Local comedian Chua Enlai is stoked about winning an award for playing Thai pole-dancing reporter Pornsak Sukhumvit on news parody show The Noose - mostly because the Thai accent is "so difficult to do".
Fresh off his win for Best Comedy Performance for the role at the 18th Asian Television Awards held at Resorts World Sentosa on Thursday night, Chua told Life! last Friday that he came up with the character of Pornsak after practising a Thai accent for another show.
Two years ago, he had to play a man with a Thai accent for The Hossan Leong Show, a live production anchored by comedian Leong.
"It was just so difficult to do. I practised for so long and for quite a while, my accent sounded Filipino, Indian, everything else but Thai," Chua recalled.
"So when I finally managed to get it about right, I felt like it would go to waste if I did not use it anymore. I texted a producer of The Noose and told him that he just had to add a Thai character and that was how Pornsak was born. But I wasn't the one who named him," said the 34-year-old over the telephone with a laugh.
The character of Pornsak was introduced in Season 5 of The Noose in 2011 and has proven to be very popular. Videos of him on YouTube have hundreds of thousands of hits.
Often, after he finishes reading the news, the character of Pornsak suddenly starts shimmying against a pole.
Said Chua: "I'm glad people see the humour in Pornsak. I guess he's a bit out of this world."
The comedy award is, in fact, the actor's second. He won the same award in 2010 for playing pretentious reporter Jacques Ooi and pseudo-British news anchor B.B. See in The Noose.
Fans of The Noose will be happy to know that it is likely to return for another season, in spite of popular actress Michelle Chong dropping out of the show in Season 6. "Yup, I think we'll be getting ready for Season 7 very soon," Chua said with confidence.
A double nominee in the same category on Thursday night, he also received a nod for his performance as a hoodlum on sketch show Random Island. This made him "even more shocked about winning" as he thought his double nomination would split the votes.