Real-life ‘noona romances’ we are rooting for

Move over, oppa

Soundtrack of their lives: 'Noona Neomu Yeppo' (Noona, you're so pretty) by SHINee
Soundtrack of their lives: 'Noona Neomu Yeppo' (Noona, you're so pretty) by SHINee
23 Aug 2017

Soundtrack of their lives: 'Noona Neomu Yeppo' (Noona, you're so pretty) by SHINee

Love is an eternal promise, something that doesn’t take into account nationalities, height, social standing, financial power - and age. 

The entertainment industry is full of May-December relationships, with a notable amount of older women marrying younger men these days, giving rise to the trendy term called “noona romances” (what is used to describe a relationship between an older woman and younger guy in Korean dramas).

From the much-talked about Song-Song couple in South Korea (Song Hye Kyo is four years older than Song Joong Ki), to local lovebirds Jesseca Liu and Jeremy Chan, who recently tied the knot, it’s no longer out-of-the-ordinary for an older woman to romance—and marry—a younger guy. We look at 14 real-life showbiz couples who have proved that age is just a number.

Song Hye Kyo, 36, Song Joong Ki, 32
Song Hye Kyo, 36, Song Joong Ki, 32
22 Aug 2017

Song Hye Kyo, 36, Song Joong Ki, 32

Age gap: 4 years
Relationship Status: Tying the knot on October 31 2017

For those who’ve been living under a rock these few months, yes, the famed Song-Song couple from Korean drama, Descendants of the Suns, are getting a happily-ever-after in real life.

According to Korean media, the matchmaker responsible for bringing the power couple, who will be getting married in October, together is none other than fellow A-lister, South Korean actor Jo Insung. The actor had actually introduced the lovebirds to each other in 2013, sparking off their friendship. He later recommended Joong Ki for the role of Yoo Shijin in Descendants of the Sun, allowing the actor, who had always admired Song Hye Kyo, a chance to get closer to her.

However, their relationship was not without their pitfalls. It was reported that Joong Ki’s father was strongly against the relationship at first, as Hye Kyo is older than his son. Luckily, the reports later proved to be false, with Joong Ki’s father revealing in a later interview that he had never said anything like that, and that he respected his son’s decisions.

Moments that melted everyone’s heart
Moments that melted everyone’s heart
22 Aug 2017

Moments that melted everyone’s heart

According to industry insiders, when Joong Ki first confessed to his co-star, his confession was not immediately accepted. However, Hye Kyo was eventually moved by his relentless pursuit, and the rest’s history.

When they turned up together at award ceremonies as well, Joong Ki’s gentlemanly behaviour towards Hye Kyo earned him the respect of everyone. And when the actor bagged the daesang (grand prize award) at the Seoul International Drama Awards last year, he also made sure to include his wife-to-be in his thank-you speech, saying, “If Song Hye Kyo wasn’t around, the filming process would have been so much harder for me. I’m really very grateful to her.”

Whilst his speech was devoid of any flashy love confessions, considering that their relationship was still kept under wraps at that point in time, his simple gesture was a nice way to cap off 2016.

Related:
Song Joong Ki, Song Hye Kyo to marry on October 31
Song Joong Ki: I might not work with Song Hye Kyo on future projects

Jesseca Liu, 38, Jeremy Chan, 36
Jesseca Liu, 38, Jeremy Chan, 36
22 Aug 2017

Jesseca Liu, 38, Jeremy Chan, 36

Age gap: 2 years
Relationship Status: Tied the knot on July 16, 2017 

Singapore’s very own “Double J” couple, Jesseca and Jeremy strove to keep their relationship under wraps for years, with Jesseca only announcing that she’s in a stable relationship in early 2016.

Although they had yet to admit that they were seeing each other then, rumours spread fast, and soon, netizens were leaving malicious comments regarding the couple’s height difference, age gap, and more.

In an interview last year, after finally coming clean about their relationship, Jesseca showed her love for Jeremy when she admitted, "I feel that all this time, he's been the one who has suffered a bit more, but I've always told him that how others view him isn't important, and that the only thing he should concern himself with is what I think of him.”

Moments that melted everyone’s hearts
Moments that melted everyone’s hearts
22 Aug 2017

Moments that melted everyone’s hearts

The couple tied the knot in an intimate ceremony in Jesseca’s hometown, Langkawi, Malaysia this year, to the delight of many. 

After years of hush-hush dating and non-answers, the public finally got their much sought after dose of sweetness when the couple’s wedding vows to each other were revealed.

"Baby, July 16 is a day I'll remember for the rest of my life. During the past three years with you, you've taught me: acceptance, toleration and height are not problems. Thank you," said Jeremy in his wedding vows.

