Fri, Mar 10, 2006 - Page 14 News List

Pop Stop

Compiled by Ho Yi  /  STAFF REPORTER

Local singer and TV host Luo Zhi-xiang (羅志祥) -- nicknamed Piggy (小豬) -- seems to be doing well with the ladies these days. His apparent flirtation with Mando-pop princess Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) has long generated speculation about the possibility of another showbiz coupling. However, according to The Liberty Times (自由時報), Luo's true love is Selina of the three-piece girl band S.H.E.

The daily's paparazzi team caught Luo spending a night at Selina's place last week. His agent refuted the finding, drawn from an 18-hour-long stakeout, by saying the innocents were playing mahjong with friends.

A few days later, the same team spotted Luo at Room 18 doing a hot dance with a young lady. His agent was called up, again, but insisted that Luo was just practicing dances steps with a professional dancer. It would appear that to be a star's agent, you need to be a quick, resourceful and a chronic liar.

Reproached as the evil vamp responsible for the suicide of local comedian Ni Min-jan (倪敏然) last year, Chinese-born performer Xia Yi (夏禕) has given a series of performances at one of Ximending's "red envelope clubs," (紅包場), where customers give tips in red envelopes. The result was quite rewarding: a payment of NT$500,000 for the single mom living in debt and the regained confidence to strike back in showbiz.

Zhang Yimou's (張藝謀) big-budget film Autumn Remembrance (滿城盡帶黃金甲) began shooting last week in Beijing. Zhang's interaction with the film's leading actress Gong Li (鞏俐) has grasped the media's attention from the start, since it is their first reunion after the two broke up 11 years ago. Their current relationship on the set? According to observant gossip insiders, it's icy-cold on a personal level and reserved on a professional level.

Hong Kong pop star Sammi Cheng (鄭秀文) is continuing her real-life soup-opera show by reportedly going back to her old lover Andy Hui (許志安). The two's on-and-off love affair has been playing out now for 13 years and the audience seems thoroughly fed up by their insipid story, which is now only worth just a tiny column on the gossip pages.

Remember Ken Yu (余祥銓), the wanna-be-star of the "strawberry generation" who had a nervous breakdown after his performance was seriously criticized on a TV show? Well, his entertainer dad Yu Tien (余天) recently bought a villa on Bali, Indonesia, so that the fragile young man can more fully recuperate in the luxurious mansion, equipped with a swimming pool, a garden and a pavilion.

"My son is a simple and sensitive person. So we bought the house as his tropical retreat," his mom is quoted as saying in the Chinese-language dailies. Pop Stop is of course impressed by these touching parental displays of love and is bound to wonder if this is why the prodigal son has turned out the way he has?

Hong Kong superstar-turned-housewife Cherie Chung (鍾楚紅) is one of the few good things that has come out of the self-important celebrity circle, as she has been a diligent volunteer for the environmental group Friends of the Earth. When other high-society dames spend the day having afternoon tea and enjoying a luxurious spa, the retired diva is busy standing on the sidewalks tracking down fume-emitting vehicles and going to remote villages to work with the locals on environmental projects.

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