10 love stories in local showbiz

Ever wondered how some of these celebrity couples got together?

L-R: Chen Liping and Rayson Tan, Christopher Lee and Fann Wong, Xiang Yun and Edmund Chen
L-R: Chen Liping and Rayson Tan, Christopher Lee and Fann Wong, Xiang Yun and Edmund Chen
11 Feb 2016

L-R: Chen Liping and Rayson Tan, Christopher Lee and Fann Wong, Xiang Yun and Edmund Chen

Photos: Toggle, Channel 8

For this season of love, we celebrate all things sweet and sappy through this collection of love stories and anecdotes from celebrity couples who met at work, fell in love, got married and are living happily-ever-after lives today.

Chen Liping and Rayson Tan
Chen Liping and Rayson Tan
11 Feb 2016

Chen Liping and Rayson Tan

Liping and Rayson’s relationship started off on the wrong note after she called in sick and did not turn up for a scheduled wedding photoshoot for 1990 drama Golden Shenton Way (picture on the right). “I remember thinking ‘Wah, she is so hao lian (proud), making me wait so long!’,” joked Rayson, during an interview for their currently-airing 120-part drama Life – Fear Not.

But as fate would have it, they struck up a friendship after working together, fell in love and subsequently got married in hush-hush ceremony in 1999. The bride had such an aversion towards wedding gowns , after wearing them one time too many for drama serials, that the married couple eventually used photos taken for their 1990 drama as their official wedding pictures. The next time Liping wore a white gown to have her pictures taken with Rayson it was 17 years later for Life.  

Life - Fear Not airs weeknights, 7.30pm on Channel 8; watch past episodes of Life - Fear Not on Toggle.

Darren Lim and Evelyn Tan
Darren Lim and Evelyn Tan
11 Feb 2016

Darren Lim and Evelyn Tan

If there’d be a modern-day Romeo and Juliet romance that happened on the hill, it’d be the love story between Darren and Evelyn – albeit it being one with a much happier ending than the tragic Shakespearean tale. The two actors, who met on the set of Beauty World Musical for the 1998 President’s Star Charity show, were in a secret romance for almost four years before Evelyn’s father finally agreed to their relationship. They could only meet for small pockets of time when he sent her home from work, said Darren. “There was a small playground opposite her landed property estate we’d always have dates for about 5 to 10 minutes there before I sent her home,” he laughed, “I called it our ‘secret garden’.” 

“If it was not for the four years of strong foundation we built, we wouldn’t have four beautiful children today,” shared Darren. 12 years on and four kids later, the family of six will be embarking on an ambitious voyage that will take them to countries as far as Taiwan and Japan on the sea via their boat, Gracefully, this year. Bon Voyage!

Photos: Darren Lim via Instagram

Priscelia Chan and Alan Tern
Priscelia Chan and Alan Tern
11 Feb 2016

Priscelia Chan and Alan Tern

They met on the set of period drama Springs of Life (drama picture on the right), became buddies, started dating and eventually got married. “I was expecting him to propose on his birthday (March 31) but he could tell what was on my mind and did not do so. Instead, he brought me to the beach a week later after filming at 10 plus and proposed at the beach under a very bright moonlight – on bended knee,” Priscelia recalled, when asked to share the story of her marriage proposal.

She said yes – and did so by going down on one knee too, just as Alan did when he said the golden words. And what was her rationale for doing so? “There’s no reason for it – I just did what I thought I should do. In retrospect I think it’s because we’re equals and soulmates, I didn’t think he should be the only one going down on one knee and so I did the same,” she chuckled. Her uncommon way of saying “yes, I do” was eventually adapted and used in a commercial she filmed the very same year too.

Photos: Mediacorp, Priscelia Chan via Facebook

Pan Ling Ling and Huang Shinan
Pan Ling Ling and Huang Shinan
11 Feb 2016

Pan Ling Ling and Huang Shinan

Ling Ling and Shinan have one of the longest running showbiz romances on the Hill – 28 years of being in love and counting. But did you know that it was the lady who made the first move and tried to win the man’s hand in this relationship? It all started with a prank gone wrong by then-16-year-old trainee actress Ling Ling, who wanted to scare a friend but ended up giving then-budding actor Shinan a good shock instead (read more about it in her Toggle Talk interview). 

They got married after dating for nine years and currently have two teenage sons. 19 years into the marriage their love is still going strong -- Shinan recently fulfilled one of Ling Ling’s lifelong dreams of spending a white Christmas in Santa Claus’ hometown with her family by bringing their entire brood to Finland during the recent December holidays. The actress even called it one of the most romantic gestures by her husband to date. Awww… 

Photos: Toggle, Pan Ling Ling via Instagram

Kate Pang and Andie Chen
Kate Pang and Andie Chen
11 Feb 2016

Kate Pang and Andie Chen

Kate and Andie don’t exactly have a specific timeline as to how their relationship blossomed to the next level from buddies to lovers. But, according to Kate, things just happened naturally when they were filming 2013 drama Break Free in Malaysia and had plenty of time to spend with each other since they played lovers on set and had their off days at the same time. It was during these off days that they got to know each other better, realised they shared similar lifestyles and thought they’d make a good fit.

