Honours for Asia TV's best

Hong Kong stars Moses Chan and Nancy Wu (above) won acting awards, as did Taiwan's Lucas Luo.

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans Rui En and Michelle Chong were given top awards at the 17th Asian Television Awards.

Rui En won the award for Best Actress In A Leading Role, for her role as a criminal investigation department officer in crime drama Unriddle 2, while Chong received the award for Best Comedy Performance By An Actor/Actress for her spot-on impersonations in news parody sketch show The Noose.

Both stars, however, did not attend the glitzy event held at Shangri-La Hotel here on Thursday night.

Rui En, 31, tells Life! that she could not attend as she was filming a new drama series. She says: "I am both surprised and honoured by the award.

"For me, the work and the craft have always been my focus, and awards are the icing on the cake."

She adds: "Getting the award for Unriddle 2 makes me immensely happy given that I love the role."

Chong, 35, was at another event.

Her fellow The Noose co-star Chua En Lai, 33, went on stage to accept the award on her behalf. With an affected accent a la Chong in her popular role of Barbarella, a gold-digging lover of foreign men, Chua read out a message from her on his mobile phone: "Thank you so much for this prestigous award. I would like to thank my Noose family. Thanks for all the happy years. Thanks everybody thanks."

In a separate note to Life!, Chong, who has recently been focusing more on film-making than on acting, says: "The award means a lot to me because this could be the last time I'm appearing on The Noose. It's a nice farewell souvenir to have. And a heavy one."

The annual awards show, organised by Singapore-headquartered media company Contineo Media, recognises excellence in production, programming and performance in TV productions around Asia.

This year, there were a total of 48 award categories for entries from 13 Asian countries. The results were determined by a panel of 48 judges comprising media industry players from around Asia.

Popular Hong Kong actor Moses Chan took the award for Best Actor In A Leading Role, for his role in the controversial television drama about cannabalism, When Heaven Burns.

Best Actress In A Supporting Role went to Chan's fellow TVB artiste Nancy Wu, for her performance in muay thai drama Gloves Come Off, while Best Actor In A Supporting Role went to Taiwan's Lucas Luo for Man Boy.

Luo, who is six years old, had the audience cooing when he went on stage to collect the award. Scooped up in the arms of drama co-star Lee Wei so that he could reach the microphone, he said shyly in Mandarin: "I am very nervous."

The award for Best Drama Series went to Korean period drama The Princess' Man, and the award for Terrestrial Broadcaster Of The Year went to Korean Broadcasting System (KBS).

Other Singapore-based actors who received awards are Dominic Lau, who won for Best Sports Presenter/Commentator for the football show Tiger Goals On Sunday, and Oli Pettigrew for Best Entertainment Presenter/Host for the game show Cash Cab Asia.

Before the awards show started, there were also red carpet appearances by stars including Taiwan's Lee, Malaysia's Jojo Goh as well as local talents Ann Kok, Christopher Lee, Chen Hanwei and Joanne Peh.

It was then followed by a gala dinner with performances by Singaporean powerhouse crooner Rachel Chua, 18, and Filipino YouTube star Miguel Antonio Vedanaigam, 11.

Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, was the guest of honour. He said there were more than 1,300 entries for the awards this year, up 28 per cent from last year. Places such as China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Singapore also sent in "a notable increase" in entries.


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