Hubby Qi Yuwu protective of pregnant Joanne Peh on set

Local celebrity couple Joanne Peh and Qi Yuwu are on the fast track all right, and they keep the surprises coming.

Two years ago, the actors announced they were dating, scarcely a month after she ended her high-profile four-year relationship with radio DJ Bobby Tonelli.

Last September, China-born Qi, 38, and Peh, 31, married secretly.

Yesterday, the pair announced through Peh's manager that they are expecting their first child.

Peh is nearly three months' pregnant.

Their statement read: "We are delighted to share that Joanne Peh and Qi Yuwu are expecting their first baby. They thank their well-wishers and fans for their care and concern."

In it, Peh says: "I am in good health and we both look forward to welcoming the new addition to our family."

They had planned to go public in early February, but released it earlier in response to an article published yesterday on which said Peh is pregnant.

When contacted, local film-maker Daniel Yun, who reportedly organised the couple's wedding, said he found out about the pregnancy when they were filming upcoming period movie 1965 in Batam last month.

Yun, 55, told The New Paper that Qi was "very protective and caring" on the set.

The movie, slated for a July release, revolves around immigrants and natives in the period leading up to Singapore's independence in 1965.

Qi plays a police officer while Peh, a feisty coffee shop owner. But they do not play a couple in the film.

Yun said: "We also asked Joanne if there is a need for a stand-in in some scenes, but she wanted to film them herself. Of course, we shot it all within the threshold of safety."

The film's director Randy Ang called Peh "a real trooper".

The 35-year-old said: "We tried to be more careful when we found out as we knew that filming can be quite taxing on her.

"We made sure the shoot was not too strenuous for her, and also told some of the stunt guys not to go overboard."

He said Peh was "very professional and did what she was supposed to do" in a scene where she had to run and push people.

Yun said: "I am very happy for them. Ah Wu (Qi) has always wanted to be a father and he is especially attached to his nephew, so I can imagine him with his child.

"As for Joanne, I knew her a lot better only in the last few years and she is very good with kids.

"I think they want many children."

Choosy about food

He said that although Peh looks the same, her taste in food varies now.

"She has become more specific in what she likes and what she doesn't like to eat," he said.

Celebrity make-up artist Kenneth Lee, who did Peh's wedding make-up, was surprised by the news but happy for the couple.

He said: "She didn't mention it to me at all, but I want to congratulate her. I hope for their baby to be healthy."

Celebrity hairstylist David Gan, who had just cut Peh's hair on Tuesday, told TNP that she did not mention anything to him during the session.

He also sounded surprised at the news and said: "If it's true, I am happy for her.

"I will look forward to carrying a 'grandchild' this year."

This article was first published on January 29, 2015.
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