Joe Ma to Return to TVB in June
After last year’s successful Tiger Cubs <飛虎>, Joe Ma (馬德鐘) will once again return to TVB to film in June. Although no longer a managed artist under the station, Joe retained good relations and is willing to help out TVB in a year when uncertainties lie ahead for the Hong Kong television broadcasting industry.
Joe’s Popularity is Plummeting?
The New Year started on a rocky note for Joe Ma. Filming earlier in mainland China, Joe was plagued by negative press claiming that his popularity had plummeted dramatically. Oriental Sunday had reported that Joe performed in a Guangzhou show by discounting his fee by 20,000 RMB, but the viewers fell asleep and was not entertained by him. After Joe was largely ignored by Ricky Wong’s (王維基) HKTV, Joe allegedly will sign a per series contract with TVB in September.
In response to Oriental Sunday’s caustic report, Joe’s management company issued a statement and said that the details found in the report were false, including the performance discount fee to the bored audience’s reaction. Joe’s company retained all rights to pursue legal action.
Back in Hong Kong
In fact, Joe remains in high demand and has been busy filming a mainland China drama until a few days ago, when a local snowstorm halted filming and resulted in a short break for Joe. This allowed Joe to return to Hong Kong to spend time with his family.
The day after Lunar New Year, Joe and his wife, Karen Cheung (張筱蘭), had a meal outside to celebrate the festivities. Married for 20 years, Karen had formerly taught at Hong Kong University, but resigned from her post last year to focus on taking care of her family. Although Karen holds a Ph.D. degree and is well versed in several languages, Karen explained her choice to put her career on hold, “My grandma said that a woman should follow the wishes of her husband. So I will also hand over the decision-making to my husband.”
Karen will sometimes visit him in mainland China and accompany him at media events. Next month, the couple looks forward to flying to Kuala Lumpur for their son’s swimming competition while taking in the local Malaysian sights. With Joe back in Hong Kong in June to film for TVB, the family will also have more quality time together.