Bowie Lam Stars In ViuTV’s First Drama, “Margaret and David”

On March 1, Hong Kong’s upcoming free-to-air television station ViuTV held a press conference to announce its upcoming projects for 2016. In attendance was also actors Bowie Lam (林保怡) and Catherine Chau (周家怡), both who are confirmed to star in ViuTV’s first serial drama, Margaret and David <瑪嘉烈與大衛>.

Margaret and David, which is based on a romance novel series, is Bowie’s first Hong Kong television drama since 2011’s When Heaven Burns <天與地>. Bowie expressed that he was “already in retirement” when ViuTV first approached him about the project. He would’ve said no, but the drama’s script immediately caught his attention.

“I read scripts really slow,” said Bowie. “I usually fall asleep while reading them, but the script [for Margaret and David] really captivated me.”

In addition to the show’s eye-opening story, ViuTV’s unique filming methods for the series was also a reason why Bowie decided to collaborate with the new station. “The directors and cameramen are new. The filming methods they use is something I’ve never seen before. It is super realistic.”

Bowie revealed that he has signed a 26-episode deal with Viu TV. Asking if the new station gave him a huge salary, Bowie said with a smile, “I’ve only signed for the Hong Kong version, but if the drama broadcasts overseas, then yes, I’ll get some money for that too.”

Catherine, on the other hand, declined to share the number of her earnings, but did express her happiness at the opportunity to closely work with Bowie.

When mentioning that Gallen Lo (羅嘉良) has returned to TVB to shoot a new drama (The Conspirators 與諜同謀), Bowie said that he too received casting offers from TVB, but none of it came to fruition due to scheduling conflicts.

“Just can’t find the right time,” he said. “But there will definitely be an opportunity to collaborate again.” Asking if Bowie’s decision of turning down TVB projects had something to do with TVB’s flawed scripts, Bowie admitted, “There is potential room of improvement.”

ViuTV officially launches in Hong Kong on April 6, 2016.

Source:, Epoch Times

This article is written by Addy for

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  1. I miss watching both of them in TVB. THey both worked well together on the medical series.. 🙂 glad to see them collaborating again 🙂

  2. YAS! More Catherine. I’ve been waiting for ages. Hopefully ViuTV can really deliver. Hate to have talents wasted in rubbish scripts like TVB has been accustomed to. Kind of disappointed it being a romance novel. O haven’t read it but rom is sich a drag, same old same old. Bu looks alone, I don’t think Bow and Cat match. Hopefully they’ll have better on-screen spark if they’re playing the titular roles.

    Bowie, meh, never thought too highly of his acting.

    Wonder who’s the rest of the casts.

    1. @jjwong Haha…yea, Catherine’s finally in another HK production !  For a minute there, I thought we’d have to wait until summer for The Menu movie to come out in order to see her onscreen again.  No comment on the series itself yet, since I’ve got to read up more on it – I heard though that there was an Internet movie version of Margaret and David that starred David Siu in the titular role, which reporters asked Bowie about, since he’ll be playing the same role.

      From what I’ve seen so far, looks like ViuTV is taking HKTV’s approach (albeit in a much more low-key manner), which is wise given the impact HKTV had despite not having a license.  ViuTV is actually in the best position right now, as they’ve been a keen ‘silent observer’ in the free TV license battle the past couple years and seeing what HKTV was able to accomplish versus what TVB’s weak points are, as well as the atmosphere in HK and the industry currently, looks like they’ve picked up on how they need to position themselves for the best chance at success.  I like what I see so far, but like you said, hopefully they are able to maintain this momentum and deliver the goods in the end.

