Satellite brings a new space oddity
The 'man who fell to Earth' turned science fiction into fact last night when he beamed himself into cinemas and theatres in more than 60 countries, including Hong Kong.
Pop star David Bowie - best known for fantasy alter egos Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane and the Thin White Duke - launched a 'groundbreaking' interactive digital event to promote his new album Reality, released next week.
An invited audience of about 150 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai joined thousands more by satellite to ask him questions and hear a preview of the album, produced by Bowie and Toni Visconti, and which throws back to strident guitars and a big snare sound.
It was the first event of this kind on such a large scale.
Fans in Asia were able to speak to Bowie in real time following the performance. Although the first part of the 90-minute programme was pre-recorded - it was transmitted to some countries on Tuesday and others will see it later this week - the latter culminated in a live question-and-answer session from London. Bowie answered questions from Australia, Japan and Hong Kong, the local one - posed by former DJ Anne Roberts from Taikoo Shing - asking him whether rumours he wanted to team up with electronic band Kraftwerk were true. 'If the right opportunity arose,' was his answer.
A break in the satellite link left fans listening to static rather than a question from Singapore.
The show has been described as 'the most innovative and wide-reaching use of digital technology in cinemas' and was broadcast in high-end video and surround sound. And, apart from a few glitches, the technology held up.