Virginia Lok Attempts to Retain Bowie Lam, Steven Ma, and Joe Ma Amidst TVB’s High Turnover Crisis

By on September 24, 2011 in Hot Gossip!, NEWS

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Facing a high staff turnover among artists and production crew, TVB quickly drafted an emergency response plan. Alleged to be responsible for the recent exodus of employees, TVB executive, Virginia Lok  (樂易玲) hastily met with Bowie Lam (林保怡) yesterday to ask him to return to the company. Unfortunately, the paradox was that on the same night, Bowie also met with Ricky Wong (王維基), Chairman of City Telecom, who will be entering the free television broadcasting industry next year and pose as as a rival station to TVB.  In addition, Bowie was offered a $18 million Yuan contract to sign with a mainland company. Bowie certainly had numerous “chips” in hand to choose from!

With the exodus of personnel, TVB was thrown into confusion recently. Vice Chairman, Mona Fong (方逸華), asked  General Manager, Stephen Chan (陳志雲), to regain control of the Artist Management department and resolve the recent staff turnover crisis. Currently overseeing the Artist Management department, Virginia Lok also took the opportunity to meet with Bowie Lam, who had left TVB in May.

Frowning in Careful Consideration

At 10 AM yesterday, Bowie Lam and Virginia Lok met at the Sai Kung pier for tea. The duo appeared to be very harmonious, chatting and often laughing together. Bowie poured tea for Ms. Lok and served her roast pork buns. Although the contents of the conversation were not clear, it was likely that Ms. Lok attempted to persuade Bowie to return to TVB due to the recent high staff turnover and ex-TVB artists joining rival television stations.  Although appearing at ease initially, Bowie started frowning and wrung his hands together in reservation, while appearing in deep thought as the conversation progressed.

After conversing for over an hour, Ms. Lok paid the bill and left. Since Bowie and Ms. Lok spent the time chatting rather than eating, the bill was only several hundred dollars (HKD).  Walking to the parking lot together, Bowie and Ms. Lok waved goodbye and left Sai Kung in their respective cars.

In the evening, Bowie Lam attended the dinner again, but this time met with Ricky Wong, Chairman of City Telecom. At 7:20 PM, a reporter spotted Mr. Wong inside the restroom of a Japanese restaurant located inside a hotel.  Ten minutes later, Bowie appeared at the same restaurant. Due to the timing of the appearance of Bowie and Mr. Wong at the same restaurant, the reporter estimated that the duo met to discuss collaboration plans.

Five Bodyguards Preventing Interview

Asked whether Bowie was meeting Ricky Wong for dinner, Bowie only smiled and did not respond. At this time, five men dressed in black appeared to block the reporter from asking further questions, leading the reporter to leave the scene. The situation was intriguing and Bowie took the opportunity to calmly enter the restaurant. Although Bowie failed to respond, Mr. Wong wrote on his blog yesterday, “I hope to convince a heavy decision-maker to quit.” Allegedly, Bowie had agreed to return to TVB to film War and Beauty 2 <金枝慾孽2> earlier, unfortunately there were still many changing variables in development.

Aside from Ricky Wong’s attempt to recruit Bowie, a mainland company offered to sign him for $18 million Yuan. Bowie Lam had a lot of options to choose from!

Facing a crisis, TVB not only attempted to seek the return of former stalwarts such as Bowie Lam, it also attempted to persuade artists with soon-to-expire contracts to remain at the company.  It may be possible for Stephen Chan (陳志雲) to pursue these efforts personally.

The reporter contacted Steven Ma (馬浚偉), who expressed the desire to leave TVB earlier.  Steven admitted that he spoke on the phone with Mr. Chan, “We did not have time to sit down and discuss in detail. I am currently filming a series, but he took the initiative to call and understand the situation.”

Steven Ma indicated that Ms. Lok contacted him regarding contract renewal matters two weeks ago. Sir Run Run Shaw’s favorite, Chan Fai Kwong (陳輝光) and Catherine Tsang (曾勵珍) also spoke with Steven.

Joe Ma Still Has to Consider

With his management contract due to expire at the end of the year, Joe Ma (馬德鐘) admitted that TVB offered him favorable conditions to attract him to stay, “I am still in the consideration stage. Since I have been with the company for many years, I do wish to see the outside world.” Joe indicated that he has been in discussion with Ms. Lok regarding his contract renewal and has not been in touch with Stephen Chan.  Joe indicated that there was a fifty percent possibility in renewing his management contract with TVB.

Source: Oriental Daily

Jayne: Perhaps Bowie Lam may indeed return to TVB to film “War and Beauty 2”; it really depends upon his schedule. However, Steven Ma is bent on resigning from TVB. As for Joe Ma, it depends on his confidence about his market in mainland China. If Joe has enough popularity there and China offers a promising income, I doubt he will renew his contract with TVB.

63 comments to Virginia Lok Attempts to Retain Bowie Lam, Steven Ma, and Joe Ma Amidst TVB’s High Turnover Crisis

  1. Larry 3 says:

    I think Joe Ma is going to sign a per series contract, next year. Mainland China….. iffy.

