ROBERT CHUA HAS SPENT 38 years working in the world of television. And these days he doesn't like what he sees. The man who gave Hong Kong its all-time favourite television programme, Enjoy Yourself Tonight, is upset by what he terms 'degratainment': shows that degrade the people they feature or 'rob them of their dignity'. By that, he means shows such as The Weakest Link. 'Television is meant to inform, to entertain and to educate,' says Chua, 55. 'Those are the three basic things. If you can entertain and educate, it is a very effective medium. But now it has turned into what I call degratainment. Take The Weakest Link. It can be just nasty. It makes people look stupid on air. OK, the first series of Survivor was good. But now they have moved on to things like drinking cow's blood. We don't really need that. 'People in this industry should really speak up against the wrongs. If people are being humiliated, this is wrong. And we have to be very careful about this.' Sitting in the boardroom of a public relations company in Causeway Bay, Chua looks every inch the executive in his smart, dark suit and designer glasses. We have met to discuss his latest project, his own game show called Everyone Wins, but it soon becomes clear he has more than one issue on his mind. He fidgets while taking me through the show's promotional tape and, once I ask his opinion of the state of Asian television today, his eyes light up. 'Yes,' he sighs. 'I have many opinions on that subject.' One of the problems, says Chua, is that the region's television stations pick up these shows either in blind desperation based on overseas ratings or due to a lack of creativity in the development of Asian programming. 'We have very good, professional people out here,' he says. 'But I don't think there's very much creativity going on. It has now become a case where more people in Asia should be encouraged to create things that are ours, and then we can take them to the world.' Chua has been in the vanguard of Asian television since he moved to Hong Kong from Singapore in 1967. It was then that he helped start up Television Broadcasts (TVB) which went to air with his own creation, Enjoy Yourself Tonight, that year. It was TVB's first live show and went on to become Asia's longest-running TV variety show. After overseeing programmes across three decades, Chua established China Entertainment Television (CETV) in 1994, selling his majority stake in the company to AOL Time Warner in 2000. And now Chua has devised Everyone Wins. He says it's the type of game show audiences have enjoyed ever since television broadcasting first became popular in the 1950s but with one unique difference - it is interactive, so home viewers are involved at all times. It is also totally Asian-designed, from the sets to the soundtrack. 'I have been in television for a long time and I think part of my success has been that I react to things the way an audience reacts,' says Chua. 'I love creating and making things happen. With all this game-show craze going on I thought it was a good time to go back to doing what I love best, and that's creating new shows. 'It's very much an Asian show, from the set design to the music. And we've designed it so that it can be in any language. Home viewers will be very much involved all the way.' Everyone Wins is basically a one-hour quiz show. Contestants compete over four rounds, answering multiple-choice questions that are both text and visually based. They are given a set time in which to answer. The quicker they do so, the more points they win; the more time they take, the less points they are awarded. Every point given to a contestant is worth a dollar and, at the end of the show, three zeroes are added to the winner's total and they take home that amount in cash (with the highest score possible being 1,000 which would tally to $1 million). To makes things more interesting, the game also has 'swap rounds', in which contestants can opt to swap their score with an opponent. The twist here is that none of the contestants will know what their opponents' scores are - they have to decide who has been doing well and who hasn't. So someone who may in fact have a healthy lead might panic and swap with someone who has little or no points. Of course, home viewers will know each contestant's score at all times. Home viewers can also register for the lucky-numbers section of the show. During the course of the hour, various lucky numbers will flash up on screen - they will be taken by combining the last numbers of each of the contestant's scores - and if they match a viewer's lucky number (taken from ID cards, passports or even PIN numbers), they win whatever prize is offered. 'The game can be played by anyone, anywhere,' says Chua. 'Every time they watch the show, they can learn something. This is important. It is infotainment but here the audience can win as well.' Chua has signed production agreements for the show with TVB, Media Works in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur-based Vision Plus Entertainment. A TVB spokesperson says the broadcaster has yet to decide when the programme would go into production. Chua has also linked up with renowned United States agency CAA to sell the format there, while the show is being pushed in Britain by Action Time. As for his own viewing habits, Chua says his tastes have changed over the years. 'These days we don't have much time, it's not like it was when I started,' he says. 'So I find I can only really watch things that I think I need to, news shows, documentaries, and less entertainment shows as I just don't have the time. I always have my Internet connection on when I'm watching TV so I'm always doing two things at once. Yes, I am not happy with a lot of the things I see on TV.' Chua says he is not on a moral crusade - he has, in fact, made money from others' misfortune, profiting from the late Diana, Princess of Wales' infamous 'Squidgy Tapes' by offering them on a pay-per-minute phone service. Although he says he now regrets that decision, he justifies it by saying the details had already been revealed by the British media. Still he urges broadcasters to monitor the standards of the programmes they air. One show he doesn't have a problem with is Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?. The show that was a monster hit for ATV before being replaced by the less-than-successful People Versus at the start of the year, and is now scheduled for a return to our screens, was head and shoulders above the rest. 'Millionaire is the best of the shows around now,' says Chua. 'But it is still something that has been brought in from overseas. Our show is Asia's show. 'I would love it to go up against Millionaire, I think we can beat it. It would be like choosing to watch a movie in colour or black and white. We have taken things a step further.'