    2. @jjwong LOL I had the same feelings. Catherine was filming Jonathan Chik’s mainland series about Uncle 6’s life story and mostly HK movies. I was getting worried when she’d have more HK series after The Menu. Really glad that series propelled her to female status, a gem that was wasted in TVB for sure! I love her personality and acting. I agree When I heard the male lead was Bowie was I like really? They couldn’t find a younger male lead like Gregory Wong in his 30s to pair with Catherine instead? I seriously think this series would’ve garnered more noise if the leads were Gregory and Catherine these 2 definitely have similar fan base. Not to mention they were the most loved by HK media and fans last year.

      1. @sport3888 I would’ve loved to see Greg and Catherine as a couple in a series or movie, especially after that cute commercial they did, LOL. [Off-topic sidenote: hoping and praying that PMH didn’t write that route for them in The Menu movie though, as that would be so inappropriate….] In terms of the Margaret and David series — Bowie is a good actor and I’m comfortable with the pairing of him and Catherine, so I’m fine with it. I didn’t get a chance to read up on the novel or the story itself yet, but I saw that ViuTV’s Youtube channel has the internet version of the series up already, so might check that out in the interim…

      2. @sport3888 Maybe ViuTV want to capture more fanbases. With Bowie and Catherine, the series with catch 2 different fanbases instead of one. (since u said Greg and Catherine have similar fanbase)

        I miss the HKTV actors very much. Hope to see more of them in other places.

      3. @kidd I miss them too.  Unfortunately, quite a few of them (the artists and the behind-the-scenes people) returned to TVB already, which I was saddened to hear but definitely can’t blame them for doing – others have found success and more opportunities elsewhere due to the recognition they got at HKTV, which I’m happy to see.  Still others have gone back to doing what they were doing previously (i.e. filming movies, filming series in the Mainland, hosting, theater, going back into retirement, etc.).   I’ve been keeping up with most of them on Weibo and it’s great to see the bond that many of the artists and behind-the-scenes people formed in the short time they worked for HKTV.  Like during the Lunar New Year holiday, the cast and crew of Hidden Faces ( minus John Chiang of course) got together to have dinner, play cards, and just hang out…and of course, there’s The Menu’s cast and behind-the scenes people who are constantly hanging out together (outside of filming for the movie).  Hopefully, once ViuTV becomes more stable, we’ll get the chance to see more of these artists on their programs.

      4. @llwy12 Yeah, hopefully, especially those that didn’t go back to TVB or those that never was with TVB. I only got to know about Poon Chan Leung from HKTV.

        What is Alan Luk doing now? Love him in Doom+5.

        On another note, HKTV is a very good place to work in, but, I don’t know if it will be sustainable or not if Rick Wong continue to give complete free reign to his scriptwriters/directors. HKTV produced some gems, but, some of it’s series can be quite boring.

      5. @kidd Last I heard is that Alan Luk is filming movies now (he’s in that new Patrick Kong movie PG Love, starring alongside Jacqueline Chong) — I think he’s signed with China 3D (Stephen Shiu Jr’s production company and also the same company Greg Wong is at), but don’t quote me on that, as I’m not 100% sure. He was indeed excellent in Doom+5 plus the other HKTV series he was in, so I’m glad to see that he’s getting other filming opportunities and finally some recognition.

        The sustainability issue with HKTV has been brought up before and to be honest, we will never know the answer because they were never given a chance in the first place. I didn’t like every single HKTV series either, but from an overall production value and quality point of view, they were definitely above TVB — and if we talk about “sincerity” and actually “caring” about their audience, HKTV definitely trumped TVB.

      6. @sport3888 Oh my, Greg and Cath play a couple? Here, take my money!!! 😀 That would be sooooo awesome.

        @llwy12 Same sentiment about TM movie. I hope they didn’t split Ah Meh and Fat Ye. PMH is too smart for that! * crosses fingers anyways*

  3. Seems alright I guess,

    “The filming methods they use is something I’ve never seen before. It is super realistic”

    Most likely just techniques borrowed from the West, probably.

