Horse with BBC’s exciting line-up of programmes and festive favourites!

This Chinese New Year holiday, BBC will be featuring a series of special holiday programmes, all day, from 31st January till 2nd February 2014, on the following BBC channels – BBC Knowledge, BBC Lifestyle, BBC Entertainment, and CBeebies (available on Starhub channels in Singapore).

I have 5 sets of BBC CBeebies Chinese New Year red packets to giveaway! To win them, simply LIKE my facebook page or FOLLOW me on Twitter and PM me with your name, contact number, email and mailing address to send the red packets to. The first five persons to do so before 9am tomorrow (25 Jan) will be the winners. 

More on the BBC programmes: 

Go back to where Chinese New Year started with BBC Knowledge (Starhub Channel 407) by taking an in-depth look into Beijing: Biography of an Imperial Capital. Also, take a peek into the driving forces of one the world’s largest economies with China on 4 Wheels and Gok Wan: Made in China.

Learn tips and tricks to preparing easy and delicious Chinese cuisine with fashion stylist Gok Wan in Gok Cooks Chinese on BBC Lifestyle (Starhub Channel 432). Craving for something different? Follow Rachel Khoo into her home kitchen in Little Paris Kitchen: Cooking with Rachel Khoo, where she teaches you how to whip up simple and rich French cuisine.

Lose yourself in the magical world of Arabia on BBC Entertainment (Starhub Channel 521), with the Sinbad (series 1) marathon.

Get your little ones in the mood for arts and crafts with a Mister Maker (series 3) marathon and the first episode of the new series of Mister Maker Around the World on CBeebies (Starhub Channel 303). Join Sarah & Duck as the little girl and her duck friend go on their adventures and try to solve problems that they encounter along the way. Ever wondered how the rest of the world celebrated Chinese New Year? Let’s Celebrate shows you how.

[25 Jan 2014, UPDATE]

The five winners are:

  • Koh Hui Chen
  • Keith Tan
  • Lim Xinyi
  • Adlena Wong
  • Val Lim

Congratulations and happy new year! 

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StarHub TVB Awards 2013 – Full Winners List

Starhub TVB Awards 2013
Starhub TVB Awards 2013

Last Saturday, the StarHub TVB Awards 2013 capped off a night to remember as the industry’s biggest names gathered at the Marina Bay Sands Grand Theatre to honour the best in TVB programming. Broadcasted ‘live’ on E City (StarHub TV Channel 111/825) for the first time, the Awards saw a total of 31 trophies presented across 20 categories.

Thanks to Starhub, Rachel and I attended the ‘live’ recording of the show.

The biggest winner of the night was Triumph in the Skies II (衝上雲霄2) which completed a clean sweep of four wins with Myolie Wu (胡杏儿) and Julian Cheung (张智霖) winning the My Favourite TVB Male and Female TV Character awards for their roles in the blockbuster hit drama. Even more impressively, it also snagged both the My Favourite TVB Drama and the Singapore Media’s Favourite TVB Drama awards, proving its pedigree as a series with both mass appeal and critical acclaim.

Three cast members from Triumphs in the Skies II up on stage
Three cast members from Triumph in the Skies II up on stage

Rachel and I had not seen this TVB series before the awards, but we left intrigued enough to want to catch it now on Starhub!

The Awards also saw local viewers voicing their strong support for the local production, Lady First (女人我最大) – Singapore, which beat strong competition from established names to walk away with the My Favourite TVB Variety Show and My Favourite TVB Variety Show Host awards. Both awards were open to public voting and marked the first time a local programme won a StarHub TVB Award.

Pauline Lan on stage
Pauline Lan on stage
Pauline Lan getting affectionate on stage
Pauline Lan getting affectionate on stage

Lady First (女人我最大) is one of Rachel’s favourite TV program and Pauline Lan (蓝心湄), the anchor host of the show is one of her all-time favourite TV host. Rachel was thrilled to see Pauline Lan make her appearance on stage at the awards show.

A surprise appearance by Michael Miu (苗侨伟) stole the show as the veteran claimed the Classic TVB Character award, much to the delight of the packed theatre and the thousands of viewers watching at home. One of TVB’s ‘Five Tigers’ in the 1980s, Miu became a household name with his role as Yong Kang in the 1983 TVB series, The Legend of the Condor Heroes (射雕英雄传).

