Ex-TVB Executive to sing in pitch-black charity concert
After years in the entertainment limelight and more recently in the legal spotlight, all the lights will go out for Stephen Chan Chi-wan in his next big performance.
"Should I sing with my eyes open or closed?" joked Chan (pictured), as he discussed his role in the third Concert in the Dark later this month.
The former TVB general manager and television show host will be performing alongside Canto-pop stars such as Anthony Wong Yiu-ming and Leo Ku Kui-kei in the programme aimed at raising funds for Dialogue in the Dark.
The social enterprise, originating in Germany and brought to Hong Kong in 2008, promotes inclusion and tolerance of the visually impaired through activities allowing sighted people to rediscover themselves in complete darkness, a cause Chan supports.
His performance is part of a storyline that runs through the show, to be held at the International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kowloon Bay (Kitec) on August 24 and 25.
Though not a stranger to the stage, Chan expects to find singing in the dark tough and not only because he cannot see.
"The other challenge is that in total darkness, people listen to every note you utter," he said.
Chong Chan-yau, chairman of the Dialogue in the Dark (HK) Foundation, agrees, and said that was why a concert in the dark had the power to lure an audience in.
"At concerts people pay attention to the costumes, stage designs and lighting effects, but they forget about the music," said Chong, who is visually impaired. "[In the dark] the world we see is the same as those who can see."
Chan will sing Ngau Yin Yue Sheung Dik Ging Hei ( God's Surprise For Me).
"It's a Chinese Christian song with a catchy tune," he said. "It's related to the theme of my role. You might be in total darkness, but you might find something good unexpectedly."
That could also be a reflection of his personal experience.
Chan's showbiz career had gone smoothly since he left the government in 1992 until March 2010, when officers of the Independent Commission Against Corruption arrested him and his former assistant Edthancy Tseng Pei-kun for allegedly defrauding Television Broadcasts and some of the station's best known artists.
Following the arrest, he laid low until he left TVB in March. He was acquitted last September, but the Department of Justice has filed an appeal against the acquittal and the hearing will take place in November.
"I want [the song I perform] to tag a topic that people can identify with," he said.
Looking back at his 18 years of running Hong Kong's largest station and hosting talk show Be My Guest, he said he had "no regrets". "It [the court case] never stopped me from doing anything I wanted to do."
Chan has since joined Commercial Radio as its chief executive.