Fri, Mar 27, 2009 - Page 14 News List

POP STOP

By David Chen

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A new chapter continues to unravel for comedian Chu Ko Liang (豬哥亮), who rose to stardom in the 1980s but went into hiding in 1995 after running up huge gambling debts to some rather unsavory characters.

Just last month Chu was outed by Apple Daily paparazzi, who tracked him down to a village in southern Taiwan. Since then, friends and fellow entertainers Kao Ling-feng (高凌風) and Yu Tian (余天) have made public appeals for Chu to return to work and for his creditors to let him repay his dues rather than resort to violence.

So far, Chu has been guarded about making a comeback. According to the Liberty Times, the Taipei Times’ sister paper, he had an emotional reunion with Yu, who now serves as a Democratic Progressive Party legislator. Yu said Chu spoke of feeling remorse over the death of Ni Min-jan (倪敏然), the well-known and beloved comedian who committed suicide in 2005. “That should have been me,” Chu was reported to have said.

But Chu has taken a turn for the better — he no longer smokes or chews betel nut, said Yu, who is trying to help the fugitive funnyman find gainful employment.

One of Chu’s biggest creditors has said he will not harass the runaway about his debts. In an interview with the Apple Daily, GTV (八大電視台) owner Yang Teng-kuei (楊登魁), whom Chu reportedly owes NT$120 million, said he wouldn’t be “getting in the way” if he returned to work.

Not that he’s totally off the hook.

“Later on if Chu Ko Liang makes a lot of money, I’ll still be asking for the money back!” Yang said.

Little Pig (小豬), also known as Alan Luo (羅志祥), fell short of the record sales goal he set for himself — 150,000 copies — but he and his record company, Gold Typhoon (金牌大風), decided 135,000 was close enough, and a celebration was held in Taipei last week.

Little Pig brushed off his past “war of words” with fellow Mando-pop star and competitor Wang Lee-hom (王力宏), whose record label Sony accused Little Pig and Gold Typhoon of rigging the charts earlier this year.

“That’s just something between companies,” Little Pig told the Liberty Times, which pointed out that the two stars will soon meet each other in person for the first time at an awards ceremony in Beijing next month. Little Pig says he plans to be friendly to Wang and that the incident won’t “affect their friendship.”

It’s back to the old days for Mayday (五月天). The Mando-pop rockers are returning to their roots by holding an all-day anniversary concert this Sunday at Taipei’s Riverside Live House (河岸留言西門紅樓展演館) with a lineup that includes friends from their underground days: The Chairman (董事長樂團), Wonfu (旺福), 1976 and Tizzy Bac. Mayday launches its DNA concert tour in Hong Kong in May.

And finally, Pop Stop shines its fashion spotlight on Zhang Ziyi (章子怡), who grabbed headlines for frolicking topless on a Caribbean island earlier this year in a display that both titillated and horrified the gossip blogosphere. The Chinese actress has been showing skin again — only this time it wasn’t her own.

An Apple Daily reporter recently spotted Zhang in Seoul at a promotional screening of her recently released film Forever Enthralled (梅蘭芳) toting a shiny alligator skin bag worth a cool NT$950,000. At least times aren’t tough for all of us.

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