Monday, December 7, 2009

Wayne Lai Reigns at TVB Anniversary Awards

Wayne Lai (黎耀祥: Lí Yàoxiáng) was the biggest winner at the TVB Anniversary Awards, Hong Kong's premier TV award ceremony. The 45 year old took out awards in three major categories for his performance in the costume drama Rosy Business. His role of Chai Kau, a flawed and not always likeable central character, won the Best Actor, Favourite Male Character and the Popularity Awards at the ceremony held last Friday, 4 December.

Although Lai began acting back in 1986 playing countless small roles in TVB productions, it wasn't until he reached his forties that his career began to reach new heights. The first role to catch the public's and critics' attention was in the 2005 series Scavengers' Paradise, a performance that earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination at that year's TVB Anniversary Awards. A year later he was nominated again as Best Supporting Actor in the period drama Safe Guards. In 2007 he was again amongst the nominees at the TVB Anniversary Awards, this time for Best Actor in Steps. It was fourth time lucky in 2008 when he won Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Gentle Crackdown II, a comedy series set during the Ming Dynasty. Lai had to play two differenct characters, including the wise assistant to a provincial magistrate, reprising his role from the original series.

Rosy Business (巾幗梟雄) ended up taking out six awards on the night. As well as Lai's awards for Best Actor and Most Popular Character, the drama set in the 19th century won Best Series, Susan Tse's (谢雪心, pinyin: Xiè Xuěxīn) performance was awarded Best Supporting Actress and Pierre Ngo was named Most Improved Actor.

A lot of pre-ceremony attention was focused on who would triumph in the battle of the TVB FaDans (or TVB divas). Rosy Business' Sheren Tang (邓萃雯, pinyin: Dèng Cuìwén) took out the major award of Best Actress, but her main rival Tavia Yeung (杨怡, pinyin: Yáng Yí) from Beyond the Realm of Conscience won the Most Popular Female Character award, as well as the newly created category of Best Performance of the Year. The latter award is meant to honour the performance that was "most outstanding, notable and effective to a series", though more cynical observers regarded it as just a consolation prize for Yeung.

There were few shocks on the night - to no one's surprise, Michael Tse (谢天华, pinyin: Xiè Tiánhuá) won Best Supporting Actor for his memorable performance as Laughing Gor in Emergency Unit. In fact, an alleged winners' list was circulated on the internet a month ago (an English version is at this Asian Fanatics post), and the list got most of the major winners correct. I imagine the list was more likely the product of some journalist's educated guesswork rather than a genuine leak.

There were a couple of surprises in the variety show awards: Best Variety Show went to Club Sparkle ahead of higher rating shows such as Beautiful Cooking and Super Trio Supreme, neither of which made the top five nominees. Super Trio Supreme did manage to pick up one award - Best Presenter Award collectively to Eric Tsang, Chin Kar Lok, Louis Yen and Wong Cho Lam.

A full list of award winners and nominees is on Wikipedia.

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