      1. @anon Exactly! At least ViuTV is making the effort to “up” the production value of their series, which shows that they actually care about quality and giving audiences what they want (the same way HKTV put a lot of emphasis on production value with the real location filming, expensive Hollywood movie filming equipment, 100% complete scripts prior to filming, audience focus groups and feedback sessions, etc.). Unlike TVB, who has pretty much been screwing their audiences over time and time again and doesn’t make any effort to change unless they are forced to.

        On a related note…I wonder if ViuTV’s management read the book that HKTV staff wrote, which actually provided some good insight into how Ricky Wong managed HKTV and many of the ‘wins’ they were able to accomplish (as well as their struggles of course), especially when it came to their ‘battle’ with TVB. A lot of that information will definitely come in handy for ViuTV, especially if TVB continues to sit on their laurels and refuse change.

      2. @anon The only “borrowing” that TVB does is copying other countries tv shows and dramas without paying copyrights! TVB is dead already they refuse to improve their filming process and methods just like how ATV used to be. Quite franking I think ViuTV(it’s actually NowTV’s online platform) copied HKTV’s ideas of changing the filming process and using hollywood filming equipment. Either way it’s still better than TVB refusing to improve at all and always being cheap or worst tailoring to mainland market.

  4. I am looking forward to this series. Hopefully I can “get” it online. 😉

  5. I miss watching Bowie on tv, growing up I watched quite a few of his dramas with my grandparents. TVB really has lost so many amazing actors/actresses that made them such a great station back in the day!
    Catherine is really shining since being with HKTV, they’ve brought out that star quality in her that tvb could never do for her when she was with them. She use to always get roles that was barely a supporting role. If she was still with tvb, I bet she wouldn’t even get the opportunity to star along side such established actor/actresses in a significant role, guess she’s having the last laugh!

    1. @melodylai Worst part is Virginia Lok and TVB’s executive called those who left TVB for HKTV not their best actors and are blood clogs! From reading Catherine’s previous weibo post from 2 years ago, that was the only time she got mad. With such disrepectful and arrogant people running TVB, this company deserves all the downhill crash and burn it’s been getting! Sad part is TVB is already on turmoil and these arrogant execs are still in denial, airing old series to garner ads and ratings. Pretty soon old series will be all they have to air just like ATV did before they finally closed down!

  6. Good to let TVB know that they aren’t gonna top the monopoly game anymore.

  7. Yes please! If ViuTV stays open and puts pressure on TVB to produce better scripts, then I would be very very happy! I think TVB is feeling a bit of pressure already. This is good as healthy competition brings out better goods for us, the consumers.

    1. @elizabeth Completely agree! I’m hoping the same thing as well. Hey, if HKTV WITHOUT a license could force TVB to make the changes that they did in the mere 2 years or so (basically prior to the license decision coming down) that they were a true ‘threat’ to TVB, imagine what ViuTV can do WITH a license! Ever since the license decision came down, plus the debacle with ATV, TVB had gone back to being complacent again (evident by all the crappy productions and mass exit of artists the past 2 years) — it’s about time they got a kick in the butt again!

      1. @llwy12 Totally agree! It’s sad how HKTV didn’t get their license due to bias reasons by the government. I still hope they will continue production once their building completes and a new chief executive is elected. From their variety show and this 1st tv drama, ViuTV or NowTV is finally looking promising. Previously NowTV said they will only focus on mainland market guess they changed their minds. Unless ViuTV is their way of focusing on the HK market as well. I don’t watch TVB series anymore and neither do most HKers nowdays, so anything new that is taking a page offer of HKTV and western filming method is good!

    2. @elizabeth ViuTV produces and broadcasts only a handful of dramas per year. Mainland and Korean dramas will be broadcasting for the remainder. I am skeptical that they will be a serious threat to the TVB monopoly.

      1. @anon Actually, not Mainland dramas, as they made it a point not to include Mainland dramas in there — it will mostly be dramas from Korea, Japan, and Thailand, all in their original forms (so not dubbed like the TVB-acquired versions), all with traditional character subtitles (emphasis on this given the recent huge debate on the language issue).

