TVB Anniversary Grand Production "Pearl of the Orient" will begin airing on Monday and a group of cast members including Roger Kwok, Charmaine Sheh, Lai Lok Yi, Sharon Chan, Mimi Chu and Albert Lo joined together on stage at two promotional events yesterday. The other main lead Liza Wang was absent as she is currently working on the "Golden Songs of Our Century" concerts.
When Lok Yi and Sharon came on to talk about their characters, there was some heckling from Mimi who told them to kiss, however they just posed for the press to take photos. Afterwards, when Evergreen Mak and Akina Hong went onto the stage, Mimi indicated that Evergreen is a villain in the show, who is always ‘raping’ his wife Akina. She also jokes: "I have been with TVB for over ten years and no-one dares to come onto me, but I am such great quality!" The cast joined together to crack open the champagne to wish the show success in ratings and producer Tong Kei Ming also gave an early congratulations to Charmaine to win the Best Actress award.
Charmaine has a speech impediment in the show and also has to sing in Russian, but she would not give any demonstrations yesterday because she says she has forgotten it all now. She says that during filming, she listened to Russian songs for a whole week to accustom herself to it. As for the producer’s indication she will win the award, she smiles: "Thanks to him!" Talking of working opposite TVB Big Sis Liza, she says that there is no pressure and she finds Liza is very friendly and professional and because she has such high standards in herself, she has a good influence on all her juniors around her. Charmaine also smiles: "I have had good fortune this time because Liza likes to eat her own food, so she often brings her own food to filming and Suzanna Kwan also often brought a lot of food made by her mother to share with everyone, so we often stuck around for meals."
Roger was recently filming in Zhanjiang for film "One Mission", where he has to stab his co-star Ken Lo. Roger says it is an honour to work with kung-fu star Ken, who has worked opposite the greats such as Jackie Chan. Asked about his expectations for the new show, Roger says: "This is an anniversary show, so I hope that it will have good ratings and be the highest of the year. This would be a great birthday gift to the company from the viewers." Talking of them losing out by missing this year’s anniversary nominations because the viewers will have forgotten about them this time next year, Roger says: "I am not afraid, next year I will have even better productions, take ‘Curious Detective’ that begins filming at the end of November, this has been increased now to 25 episodes, so it is quite a big production." This show will also feature rumoured couple Kenneth Ma and Margie Tsang, but Roger and Margie will play brother and sister roles. He laughs: "With me there, there will be no romance!"
Lok Yi explained his refusal to kiss Sharon, saying that they had already kissed in the series. Asked if he would rather kiss Sharon or Mimi, he laughs: "Of course it would be Mimi! She is so beautiful! It would have been good for us to play lovers!!" He feels very fortunate to have the chance to work with so many great actors in this show and says: "They are all amazing, everyone can sing and I have learned so much." He also reveals that he will be turning the tables and dressing up as a girl to perform a song and dance routine at the Anniversary.