    I have a feeling Bowie is returning to film that sequel since he enjoys filming that series.

    Steven Ma is really mad. I hope he signs a per series contract soon and get TVB issue out of the way.

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  2. edmwer says:

    i want bowie lam back! 😀

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    • JN replied:

      Me too.

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  3. P.Tan says:

    There’s certainly a ‘brain drain’ existing and a serious one too, otherwise Ms Lok would not have tried to keep her sheep from leaving her flock, like inviting Bowie to tea, obviously trying her best to coax him from leaving TVB. In the first place TVB should have seen the whole thing coming especially when such a prized star like Charmaine Sheh decided to call it quits to look for better pastures. Well, it’s high time that TVB, before an avalanche takes place and everybody starts wanting to leave,to question the cause of the exodus and to do something to prevent it.

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    • Larry 3 replied:

      TVB management = FAIL

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      • Vivien replied:

        620 fail

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      • Fox replied:

        SC dun fail, Vivien?

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  4. Larry 3 says:

    Mona Fong Yat Wah is worried TVB going downhill at a very face pace?

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  5. Lol says:

    This woman is not to be trusted.

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  6. AC says:

    Out of the 3, the only one who I really want to stay is Steven Ma. Maybe they should try adding him in War and Beauty 2 to cast him in a grand production so he knows that he is wanted.

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    • josie replied:

      But ms. Lok favors Moses. She would not kick him out to appease Steven. If they are both cast, Steven will still be behind Moses.

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      • exoidus replied:

        i don’t want to see yet another retard acting from ah mo LOL

        he can retire with aimee for good

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      • Vivien replied:

        @exoidus

        ROFL I don’t think they want to retire yet when they are happy with their publicity

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      • AC replied:

        there’s actually a lot female leads: ada, charmaine, sheren. I would think that it would be good to add another big male star to moses and bowie. It doesn’t mean that Moses will get kicked out or that steven will be behind moses.

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  7. josie says:

    Wah, ms. Lok takes bowie for dim sum while Ricky Wong takes bowie to expensive Japanese restaurant. Big difference in “sincerity” right there. Can’t believe the reporter followed Mr. Wong to the restroom, sheesh!

    I hope bowie does return to tvb. He’s such a talent.

    I don’t care if Joe ma goes or not. He’s a dud anyway.

    Just like Wong hei, Steven is packing his bags. Ms. Lok just says a few fake words so he can “get down f/ the stage.”

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    • Chriselle replied:

      “Wah, ms. Lok takes bowie for dim sum while Ricky Wong takes bowie to expensive Japanese restaurant. ”

      Hahaha! I would say “good-bye” to 620 for my love of Japanese food! 😀

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      • Vivien replied:

        620 and TVB is cheap. If its like this I will go to Rick Wong too. Dim sum and expensive restaurant too different!

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  8. lol says:

    Steven Ma said he will still be filming for TVB if Catherine Tsang asked his favour

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    • exoidus replied:

      she must be an angel everyone loves her from young to old LOL

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      • mito replied:

        This look like good cop, bad cop. 620 is bad cop, Tsang jie is good cop

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  9. Fox says:

    Out of 3, my most fave is Joe Ma. I think he is the one who has biggest chance to stay with TVB.

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  10. ahk says:

    “At this time, five men dressed in black appeared to block the reporter from asking further questions, leading the reporter to leave the scene.”

    Whoa, this Ricky Wong sounds like someone anyone wouldn’t want to mess with lol!

    Hmm…am I the only one who doubts that Bowie will really return to TVB? I don’t think they would bear to fork out more than RMB$18million just to retain Bowie (Case in point: Charmaine Sheh and their miserable offer of HKD$10million when the China counterpart offered RMB$15million)

    Maybe they should just fire you-know-who manx then everything might be solved lol! 😛

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    • Chriselle replied:

      “Whoa, this Ricky Wong sounds like someone anyone wouldn’t want to mess with lol!”

      Hahaha, Ah K, I agree! When I was reading the article, all of a sudden five men dressed in black jumped into the article, and I went “WTH?” LOL! Ricky’s bodyguards perhaps? 😛 Didn’t know he was so wealthy!

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      • Vivien replied:

        Ricky’s very wealthy! That’s lots of money to buy all these TVB artistes and directors!

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  11. Zzz says:

    They didn’t contact Wong Hei?

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  12. Funn Lim says:

    Is War And Beauty a sequel? If it is how does his dead, very dead character return to live? Is it gonna be a Laughing Gor way?

    I want Bowie to stay but not filming an impossible sequel.

    And what 620 said to him that caused him to frown?

    “Bowie, stay. I give you salary increase of 0.01%. I am being very generous… or else, I was the one who found your lost handphone and I saw some pictures in it…”

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    • ahk replied:

      @Funn Lim:

      LOL! Maybe she emotionally blackmailed him or used reversed psychology on him (“It’s okay Bowie. It’s okay even if you don’t stay, even if you don’t stay to help us during this difficult period. We won’t force you, no, we will just let the other male artistes awaiting in line to take over your position.”) 😛

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        And continuing that..

