Fri, Jul 24, 2009 - Page 14 News List

POP STOP

BY Ian Bartholomew  /  STAFF REPORTER

There’s nothing like a strong comeback, and Chu Ko Liang’s (豬哥亮) return to form after over a decade on the run from creditors is as spectacular as could be hoped for. Recording for his new variety show Chu Ko Hui She (豬哥會社) for FTV (民視) began this week, with co-host Rene Hou (侯怡君). Suggestions that he would present the program alongside Little Pig (小豬) (also known as Alan Luo or Show Luo, 羅志祥), who is a self-professed admirer of Chu Ko Liang and has imitated his acting style, came to nothing because of conflicting schedules.

Chu Ko Hui She is expected to be a massive hit, and Chu Ko Liang, despite his decade out of the limelight, has gone straight to the top, commanding NT$300,000 an episode. According to Yam News, Chu Ko Liang’s payment is only marginally less than top earner Chang Fei (張菲), who gets NT$320,000 an episode for his Variety Big Brother (綜藝大哥大) program. Responding to this report, Chang said he thought Chu Ko Liang should be paid twice as much, because his talent, having matured over 10 years, would now be like a bottle of old wine: all the better for having been put aside.

Next Magazine also reported this week that Chu Ko Liang has agreed to become the spokesman for the Web-based game AC Online (明星三缺一). According to Next, game operator International Game Systems has been trying to get Little S (小S) to take over spokesperson duties from Stephanie Hsiao (蕭薔) for the last three years, but has been turned down because the game has associations with gambling. Little S, also known as Dee Hsu (徐熙娣), is quoted as saying she feared any connection with the game would tarnish her reputation. Chu Ko Liang, who is still in the process of paying off his gambling debts, seems to have no such qualms, and has pocketed the NT$4 million endorsement. Next calculates that in the three months since he returned to show biz, Chu Ko Liang has signed contracts worth a total of NT$9.6 million. Nice work, if you can get it.

While Chu Ko Liang is working hard to revive his bank balance, martial arts superstar Jackie Chan (成龍) is trying hard to give away his money, saying that he wants to achieve a personal bank balance of zero. According to a report in the United Daily News, Chan had already donated half his assets to charity 10 years ago, only retaining the other half because he was still responsible for his son Jaycee Chan (房祖名) and a number of employees.

He has also announced that he will donate three historic buildings (one to three centuries old) in Taipei County to the government for the establishment of a Jackie Chan Historic Building Display Center (成龍古建築展示區). In conjunction with this donation, Taipei County Government plans to build a Jackie Chan Film Museum (成龍電影展覽館). According to Taipei County’s tourism chief, Chin Hui-chu (秦慧珠), the museum will hold a collection of props from Chan’s movies, and possibly also his collection of red wine.

At a rather less elevated level, Little S has shown just how far she is willing to go to top up her coffers, without tarnishing her reputation, by having picked up an endorsement contract for Summer’s Eve, a brand of feminine hygiene products. The actress, who is known for her uninhibited manner, opened the product launch Tuesday with the words: “Good afternoon, I have the best vagina in Taiwan” (各位好,我是台灣第一私處).

According to a report in Sina.com, she said that as someone who often wore extremely tight-fitting clothes for her work, she had experienced considerable benefits from using the firm’s cleansing wipes and washes. Such were the benefits, she added, that when kissing her now, her husband didn’t know where he should start. The endorsement is said to be worth NT$3 million.

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