The shy girl who became a talkative DJ

The shy girl who became a talkative DJ
Radio DJ and TV host Lin Peifen.

SINGAPORE - Lin Peifen is one of the few bilingual radio DJs who has made a successful crossover to TV as well as host events. While waiting for the photographer to set up equipment for her photo shoot, radio DJ and TV host Lin Peifen suddenly starts whispering to this reporter.

"Did you notice how cute all the service staff are here?" the 31-year-old says with a cheeky grin, referring to the wait staff working in the lobby lounge at the InterContinental Singapore, where this interview is being held.

She giggles girlishly and says: "They look Middle Eastern or Mediterranean or something, all so handsome. But don't tell my fiance I said this."

Lin, who is tying the knot with boyfriend Lie Wei Xiang, a 32-year-old computer engineer, at the same hotel this week, then jokes about how she picked Greece as their honeymoon destination because "the men are all so beautiful there but my fiance thinks we're just enjoying the scenery".

She had met this reporter only for the past one hour but already, she talks to you as if you were a close friend. It is a sign of how personable she is - a characteristic that has contributed to her popularity in a radio and, more recently, TV career of 14 years.

At the MediaCorp Radio Awards last year, she won the Most Popular Radio Personality Award (Y.E.S. 93.3FM), a prize decided through public fan voting. On Mandarin radio station Y.E.S. 93.3FM, she and DJ Xie Jiafa co-host Morning Fanatics, the No. 1 morning radio show in Singapore, according to a listenership survey conducted by AC Nielsen.

At the Star Awards last year, which celebrates the best and most popular stars on local TV, she was nominated for Best Info-ed Programme Host for her work on the talk show Let's Talk Season 3. She lost to Belinda Lee for Find Me A Singaporean Season 3.

For the past four editions of the Star Awards (from 2011 to this year), she was shortlisted for the Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes award, an indicator of the most well-liked names working at the TV station.

She is a regular fixture at public roadshows and media events, hosting star-studded movie press conferences and glitzy red-carpet events to product brand launches and other promotional events.

MediaCorp Radio's assistant vice-president of Chinese programming, Ms Rebecca Yap, says Lin is the company's "yao qian shu", meaning "money tree" in Mandarin.

Says Ms Yap, 40, who has been colleagues and friends with Lin for the past six years: "Clients really love Peifen. She's the rare species who is very confident as a bilingual host, so she can engage a wide audience. She looks pleasant and is very approachable and friendly - people love that about her."

And this is about someone who says she was "a rather shy kid" growing up.

Lin, who attended CHIJ Our Lady Of Good Counsel and CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School, adds: "I was never good at chatting with anybody. I was always terrified of doing presentations in front of the class.

"I liked to talk, but only if I was with my close friends. Whenever I'm with them, as soon as I start talking, I can't stop."

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