Luk Ho-ming of TVB’s Good Cheap Eats on being a DJ and ‘fighting’ with Maria Cordero

By Tiffany Choi

The charismatic TV host also tells Young Post about his start at Metro Radio and trying to balance his university studies with his DJing gig

By Tiffany Choi |

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TV host Luk Ho-ming hopes to expand into more acting roles in the future.

Having grown from DJ to full-on TV star, TVB’s Luk Ho-ming understands his position in the media. Lue became a part-time DJ after taking part in a radio competition as a Form Five student. He went to university to study engineering, but quit so he could pursue a full-time career as a television host, where he has become one of Hong Kong’s brightest stars.

Young Post spoke to Luk at TVB City in Tseung Kwan O to learn more about his life as an entertainer over milk tea and French toast.

“I was very shy when I was in secondary school, but I decided to enter a radio competition held by Metro Radio after one of my classmates told me I had a nice voice,” Luk said.

Although he didn’t win, Metro Radio invited Luk to participate in a six-month radio host training course. Afterwards, he became a part-time DJ and hosted his own late-night show.

“My parents were very open to my part-time job – they didn’t even mind that it meant I would study less,” Luk said.

He originally planned to study communications at university, but his HKALE results weren’t good enough. He went for his seventh Jupas choice – industrial engineering and engineering management – at City University.

During his second year, he appeared as a guest host on a Cable TV programme.

Luk Ho-ming's gentle teasing with Maria Cordero is a main reason fans tune in.
Photo: Edward Wong/SCMP

“I told the producer that I was a DJ at a radio station and was open to opportunities in TV. That’s how my [TV career] began,” Luk said. However, he soon found his work schedule – which involved interviewing some of Hong Kong’s biggest stars – was too busy for him to effectively keep up with his studies.

He began skipping all classes except for the ones where attendance was compulsory. “My classmates were really cool – always sharing notes with me. In return, I would treat them to dinner or get them concert tickets whenever I could,” Luk laughed.

“Professors would tease me: ‘Hey! So surprised to see you at class today! Don’t you need to film today?’” he added.

After he left university, Luk started working in Cable TV full-time. Soon, he was hosting several different entertainment programmes, including a hit food-tasting show.

But in 2012 – 10 years after he first started working in television – Luk felt the need to step outside his comfort zone.

“I spoke to TVB management to see if I could work there,” Luke said. “It was a big risk because TVB pays by the job, whereas Cable TV paid me a monthly salary. It was scary losing that stability, but luckily I had financial support from my family.”

In 2013, Luk became involved in the highly popular programme, Good Cheap Eats, which also stars pop star Maria Cordero, better known as Fei Ma. In the show, Fei Ma teaches the audience how to cook cheaply, with Luk serving as her assistant. But it’s as much a talk show as it is a cooking tutorial, in which Luk teases Fei Ma, who teases Luk right back.

“The audience enjoys seeing me and Fei Ma fighting,” Luk said. “A lot of netizens say that our fight is actually one of the best dishes,” he joked.

Luk considers Good Cheap Eats one of the most important shows of his career, helping him make the leap from TV host to local star.

“Working on Cable TV, not a lot of people knew who I was. But with TVB, which is free, I gained a lot more exposure,” he said.

Luk has been working as a host for around 20 years, but he wants to try his luck as an actor in dramatic series.

“I’ve always wanted to portray a working professional, such as a lawyer or doctor, but I worry the audience will laugh at me because they’ll think of me as being a goofy TV host,” he said.

If you want to be a star, Luk recommends starting with social media and entering showbiz through competitions.

“Don’t be shy to ask for opportunities – if you can stay in showbiz for four to five years, you can see yourself fitting into the industry,” Luk said.

Edited by Ben Young