        I don’t think ViuTV is intending to be a ‘serious threat’ to TVB, at least not from the getgo. If that was their intention, they would’ve started with TV series instead of variety shows to target TVB’s ‘see-lai’ audience. Seems they are playing off the current atmosphere in HK and trying to pick up the younger generation of audiences who aren’t interested in formulaic old-school soap operas (which is basically the stuff that TVB offers) and perhaps already stopped watching traditional HK television altogether. With the emphasis on quality and production value in their series (which is the reason why they are only doing a handful of dramas a year), no doubt that they are also trying to pick up former HKTV supporters as well.

        Of course, TVB will continue to be the monopoly that they have been, at least for the next couple of years, since it will take awhile for ViuTV to get to the ‘stable’ point anyway (if they survive that is).

        By the way — let’s not forget that when TVB started back in 1967, they didn’t broadcast many series either, despite being the ‘underdog’ (since RTV aka ATV was already a major player at that time and in a way, TVB was trying to ‘break’ RTV’s monopoly back then). If I remember correctly, TVB’s very first series was a 1/2 hour comedy skit that aired on Sunday nights and their first full-length drama series in 1968 was only 15 to 30 minutes every weekday…outside of a random series here and there, the rest of their programming consisted of news programs and variety shows. It wasn’t until the mid-1970s or so that their drama series really started to take off and put them on the path to being the powerhouse they are today.

        Of course, I’m not saying that ViuTV going down a similar path now will have the same success as TVB did, as it IS a different era after all and the environment as well as audiences are different…but given past history and how TVB came up the ranks, it’s not entirely impossible….

      2. @llwy12 let’s just say that one era must end for another era to rise. I think some audience crave some change in hk free to air entertainment so the industry doesn’t stay stagnant. I think a breath of fresh air is what hk television needs to stay competitive in the international south east asian market. the problem with tvb is that it is moving too close to suit the taste of mainland china and hk television will lose its distinct personality that sets it aside from other countries, which it cannot compete with in terms of budget and scenery.

      3. @anon i think everything needs to start somewhere. For the past decade, the popularity hk of dramas have been in the decline as tvb gains monopoly of the domestic market as atv is non-productive. There are cable networks but nothing out there to compete with tvb, leading to messy productions, recycled scripts and choosing pretty faces over real talent. People are turning to mainland chinese, korean or Japanese works. Someone needs to show hk and the asian market that hk still has much more talent and creativity to offer than what tvb is offering. Hktv tried but failed to gain a licence. But i hope it has opened the way for viutv and future competitors. Viutv may only produce a handful of scripts per year but if every other company does a few, then there is enough to make an impact.

      4. @elizabeth Well-said!  And to add to that, at least ViuTV is a HK-based station that targets HK audiences, so there’s still some hope of preserving HK culture.  To be honest though, the government is on the verge of killing off the HK television industry with their actions of denying companies that are sincere about making quality productions a license (HKTV) while ‘supporting’ those who are only in it for money (ATV and TVB), hence opening the door for outsiders such as Netflix, Fox Group Asia, and LeTV to come in and overtake the market.  With ATV’s demise, there’s a lot of ugly ‘stuff’ coming out right now about what was truly going on behind-the-scenes over there (i.e. Mainland investors forcing ATV contracted artists to “entertain” business associates, even though the ‘business matters’ they were involved with had nothing to do with ATV at all – no wonder so many artists got the hell out of there as soon as they could once their contracts expired!) – it’s sad, but unfortunately, that is the result of the government not monitoring the public broadcasters as closely as they should have and allowing outsiders to do whatever the hell they wanted without repercussions.

  8. not too sure about this new viutv channel, i saw their scheduled releases, most are korean and japanese. unlike hktv the had an entire line up of cantonese production.