Miu joked about how the award he won is for old-timers who are about to retire and he thinks he is still in his prime now. He is 55 years old this year, but I would have to agree with him that he still have a long way to retirement. Just look at how suave he still look at this age:

Michael Miu, looking as good as ever
Michael Miu, looking as good as ever

The most coveted individual accolades – My Favourite TVB Actress and My Favourite TVB Actor, were won by Tavia Yeung (杨怡) and Bosco Wong (黄宗泽) respectively. Bosco then made it two out of two with the My Favourite TVB Male TV Character award before sealing his hat-trick of wins by sharing the My Favourite TVB On Screen Couple award with Niki Chow (周丽淇) for their irresistible onscreen chemistry in A Change of Heart (好心作怪).

Tavis Yeung collecting her trophy
Tavis Yeung collecting her trophy
Bosco Wong getting his award on stage from Pauline Lan
Bosco Wong getting his award on stage from Pauline Lan

Rounding off the night were Christine Kuo (苟芸慧) and Jason Chan (陈智燊)’s deserved wins in the Best TVB Female and Male Newcomer categories.

An elated Jason Chan thanking his fans on stage
An elated Jason Chan thanking his fans on stage

Hosted by King Kong Li (金剛) and Elaine Yiu (姚子羚), the Awards ceremony featured memorable performances from artistes such as Mag Lam (林欣彤) who enthralled the audience with her My Favourite TVB Theme Song award-winning song, Little Something from Season of Love (戀愛季節).

Hosts, King Kong Li and Elaine Yiu
Hosts, King Kong Li and Elaine Yiu
Mag Lam singing Little Something
Mag Lam singing Little Something

Linda Chung (钟嘉欣), who picked up a My Favourite TVB Female TV Character award and the Everlasting Glow Award, also took to the stage to perform Eternal Flame, while the cast of the local movie That Girl in Pinafore (我的朋友, 我的同学, 我爱过的一切) brought some local flavour to the event with a xinyao medley.

Linda Chung collecting an award on stage
Linda Chung collecting an award on stage
Linda Chung singing Eternal Flame
Linda Chung singing Eternal Flame
Another picture of Linda Chung singing
Another picture of Linda Chung singing
Xinyao performance by casts of The Girl in Pinafore
Xinyao performance by casts of The Girl in Pinafore

Not to be outdone, the finalists of TVB’s hit reality singing competition The Voice of the Stars (星夢傳奇) responded with a unique medley of their own, putting a fresh spin to a collection of classic theme songs.

Four singers from The Voices of the Stars
Four singers from The Voices of the Stars

The StarHub TVB Awards 2013 kicked off with the red carpet special where some local celebrities shared the stage with the pantheon of TVB A-listers in front of hundreds of screaming fans. Viewers also played their part in making it a memorable night by voting Linda Chung as the inaugural winner of the best dressed Red Carpet Star via the StarHub TV Buddy second screen app.

“We are pleased with yet another successful StarHub TVB Awards. The Awards represents the strong partnership between StarHub and TVB, one which has progressed beyond broadcasting to include localised content productions such as Lady First – Singapore. As an event, we have also raised the bar with the first-ever ‘live’ broadcast of the Awards ceremony. Together, we will continue to provide the best TVB experience for our customers. My congratulations to the winners,” said Mr Tan Tong Hai, Chief Executive Officer, StarHub.

“Since its inception, the StarHub TVB Awards has grown to become one of the marquee events of the year. It has been a joy working with StarHub for the past two decades and we are appreciative of StarHub’s continuous efforts in promoting TVB productions to Singapore viewers. Long may this continue,” said Mr Sherman Lee, Controller, International Business, TVBI.

All the TVB stars on stage
All the TVB stars on stage

The StarHub TVB Awards 2013 is presented by Jean Yip Group. Main Sponsors are SK Jewellery and OSIM. The event is co-sponsored by Hada Labo, Panasonic and Phyto. The Official Smartphone is HTC, the Official Car is Mercedes Benz and the Official Integrated Resort is Marina Bay Sands.

If you missed the show on Saturday, fret not – you can catch the repeat telecast on VV Drama (StarHub TV Channel 855) on 5 October 2013, 8pm.

For more pictures taken during the awards show, please visit the official Alvinology facebook page. 

For more information on the Awards, please visit the official Starhub website.

