Stars turn out for war of words
Some of the sharpest tongues in town will be locked in verbal combat this week
THERE could be serious blood-letting at the Coliseum on Tuesday night when eight of Hong Kong's razor-sharp wits are let loose during Metro Radio's 'Battle of the Mouths'.
Metro's chief executive Philip Chan Yan-kin, the brains behind the idea, said it would be like a game show where teams will be pitted against each other - battling it out with their quick repartee, wit and wry observations.
Top comedian Michael Hui Koon-man heads the list of 'motor mouths', which also includes TVB game show host Nat Chan Pak-cheung, actor-director Eric Tsang Chi-wai, political commentator Wong Yuk-man, film-maker John Sham Kin-fun, actresses Lam Kin-ming and Christine Ng Wing-mei, plus disc jockey Siu Kwok-wah.
All are known for their ability to cut down their opponents armed with nothing but their wit.
On hand to dispense justice will be legislative councillor Christine Loh Kung-wai and, possibly, former Secretary for Administrative Services and Information, Peter Tsao Kwang-yung..
The two masters of ceremonies for the night will be Hit Radio's Ocean Chan Hoi-kei and Lui Yu-yeung.
An experienced MC and former radio host himself, Chan initially came up with the idea because he felt the need for more creative projects at the station.
'With the strong competition and promotion-oriented market, radio needs to organise major events to develop on-air promotions and off-air activities, ' he said.
'Most times we only think about concerts - mini-concerts, open-air concerts - but we still cannot get away from the concept.
'As a radio station we have tried to think of what is trendy, entertaining, on a large-scale. In the past year or so, you can see that the talk show has taken up a very popular position in radio and the news.' The eight stars will be divided into two teams - blue and red - which will then be tested on their wit, reflexes, creativity and general knowledge.
Among the highlights, is a round where 'combatants' will be asked to write lyrics on the spot. In others, they are tested on how well they can bamboozle each other or sell certain 'unusual products'.
Although the nature of the show meant focusing on the absurd and farcical, Chan said, they would also touch on subjects of public concern. These include the recent shark attacks and the problem of local men keeping mistresses across the border.
'But I think the main attraction would be just seeing all these top talk show talent on the same stage.
Being able to participate will be an event in itself because the audience will be asked to vote for who they think the winning team should be, and if they do not agree with the judges, they can always challenge them.' Although most of the guests are high-profile entertainers with busy schedules, Chan said it was easy to get them to take part.
They will all appear free of charge, but the winning team does receive some 'very nice prizes' besides a team trophy.
These include a diamond-studded medal and a share of two tonnes of petrol.
'We're giving out a lot of toilet rolls to the losing team,' Chan added with a laugh.
'It will probably be enough to last them for three years, but at least it is something practical!' The 8,000-odd tickets for the show are not for sale. But those interested in the event can call Hit Radio between 10 am and 11 pm and win tickets by taking part in easy competitions run throughout the day.
For those who do not manage to see the show, Chan promised it would be broadcast when they can 'find a nice day'.
'We decided to opt for a delayed broadcast because I want our guest speakers to have maximum freedom.
'I don't want them to be inhibited in any way,' he said.
Chan hoped to stage the event on an annual basis. 'But that would be up to the audience and the participants,' he said.