    1. @krolxl As of right now, HKTV is pretty much done and over with. Ricky Wong’s focus right now is on his e-commerce business (HKTV Mall) and he’s pretty much laying low until he finds out the outcome of his second license application (which was submitted more than a year ago, maybe even 2 years now…can’t remember the exact date) as well as the outcome of the court case involving his mobile broadcasting deal. He did resume construction work on HKTV’s production studio in Tseung Kwan O last year though, which is slated to be completed in 2017 — but he has already made it clear that HKTV won’t be resuming production of any sort unless they are granted a license. Rumor has it that Ricky Wong is also waiting to see what happens in 2017 when Chief Executive CY Leung’s term is up (since it is widely believed that CY Leung was the main reason why HKTV was denied a license) – if CY Leung gets “re-elected” (I use that term loosely of course), then most likely Ricky Wong will abandon the TV license thing altogether, since there is no chance HKTV will get a license with CY Leung in office.

      Of course, things could still change in the next couple months given that ATV is officially being shut down tomorrow (technically today, since it’s Friday morning in HK right now) and pressure will be on the government to advise the public on what will happen to ATV’s license, which will officially be ‘up for grabs’. But given the complexity of the situation now, with additional applicants vying for that license and everything else going on in HK at the moment (i.e. all the controversy surrounding the copyright bill, the aftermath of the Mongkok riots, the education language issue, backlash with how they mishandled the ATV thing, etc. etc. etc.), I highly doubt that the government is going to want to bring more trouble on their plate with a rash licensing decision. Next couple weeks will be interesting though with ATV gone and everyone scrambling to fill the void — namely RTHK, which is supposed to take over ATV’s broadcasting spectrum, and TVB, who will “officially” get to enjoy their monopoly for a period of time until ViuTV launches.

      1. @llwy12 Wow that’s very detailed in regards to HKTV’s plans thanks. The thing is assuming the worst that CY does get re-elected by “China” (dear god hope not), will Ricky Wong just focus on creating an online platform like ViuTV and actually include overseas viewers into their plans? There were actually a lot overseas supporters of HKTV who were watching illegally online.

      2. @sport3888 Nah, I doubt that Ricky Wong is going to bother with creating an online platform if the license thing falls through again — unless he wins the court case over the mobile broadcasting dispute, though still unlikely depending on how the courts rule…if the courts do the same thing that they did with the license decision judicial review where they rule in his favor but still throw it back to the government to review again, it’s pretty much pointless since the government is just going to deny him again. Besides, HKTV is technically already “including” overseas viewers right now by uploading all their series (and variety shows) to Youtube (they’ve been naming those versions “official overseas version”) — plus Ricky Wong’s goal has always been HK audiences first and foremost, so I doubt he is going to change that goal now. I think he would rather abandon the idea completely and use his production studio for something else…also, I heard his HKTV mall is doing pretty well so he may continue to go the route of expanding that as he has been doing….

      3. @sport3888 the sad thing is that even if cy leung gets replaced, it would most likely be someone else planted by the chinese government and hktv would still be targeted.

      4. @elizabeth True, though from Ricky Wong’s perspective, he has a better chance because all along, his sentiment has been that CY Leung is the one who has a problem with him, not the Mainland government.  He said himself that he has/had many business dealings in Mainland, some even involving government entities,  and has never had a problem with them…plus he has emphasized over and over again since the license decision came down that HKTV being denied a license isn’t because the Mainland government said no (in fact, he said it has nothing to do with Mainland government) – rather, he feels it was CY Leung who made the decision to deny the license because CY ‘assumed’ that’s what Mainland government would want (which does make sense to some extent, since a portion of the general public do feel that CY Leung is clueless about everything and spends most of his time thinking up ways to please his bosses in the Mainland rather than actually deal with the issues in HK).  Of course, at the end of the day, what Ricky Wong and anyone else thinks isn’t going to matter, since he will continue to be at the  mercy of the government as long as he continues to do business in HK.

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