Full List of StarHub TVB Awards 2013 (星和无线电视大奖 2013) Winners:

1. My Favourite TVB Actress 我最爱TVB女艺人
Tavia Yeung杨怡

2. My Favourite TVB Actor 我最爱TVB男艺人
Bosco Wong黄宗泽

3. My Favourite TVB Female TV Character 我最爱TVB电视女角色
Niki Chow 周丽淇 《好心作怪》 – 阮小吉
Michelle Yim米雪 《大太监》 – 慈禧太后
Linda Chung钟嘉欣 《护花危情》 – 乔子琳
Kate Tsui徐子珊 《雷霆扫毒》 – 陈家碧
Myolie Wu胡杏儿 《冲上云霄 II》 – 夏晨
Tavia Yeung杨怡 《名媛望族 》 – 康子君

Niki Chow collecting her award
Niki Chow collecting her award
Michelle Yim on stage to receive her award - she still look so gorgeous at her age!
Michelle Yim on stage to receive her award – she still look so gorgeous at her age!
Myolie Wu collecting her award
Myolie Wu collecting her award

4. My Favourite TVB Male TV Character 我最爱TVB电视男角色
Ruco Chan陈展鹏 《情越海岸线》 – 程礼荣
Bosco Wong黄宗泽 《护花危情》 – 许玮琛
Raymond Lam林峯 《雷霆扫毒》 – 韦世乐
Julian Cheung张智霖 《冲上云霄 II》 – 顾夏阳
Kenneth Ma马国明 《回到三国》 – 司马信
Moses Chan陈豪 《金枝欲孽贰》 – 高流斐

5. My Favourite TVB Drama 我最爱TVB电视剧集
Triumph in the Skies II 《冲上云霄 II》

6. My Favourite TVB Mega Variety Special 我最爱TVB大型综艺节目
TVB Golden Viva Spectacular (LIVE) 《TVB新春黄金庆典》

7. My Favourite TVB Variety Show 我最爱TVB综艺节目
Lady First – Singapore 《女人我最大新加坡》

8. My Favourite TVB On-Screen Couple 我最爱TVB荧幕情侶
Bosco Wong & Niki Chow (A Change Of Heart) 黄宗泽 & 周丽淇 《好心作怪》

9. My Favourite TVB Theme Song 我最爱TVB电视主題曲
Little Something by Mag Lam 《恋爱季节》主題曲 Little Something – 林欣彤

Mag Lam on stage
Mag Lam on stage

10. My Favourite TVB Variety Show Host 我最爱TVB综艺节目主持人
Pauline Lan (Lady First – Singapore) 蓝心湄 《女人我最大新加坡》

11. Everlasting Glow Award全天候亮丽艺人奖
Linda Chung 钟嘉欣

The always gorgeous Linda Chung
The always gorgeous Linda Chung

12. Most Glamorous Female Artiste Award最璀璨夺目女艺人奖
Kate Tsui 徐子珊

Kate Tsui collecting her award
Kate Tsui collecting her award

13. Best TVB Female Newcomer最佳女新人奖
Christine Kuo 苟芸慧

14. Best TVB Male Newcomer最佳男新人奖
Jason Chan 陈智燊

15. Star of Perfect Poise Award魅力体态大奖
Raymond Lam 林峯

Raymond Lam on stage to collect his award
Raymond Lam on stage to collect his award

16. Most Improved TVB Actress飞跃进步女艺人
Mandy Wong黄智雯

Mandy Wong collecting her award
Mandy Wong collecting her award

17. Most Improved TVB Actor飞跃进步男艺人
Him Law罗仲谦

Him Law on stage for his award
Him Law on stage for his award

18. Singapore Media’s Favourite TV Drama本地传媒最爱TVB剧集
Triumph in the Skies II 《冲上云霄 II》

19. Classic TVB Character TVB 经典电视角色
Michael Miu 苗侨伟(杨康/司徒文武/楚留香/方自力)

20. Red Carpet Star靓爆星光大道奖
Linda Chung钟嘉欣

Bye bye and see you next year!
Bye bye and see you next year!

Catch Alvinology on Channel NewsAsia’s SG+

CNA interview in my home
CNA interview in my home

I was interviewed for an episode of SG+ which will be showing on Channel NewsAsia (CNA) on Tuesday (1 Oct 2013) at 8pm.

SG+ is described by CNA as a weekly current affairs programme that examines complex long-term issues facing Singapore as we redefine our future.

The topic I was interviewed on was whether social media affects Singaporeans’ trust in the government – in a densely connected online world, social media and networks have great potential in influencing our thoughts and actions. Does it affect our trust in the government and public institutions?

I hope I did okay as I was running a slight fever that day. I decided to go ahead with the interview as the CNA crew had specially arranged to come over my home for the shoot.