        “China is a big market, you certainly would do well.. since it is so big, huge even… but then, there are so many young actors in China.. for such a big market, it has also a big selection of names for each series…don’t you want to be in a place where you know you will be the lead? Or you like being second best?”

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    • Chriselle replied:

      @Funn,

      I think WAB2 is not a sequel. In one of the earlier articles, the producer mentioned that it was difficult to continue from the original one.

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  13. khanh says:

    i want steven ma to stay back!

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  14. sushiroll says:

    wtf? how is 620 gonna persuade him to come back when they only pay their artists like $8000 hk per ep? he’s prob thinking, b!tch, no chance.

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    • K-Asian replied:

      Now they pay him $9999.99/eps

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    • Chriselle replied:

      @sushiroll,

      Are you serious? I thought it was $20,000+ per episode if they’re A-list.

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      • mito replied:

        I thought it is 60,000 per eps. At least that is minimum Ah Sheh rate?

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      • sehseh replied:

        @mito

        TVB is cheap skate, they don’t pay that much to contracted artiste. Generally, it’s also gender bias (common in Asia, men get paid more than women for the same position and experience in job).

        Top TVB actors like Roger and Gallen get paid 40-50k per episode. As for actress… top line get around 30k-40k only.

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  15. pandamao says:

    K-A-R-M-A

    This is one of the best article i’ve read in a long time. i love seeing 620 pleading and begging.

    can’t wait for something like that to happen in my real life. these artist suffered enough!!!!

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  16. Eunice says:

    After watching Joe Ma in Relic of an Emissary, my impression of him got better, so I want him to stay. I used to not like Bowie Lam much, but I’ve also recently began to appreciate his talent. As for Steven Ma, I don’t dislike him, but I’m actually getting quite bored of seeing him in series. I don’t like watching him act as a guy in his 20s when he is actually 40.

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    • Chriselle replied:

      “After watching Joe Ma in Relic of an Emissary, my impression of him got better, so I want him to stay.”

      Me too! 😀 I use to not like him much as his face is too long and very distracting to watch.

      ” I used to not like Bowie Lam much, but I’ve also recently began to appreciate his talent. ”

      Same here! 🙂 His acting is very subtle and different from the dramatic acting TVB is use to.

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      • Canto replied:

        There now… you’ve got it. Chriselle, I love your use of the word, “subtle” to describe Bowie’s acting. I think it’s very apt!

        I used to think Bowie looks like an aging, bow head, short uncle… but really he was mesmerizing in War and Beauty in that last fire scene with Gigi Lai.

        Then you feel his magnetism, you feel his smiles, the twinkle in his eyes, his smartness, his maturity… and you realize why he is an actor… An ordinary looking, aging uncle who can make you feel this way is a talented actor, well verse in his craft.

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      • claimine replied:

        Canto: Then you feel his magnetism, you feel his smiles, the twinkle in his eyes, his smartness, his maturity… and you realize why he is an actor… An ordinary looking, aging uncle who can make you feel this way is a talented actor, well verse in his craft.

        I also feel Bowie’s onscreen magnetism. He is an excellent actor. I for one truly appreciates his subtle acting.

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  17. Cindy says:

    I’m just curious, why is Virginia Lok called 620?

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    • Chriselle replied:

      @Cindy,

      If you pronounce Virginia’s name in Cantonese, you will know why. Lok Yi Ling. 620. It sounds very similar.

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  18. K-Asian says:

    I wonder why she has not found a husband yet, she does not like sex?

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    • Chriselle replied:

      I thought she was married and has a daughter, no? You’re referring to Virginia right?

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      • K-Asian replied:

        Yes, I was

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    • Fox replied:

      She has husband and 2 kids.

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    • mito replied:

      Are you thinking she really played all the male artists in her stable?

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      • K-Asian replied:

        I did not think that deep^_^…

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  19. ada says:

    I miss BOwie. Why cant they just pay him more?
    Joe Ma can leave for all I care!!!! lol….

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  20. Larry 3 says:

    Kevin Cheng is also leaving TVB? (http://asianuniverse.net/forums/Liza_Wang_40_years_with_TVB_Never_thought_of_leaving_t299201.html) {News interview w/ Liza Wang and ex-TVB employee Vinci Wong}

    620 will have to take KC out to dinner soon?

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  21. NX says:

    I can only say that TVB’s male lead is turning old!

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    • mito replied:

      Agreed. They need to develop new blood like Raymond Wong.

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      • CY replied:

        Raymond Wong isn’t young either. According to wiki, he’s 35 mow.

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      • CY replied:

        Whoops

        I meant now.

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      • Fox replied:

        To say Raymond Wong and Ruco Chan are new blood isn’t correct :P. They are new to TVB, not new blood.

        The K4 is more of new blood to TVB.

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    • NX replied:

      Yeah, the “young” generation now are all 30+ lol

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      • NX replied:

        Raymond Wong is not new blood, he’s “reused” from ATV. And as CY said, he’s already 35, even older than Ron Ng, Raymond Lam.

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