“I prefer to eat clean and Andie had to eat clean because he had serious allergies. So he began asking me for cooking tips, one thing led to another and we started seeing each other,” shared Kate. “If you’re wondering if a relationship begins as per how it is done romantically in dramas, you’re wrong – nothing of this sort happens in real life, ever. (Laughs)”

To further validate her point, we learned that the couple did not celebrate their wedding anniversary for the past two years because they “forgot” all about it. Kate revealed that she was only reminded about her second wedding anniversary when Toggle published a story on the couple in November last year.

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Tay Kewei and Alfred Sim
Tay Kewei and Alfred Sim
11 Feb 2016

Tay Kewei and Alfred Sim

A common love and interest for music brought these two singers together in the early noughties and they started dating for a grand total of nine years before making a trip down the aisle in Jan 2015. Before they said their ‘I dos’, Alfred orchestrated a grand proposal plan that, we think, deserves to be hailed as a ‘spoil market’ worthy surprise.

One evening in May last year, Kewei turned up at a local F&B joint for a singing gig thinking it’d be another night at work. Lo and behold, a montage of their photos started playing and Alfred walked out serenading her with a guitar before he asked her for her hand in marriage. He even invited over 30 close family members and friends to be part of this important moment in their lives – but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Hours after the romantic proposal, Alfred instructed her to pack her bags and whisked her away for a pre-planned vacation cum wedding photoshoot in Japan – with wedding photographers and a dress on standby and waiting for them at the land of the rising sun.

Spoil market? You bet.

Photos: TinyDot Photography, Toggle


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Fann Wong and Christopher Lee
Fann Wong and Christopher Lee
11 Feb 2016

Fann Wong and Christopher Lee

Fann and Chris were paired up for umpteenth times in reel life, before they officially got together for real. No one knows the exact details as to when they started seeing each other (it was believed to have started after Fann broke up with her banker boyfriend in 1999) but we’ve had little hints dropped here and there, especially at past Star Awards ceremonies where they’d be teased by colleagues about their not-so-secretive relationship on national television.

They got married in a highly-publicised event in September 2009 and prior to that had a fully-sponsored wedding photoshoot done in Maldives (courtesy of their ‘ah bu’ David Gan). With proceedings broadcasted live on TV, it was no wonder their union was hailed as one of the biggest weddings in the local industry. They have nicknames like ‘ai ai’ and ‘baby’ for each other and are dubbed by colleagues to be one of the sweetest and most loving couples around. 

Zheng Ge Ping and Hong Hui Fang
Zheng Ge Ping and Hong Hui Fang
11 Feb 2016

Zheng Ge Ping and Hong Hui Fang

The current Mediacorp campus on Caldecott Hill holds plenty of memories for celebrity couple Ge Ping and Hui Fang, especially the bench right outside the makeup unit because that was how it all began for them.

When Ge Ping and Hui Fang were still trainee artistes with the TV station, before they became a couple, our resident "hunkle" would make it a point to “coincidentally” bump into his lady love outside the old artistes rest area, where he would pine after Hui Fang as she strolled in from the Radio Gate. “I’d sit there and wait for her, then pretend to bump into her when she’s on the way to work. I’d never fail to see her there because we have to walk past that area every day since that’s where we gather and leave for our shoots.”

Photos: Toggle, Zheng Ge Ping via Instagram

Related:
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Xiang Yun and Edmund Chen
Xiang Yun and Edmund Chen
11 Feb 2016

Xiang Yun and Edmund Chen

If you asked Xiang Yun, she’d probably call her impulsive decision to marry Edmund at the height of her acting career in 1989 – after three months of dating – the craziest thing she did this lifetime. Recalling the whirlwind romance they had back then, Xiang Yun shared that they both met on the set of a drama and her “heart beat faster” when she was in his company. This giddy feeling of being in love made her say yes when Edmund said they should get married a few months later.

“That was simply crazy! You need a lot longer than three months to know someone! Even now, I tell my friends not to get hitched after just a whirlwind romance. I remember you have to wait one month after getting a queue number before you can register your marriage. Usually, people will take that month to think things through, but reporters found out about us, and our relationship became this big media circus. We went on talk shows, sang love songs together on television … it was like some drama!” said Xiang Yun, in an interview with Channel NewsAsia last year.

Photos: Xiang Yun via Instagram, Ah Cai Lai Kopi

Pierre Png and Andrea De Cruz
Pierre Png and Andrea De Cruz
11 Feb 2016

Pierre Png and Andrea De Cruz

When we talk about love stories in showbiz, it’s hard to forget the modern day fairytale romance featuring Andrea and Pierre after the latter donated part of his liver to his then-girlfriend and now wife who was suffering from liver failure. It’s hard to top this grand love gesture by Pierre in 2002 but what’s the most romantic thing Pierre has ever done for Andrea?

According to the former TV host, it was when he gifted her with VCRs of all her favourite movies which he painstakingly went round finding and collecting when they first began dating. Then a scriptwriter at Mediacorp, Andrea said, “I’d always come back to my desk and find something from him (a basket of presents) and since he was already an actor, he had access to where I was.”

Apart from the VCRs, we learned that Pierre also collated all Andrea’s past interviews done as a psychologist – way before she joined Mediacorp – and put them together in a collage for her.

Guess this goes to show that sometimes it’s really not about the grand gestures, fancy dinners or expensive bouquets. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

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