CITY GUIDE >City Special
Cross-talkers at cross-purposes on crossed paths
By Hu Deman (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-09-25 10:12

Those of you who are somewhat knowledgeable of the cross-talking fraternity no doubt consider us to be a merry bunch of fellows, content to drink tea and tell jokes when the mood takes us. This could not be further from the truth. We may smile for the spotlight but behind the scenes it is a cutthroat business.

Pardon the pun but recently there has been a lot of cross talk. My hometown contemporary Guo Degang (pictured), arguably more famous than me, is mounting an all-out verbal attack on two of his erstwhile contemporaries, Xu Deliang and Wang Wenlin. They accuse him of being unethical, while he threatens to sue them for slander if they keep "talking nonsense".

What nonsense? Xu says he is paid a miserly 10,000 yuan ($1,465) for comic scripts, which Guo admits is true but adds they need to be rewritten and since he's the boss he should have the lion's share of profits. Xu and Wang respond they are not monkeys and cannot survive on peanuts. Guo says they have a gentleman's agreement, while Xu and Wang believe Guo is no gentleman. I suspect it is the lawyers who will ultimately be laughing all the way to the bank.

From comedy to beauty, the Malaysian-Chinese singer Fish Leong has been giving skincare tips to coincide with the release of her latest love ballad This is Where We Stop. Leong, like many Asian women, is a believer in the power of white skin and claims the use of bleaching products transformed her from an "ugly duckling into Snow White beautiful".

She is now going one step further and attempting to become invisible. According to a website report, she wants "to avoid direct skin contact with dirty air, and ultraviolet light, so the skin looks transparent crystal."

The popular singer and TV actress Yi Nengjing has also been giving makeup advice, at a promotional appearance in Xi'an. Before showing the young ladies of the city how to wash their faces she told them: "If you want a better boyfriend, you need better skin."

Another of her famous lines is: "I wouldn't change my beautiful life for 10 Oscars." The phrase has come back to haunt her, however, and not just because she stands no chance whatsoever of a nomination. Rather, the slogan was for a foreign milk powder advert.

Celebrity fallout from the infant milk formula scandal that has so far sickened 53,000 babies is ongoing. Former table tennis champion and coach of the national team Liu Guoliang is withdrawing his endorsement for Yili milk and returning the money he was paid. Snooker player Ding Junhui is donating part of his endorsement fee to help tainted powder victims.

Hu Deman, legendary Beijing crosstalker and confidante to China's biggest celebrities, talks to Jules Quartly

(China Daily 09/24/2008 page18)