Do share your thoughts on this issue by leaving comments. 🙂

Three Singapore Hawkers to Face-Off with Michelin Star Chef Gordon Ramsay in Singtel’s Hawker Heroes

I love Gordon Ramsay.

Rachel and I have been hooked on Hell’s Kitchen, Masterchef and Kitchen Nightmares recently. When you have to deal with too many stupid people in life, watching Chef Ramsay explode on screen can be therapeutic.

“It’s RRRRRAAAAWWWWWWW!”

“You have to get your HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS!”

“PISS OFF!”

I wish I can scream at stupid people the way Chef Ramsay does it.

In case you have not heard, Chef Ramsay will be in Singapore this weekend  to take on three Singapore hawkers in a Hawker Heroes culinary challenge organised by SingTel:

After eight days of intensive voting and over 2.5 million votes, Singapore has chosen Mr Ang Kiam Meng from Jumbo Seafood (319,922 votes), Mdm Foo Kui Lian from Tian Tian Chicken Rice (318,151 votes), and Mr Ryan Koh from 328 Katong Laksa (316,611 votes), as the three most popular hawkers to challenge Gordon Ramsay. Watch their introductory videos:

Singaporeans will have the opportunity to sample the dishes by Chef Ramsay and the hawkers this Sunday, and decide who does it better through a live vote.

In the words of Gordon Ramsay himself, “Game on!”

Event details:
Date: 7 July 2013 (this Sunday)
Time: 6:30pm to 9pm
Venue: Newton Food Centre, 500 Clemenceau Avenue North, Singapore 229495

I will be there. I am not going to miss this for the world.

I want to know if Chef Ramsay can scold bad words in Hokkien and Singlish if he loses:

Join me! 🙂

[Movie Review] Star Trek Into Darkness

I was first introduced to Star Trek in 2009 by J. J. Abrams‘ film adaptation of the long-running TV series of the same name.

This year, Abrams released another Star Trek film – Star Trek Into Darkness, featuring the two same lead actors, Chris Pine as James T. Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock. The two of them were really good in the first film and shared many tense screen moments. Expect more such moments in this sequel, pitting Kirk’s abrasive, emotion-driven nature against Spock’s rigid, emotionless state.

A new addition to the cast from the first film is British actor, Benedict Cumberbatch, as Khan, the arch nemesis of the Star Trek crew.

Rachel and I watched the preview together last week, thanks to the folks from United International Pictures. 

Both of us are big fans of the British TV series, Sherlock, which stars Cumberbatch as an ultra intelligent, eccentric detective in modern time London. In fact, he was the main draw for us.

Cumberbatch has limited screen time, but he has a really strong screen presence. Even though his character is decked in as simple black body suit, he look menacingly handsome as a super villain with his cold hard stare and towering posturing. This is one bad guy that many cinema-goers will find hard to hate!

Abrams did not disappoint either. The sci-fi genre just flows so naturally under his direction.  He managed to make all the sci-fi mumbo jumbo on time travel, alternate reality and other such topics simple and easy to digest for the regular cinema audience.

Rachel did not watch the first Abrams’ Star Trek film, nor a single episode of the TV series. She knows nothing about Star Trek, but enjoyed this latest film all the same.

Star Trek Into the Darkness is now showing in Singapore cinemas. Go catch it! Rachel and I are looking forward to the sequel to see more of Khan’s face-off with the Star Trek crew – provided the same talents are casted in the next film of course. All of them were great in the first two films. 🙂

Paul Wong (黄贯中)’s Career Revival

If you grow up in the 80s and is a fan of Mando and Canto rock, you have to know who is Paul Wong  (黄贯中).

Paul Wong on stage
Paul Wong on stage

For those who do not know who he is, Paul Wong Koon-Chung (born 31 March 1964) is a Chinese musician, singer, songwriter and the lead guitarist of the Hong Kong legendary rock band, Beyond.

He is well-known for his extraordinary guitar techniques and is regarded like a “guitar god” in the Chinese world.

After the lead singer and centre figure of Beyond, Wong Ka Kui (黄家驹) fell to his death in a freak stage accident in 1993, Paul Wong took over the lead singer role in the band. Beyond after Wong Ka Kui never came close to the same level of fame and success.

The musical career of the three remaining Beyond members did not progress much over the years.

Nonetheless, Paul Wong stayed true to his brand of rock music and strived on till today.

