How did you get started in show business? When I was in the second year of studying on the musical theatre course at the Academy for Performing Arts, my mother filled out an application form for me to take part in a Cable TV YMC video jockey (VJ) contest. Although I failed, I became a part-time VJ for the channel. I never thought I would be a DJ/VJ because I thought that interpersonal skills were very important in showbiz. I am not strong in this respect. I chose to follow the former director of YMC and joined Metro Broadcast after graduation. What was your childhood dream? I had wanted to be a choreographer since I was in secondary school. I fell in love with dance when I was in Form Four. I thought my body could say things better than my tongue. Of the various types of dance, I particular love the type on Broadway musicals. I have not yet totally given up my dream. My friends and I have formed our own dance group. How would you describe your style? I am young, energetic, nice, approachable and agile. I think my audience can identify with me. I speak the same language as they and can see things from their side. I mainly host youth programmes so even when I am talking about serious topics, I try not to make the atmosphere too serious. The audience listens to or watches the programme for fun and relaxation. They will switch to other programmes if they find you boring. You have been with YMC for almost four years. Recently, you were promoted to music direc tor. What does music mean to you? I love music so much. I love musicals and songs that have a story - an introduction, a peak and an end. My job has allowed me to listen to a wider range of music. I love hip-hop, R & B, Canto- and international pop. As a music director, besides getting involved with administration work and deciding the music direction for the channel, I also need to find new songs for the audience. What are the differences be tween being a DJ and a VJ? TV combines vision and audio so body gestures help a lot for a VJ. The audience watches the programme for the music videos, not for a particular person. Of course, a good VJ helps the ratings, but not that much. Therefore a VJ is supplementary to a music programme. But a DJ is much more personalised because it's only audio. People listen to your programme because of your voice, your character and the show's content. A DJ can get highly involved with the production. In TV, since you are working with a whole team, your job is to digest the script written by colleagues and present it using your style and voice. But at a radio station, you have to do research, information gathering and search for songs. Does producing a TV and radio programme have anything in common? A common factor is that what you see and hear is the result of a lot of hard work. A lot of manpower and working hours are spent on a one-hour programme. I hope the audience can appreciate our hard work. What is your favourite programme? Barry's Special is my favourite. It is a mix of music and phone-ins. Firstly, it allows the audience to understand me more. Secondly, it is all under my control. And I not only play pop music, but also share my favourite songs from overseas. What are your current ambitions? I want to gain greater recognition from the public and people in showbiz. I need to improve my technical knowledge in both TV and radio production. I still love dancing. I want to spend more time on it. Is your character the same on and off air? I think so. I try my best to present the real me to the audience. But my friends have told me that I am quieter now when compared with before I joined the profession. I think it is because what I want to say has already been said on my programme. And I like to have some quiet after work. Do you have any particularly memorable experiences? Once a girl kept sending me letters to ask me to be her boyfriend. I was afraid she had mental problems and asked the security guards and my colleagues to be careful. At a promotional event, the girl approached me and identified herself. She was just a normal person. She said she wrote letters to attract my attention. However, it was scary enough. What do you think about your fans? I am grateful for their support and see them as my friends. I love reading their letters. I love the phone-in sessions most on both TV and radio programmes. Most of my fans are students. They don't hide their feelings. If they like you, they will tell you. If they disagree with what you've said, they will challenge you. Through conversations, I can understand more about their thinking, which I think is important for my job. Do you need to be aware all the time of setting a good exam ple for young people? Yes. The power of the media cannot be overlooked. For example, once a girl waited outside the radio station to give me a cheesecake. I had once said I loved cheesecake on a show. Of course, I accepted the cake, but frankly, I had forgotten I had ever said such words. After that, I understood that small things can influence the audience. Name: Barry Ip Man-fai Birthday: June 5, 1974 Birthplace: Hong Kong Occupation: DJ (Metro Broadcast), VJ and music director of Youth Music Channel (YMC), Cable TV Programmes: YMC: We Wet Web - with Monique Au and Brian Wong; Sunday Society - with Y. Yuk and Alan Kan; Metro Broadcast: Barry's Special and I Know Where - with Sandy Chan Siu-chi and Y. Yuk Barry Ip Man-fai started doing part-time VJ work on Cable TV's YMC show when he was studying at the Academy for Performing Arts. His job would be a dream come true for many young people and he had opportunities to choreograph for big events organised by the station. According to Ip, many dancers are not good at expressing themselves verbally. He was grateful that he had another talent - a way with words - that has given him alternative ways to earn a living.