Lisa Tse Reveals Her Low Basic Pay at TVB

Above: A nursing graduate of Edinburgh Napier University, her first dramatic role was on popular sitcom “Come Home Love”.

Getting candid on China’s Instagram-like Little Red Book, actress Lisa Marie Tse (謝嘉怡) and Luk Ho Ming (陸浩明) chatted about the tough questions elders liked to ask during Lunar New Year festivities, with the 2020 Miss Hong Kong winner revealing her low basic pay at the station!

Reassures Granny Who’s Concerned About Her Livelihood

Lisa’s lack of Cantonese proficiency limited her participation in dramas.

Eating desserts while sharing about Lunar New Year, Lisa spilled that this is her first time spending the festival in Hong Kong with her parents, and agreed that relatives’ favorite questions she had to “tackle” were indeed choice of career and monthly salary.

Lisa shared that her grandmother was concerned that she could not make enough in Hong Kong, after she gave up a stable career in Scotland to pursue her celebrity dream in the city. “Every time I visited her, she would ask me how much I brought home every month, and I’d reply, ‘It’s okay.’” Since Lisa had to start a new chapter of her life alone in Hong Kong, her grandmother would also worry about her getting cheated in relationships, or suffering during the cold season.

Nursing Salaries in UK vs. Hong Kong

Discussing the topic of wages, Lisa shared that she had a starting salary of HK$26,000 when she first joined the nursing profession in Scotland. Due to affordable monthly housing rentals of 4,000 pounds and monthly car expenses of 2,000 pounds a month, she could save quite a sizeable amount. “Nurses in Hong Kong earn much more than in the UK, but expenses there were half lower.”

When asked about her monthly wages at TVB, she smilingly replied, “It’s different each month.” Asked what was the lowest, Lisa said, “It depends on my workload–the lowest I got was really low. My basic pay is lower.”

Not Keen to Start Dating

As for the question of dating, the 26-year-old revealed that she is currently single, but not available. “It’s hard in Hong Kong, I like filming to produce dramas for everyone and also have to return to work. I pretty much have no time to date.” When Ho Ming suggested she try dating someone from the industry, she felt that being in the same line might be a cause for conflict, which she would rather avoid as “I’m a very peace-loving person.”

Lisa’s father is from Hong Kong dad while her mom is Scottish. She is a nursing graduate of Edinburgh Napier University, and has also done voluntary work in China and Africa.

As she lacked fluency in Cantonese when she first signed on with the company, Lisa was assigned to variety programs to help her improve her language command. After putting in much hard work to polish up her Cantonese by watching television and tuning in to the radio, she has improved much. To test waters, she has also made appearances on the long-running sitcom Come Home Love: Lo and Behold <愛.回家之開心速遞> , successfully garnering the attention of viewers.


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  1. I’m not sure what she was expecting, she’s not like the other pageant winners, she can barely speak the language. I hope she wasn’t thinking that she can be a lead actor right away like some of the others…

  2. ‘Due to affordable monthly housing rentals of 4,000 pounds and monthly car expenses of 2,000 pounds a month’.

    These figures are a mess too. £4000 can rent 10 houses. Total expenses for rent and car would be 3x her yearly salary if do the maths….

    1. This article needs an editor… According to Wiki, Lisa was born in South Lanarkshire, bordering the southeast of the City of Glasgow. The average rent in Glasgow is ~£1,363 for a ~1000sqft. apartment. (Google) If she really paid £4000, then that’s one big house for one person lol Also read a related article about her cost of education is £3000 for a nurse?! Shouldn’t there be more?? Just sounds unrealistic or I could be wrong. I suck at math xD Besides that, it was really tough reading the article with multiple errors. I know it’s a translation, but if someone could just proofread, it could be better. 🙂

    2. The figure has been misquoted. Its probably 4000 hk dollar that they mean which is about £400-500 a month which is closer to the mark.

  3. I’m pretty sure she said her figures were HK dollars and not British pounds in the video. Although I’m not sure how realistic that pricing is either since I’m not from the area. Also, Luk Ho Ming blatantly asked her what her salary was and what was the lowest she received in a month. She didn’t sound like she was complaining or that she was surprised by the figures she was getting. She kind of just said yeah it is low, and moved on.

  4. Wonder if she should go back to nursing. Nothing against her (although yes, her Cantonese is bad) but just wondering if she will get opportunities in TVB. Her language is one big factor against her although there have been other former beauty pageant contestants who couldn’t read the script and couldn’t speak Cantonese well at first (e.g. Bernice). Her appearance is going to be a bigger issue. She can’t be a TV host since she is unable to speak Cantonese well and what are the chances of her being the leading actress in TVB drama.

  5. My sister is a nurse. The nurse to patient ratio is different in every countries. In Hong Kong, despite what the news says, the ratio is like 1:10-16, whereas it is about 1:4-6 in the UK. So if nurses get more salary in HK, it is probably because they have longer shift hours and the workload is more crazy.

    As an artist, you have a basic salary, and then the more work you do extra, then more income comes in. If Lisa is only doing a few episodes a month, then she will get the basic salary which she perceives as low. But when she does more commercials, guest stars in show, ribbon cutting events, then she will get more money.

    It is not fair to compare the salary of a nurse to an artist because the latter can get bonuses whilst the former has capped salaries.

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