Korean idol Kim Soo-hyun to visit Hong Kong amid tight security
Hosts want no repeat of wild scenes that greeted actor Kim Soo-hyun in Taiwan and on mainland
Tight security will surround heartthrob Kim Soo-hyun's visit to Hong Kong next week as his hosts look to prevent a repeat of the wild scenes that have greeted the Korean idol across Asia.
Some 500 fans are expected to greet Kim, star of drama phenomenon My Love from the Star, when he arrives at the airport on Tuesday. Organisers have hired more than 100 security guards for his three-day visit after Kim was mobbed in Taiwan and mainland China.
Public relations firm The Bridge, which is organising the visit on behalf of Korean beauty brand Beyond and cosmetics chain Sasa, said it decided to beef up security for Kim and his 10-strong entourage after talks with airport bosses and the police.
"We have hired a total of 100 security guards throughout the three days," a spokesman said. "Judging from the craziness of fans during his past trips to the mainland and Taiwan, we expect a lot of passionate fans tailing him around during his stay."
Kim will meet 220 fans who won a Sasa competition at the Mira Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui on Wednesday. He will also meet the press, amid tight security. "We will have strict rules for the media too because many fans try to gatecrash by pretending to be reporters," the spokesman said.
Kim, also a popular singer, spent three months living in Hong Kong while making 2012 crime thriller The Thieves, in which he starred alongside local actor Simon Yam Tat-wah.
But it is science-fiction hit My Love from the Star that has sent Kim's popularity into the stratosphere across Asia. While the show has never been shown on television in Hong Kong, it has attracted a huge following thanks to internet streaming. This will be his first visit to the city since the show became a hit.
Kim stars as Do Min-joon, an alien with supernatural powers who came to earth 400 years ago and falls for an arrogant superstar actress played by Jun Ji-hyun.
The show's popularity on the mainland is massive; even Beijing's anti-graft chief Wang Qishan has declared himself a fan.
The Airport Authority said event organisers had been in touch. A spokesman said crowd-control measures would be in place. Police say they will keep an eye on the situation and take appropriate measures.
Kim is not the only big name visitor next week. Hollywood superstar Gwyneth Paltrow appears at the Landmark mall on Wednesday to promote her latest cookbook. The self-styled "lifestyle curator" hit the headlines after splitting from her husband of 10 years, British singer Chris Martin, in what she called a "conscious uncoupling".
Paltrow will sign books for competition winners and meet the press, but the media has been ordered to keep cameras away. A publicist said only images approved by the Oscar-winning actress's entourage would be released for publication.