After a long period staying out of the media radar, he rocked the Chinese music world recently with his rendition of Beyond’s all-time classic, 《海阔天空》in a China singing programme,《我是歌手》(must watch!):

This is why I idolised Beyond in my teens. After so many years, hearing this song still makes me have that urge to cast aside everything in life to chase my dream.

I remember how I wanted to be a famous artist when I was young. I remember how I would spend all my time drawing and redrawing, designing and redesigning to perfect my illustration techniques.

What cause me to abandon this dream?

This song jolted me again and reminded me that we only live once.

Even at the age of 48, Paul Wong still can rock and inspire!

On a side note, I recently attended the preview of Young and Dangerous: Reloaded 《古惑仔:江湖新秩序》which Paul Wong had a role as a famous gang leader. The movie is a remake of the popular Young and Dangerous movie series in the 90s. Here is the trailer:

Young and Dangerous: Reloaded is stil showing in Singapore cinemas. Go catch it for a whiff of nostalgia. 🙂

Cooking Class with Asian Food Channel’s Chef Wendy Ong

Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) recently partnered Asian Food Channel (AFC) to produce an original reality television series, “The Big Break”. The original production by AFC features 12 underprivileged youths from across Asia, competing to realise their dreams of becoming a chef.

Rachel and I were invited to catch the media preview of Episode 9 of The Big Break where the youths enter the Italian round. They were required to knead, assemble and bake their own pizzas.

Before we watch the episode, we attended a cooking class with AFC’s Chef Wendy Ong to prepare two italian dishes – pizza and cannoli.

At AFC Studio in Orchard Central
At AFC Studio in Orchard Central
Meet AFC's Chef Wendy Ong!
Meet AFC’s Chef Wendy Ong!

The last time Rachel and I attended a cooking class together was in Bangkok at the Helping Hands Thai Cooking School. We had a great time then and found the class with Chef Wendy Ong just as fun and interesting.

The chef was very patient as a teacher and went through each step slowly in details. You know the class is a success when even a cooking novice like me was able to follow her instructions and make some great tasting italian food!

Ingredient for the first dish we are preparing - a personalised pizza each
Ingredient for the first dish we are preparing – a personalised pizza each
Chef Wendy teaching us how to stretch the dough and how to tell if it's ready
Chef Wendy teaching us how to stretch the dough and how to tell if it’s ready
The attentive class
The attentive class
Rachel examining the texture of the finished dough
Rachel examining the texture of the finished dough
The ball of dough is to be left overnight to raise - here is the before and after on the left and right respectively
The ball of dough is to be left overnight to raise – here is the before and after on the left and right respectively
Chef Wendy trimming the dough into individual servings
Chef Wendy trimming the dough into individual servings
Rachel decorating her pizza
Rachel decorating her pizza

While Rachel is adapt at cooking, I seldom enter the kitchen back home. You can tell the difference in our skills level by the pizzas we created:

My deformed and ugly (but delicious) pizza creation
My deformed and ugly (but delicious) pizza creation
Rachel's beautiful pizza creation
Rachel’s beautiful pizza creation

Making cannoli:

Rolling the dough
Rolling the dough
Cutting out the desired circles
Cutting out the desired circles
Wrapping the dough around a metal tube for frying
Wrapping the dough around a metal tube for frying
Using a tong to transfer the cannoli into a pot of boiling oil
Using a tong to transfer the cannoli into a pot of boiling oil
Frying!
Frying!
Extracting the completed cannoli
Extracting the completed cannoli
Empty cannoli for us to fill up
Empty cannoli for us to fill up
Chef Wendy preparing the filling for the cannoli
Chef Wendy preparing the filling for the cannoli
Rachel filling a cannoli
Rachel filling a cannoli
Close-up of the filled up cannoli
Close-up of the filled up cannoli
Tada! Two cannoli each for Rachel and I
Tada! Two cannoli each for Rachel and I

Once we are done preparing our own italian dishes, we sat down together with a group of other bloggers to enjoy episode 9 of The Big Break. The experience was priceless – watching the contestants fumble over their pizza creations just as we had went through a similar process, but at a leisurely pace!

Self-made lunch is served!
Self-made lunch is served!
Me with my creation and another blogger, Melissa crying in the background
Me with my creation and another blogger, Melissa crying in the background because her pizza sucks
Corn tarts prepared with Del Monte corns
Corn tarts prepared with Del Monte corns
Scones to share
Scones to share

For more information on The Big Break, visit their official website. The site will provide the latest information about the contestants as well as summaries and highlights from each episode. The Big Break, the series airs exclusively on Starhub Channel 435. 🙂