"I promise to kiss you before I leave the house and kiss you before bedtime. PS: I'll kiss you even if I don't brush my teeth," he continued. "If I can only love you for four days, make that spring, summer, autumn and winter. If I can only love you for three days, make that yesterday, today and tomorrow. If I can only love you for two days, that will be in good and bad times. If I can only love you for a day, make that every living day. I love you, my dearest wife."

In her vows to Jeremy, Jesseca said: "Ever since you got together with me, you've heard the worst things - thankfully you have a big heart and took it all in stride. You often tell me that I'm your best friend on earth, your best buddy, your best sister, your best travel and shopping kaki, I'm also your wife now.

"I will use the rest of my lifetime to learn how to be a good wife. Thank you for your determination and for not giving up, which gave me a chance to be your wife."

Related:
Jeremy Chan, Jesseca Liu's beach wedding in pictures

Kiki Ting, 33, Yoga Lin, 30
Kiki Ting, 33, Yoga Lin, 30
22 Aug 2017

Kiki Ting, 33, Yoga Lin, 30

Age gap: 3 years
Relationship status: Tied the knot in January 2017

After Yoga Lin’s high-profile four-year relationship with fellow singer G.E.M Tang ended, Yoga started Taiwanese designer Kiki Ting, who he would later go on to marry.

The couple registered their marriage in January this year, and held a small but stunning forest-themed ceremony in Karuizawa, Japan, followed by a larger party in Taipei itself. The glitzy shindig in Taipei was attended by S.H.E members and Taiwanese singer-actresses Selina Jen and Hebe Tien, as well as Mickey Huang, Cyndi Wang, and more.

Moments that melted everyone’s hearts
Moments that melted everyone’s hearts
22 Aug 2017

Moments that melted everyone’s hearts

Yoga, who has always been a private person, surprised his fans recently by uploading a picture of the happy couple, captioning it, “Usually, I’d feel embarrassed to post pictures of us together, but my wife looks too beautiful in this picture, so I must share this picture with everyone.”

The couple also lead a very simple life together. Kiki, who used to be a singer, gradually left the entertainment industry after opening her own coffee shop. Yoga will often head over to the coffee shop at night to help Kiki close up for the night, before heading to a nearby movie theatre to spend some quality time together.

Yoga also confessed his love for Kiki during their wedding party in Japan, saying, “Today is a very special day, as we’re surrounded by everyone’s well-wishes. We were originally two very different people. I’m too emotional, while you’re more logical. But, I really like this side of you, [as] it makes up for my weaknesses. Thank you for choosing to be my companion, trusting me, and being willing to go through the ups and downs of my life. I will practice to become a good husband, in the hopes of allowing you to become the happiest person [in the world]”.

Kiki then replied to his confession by saying, “You are the most kind and honest person I’ve ever met. Your kindness and sincerity is something that I always want to protect. Being able to become one of the driving forces supporting your dreams, is something that I’m happy to be, and proud of. In the future, I will always support you, and give you the strength that you need.”

Related:
Yoga Lin, Kiki Ting hold forest-themed wedding in Taipei
Yoga Lin, Kiki Ting tie the knot in Japan

Aisa Senda, 35, Zhou Ming Fu, 30
Aisa Senda, 35, Zhou Ming Fu, 30
22 Aug 2017

Aisa Senda, 35, Zhou Ming Fu, 30

Age gap: 5 years
Relationship status: Tied the knot in June 2017

After dating for over three years, the ex-member of hip-hop group Da Mouth registered her marriage with the Taiwanese actor in April 2016.

In mid-June this year, Aisa and Ming Fu kicked off their wedding festivities with a ceremony in Aisa’s hometown of Okinawa, Japan, before heading back to Taipei for another celebration.


Moments that melted everyone’s heart
Moments that melted everyone’s heart
22 Aug 2017

Moments that melted everyone’s heart

During an interview together, the newly-weds revealed that Aisa first fell for Ming Fu when they were on a night-cycling trip with the other Da Mouth members. Ming Fu had melted her heart when he rode up to her and declared, “Don’t be afraid, I’ll protect you.”

Related:
Da Mouth reunites at Aisa’s Taipei wedding
Da Mouth’s Aisa reveals wedding photos

Ruby Lin, 41, Wallace Huo, 38
Ruby Lin, 41, Wallace Huo, 38
22 Aug 2017

Ruby Lin, 41, Wallace Huo, 38

Age gap: 3 years
Relationship status: Tied the knot in July 2016

“It turns out that happiness has never been that far away from me afterall.”

After being friends for close to a decade, celebrity couple Ruby and Wallace decided to take their friendship to the next level, eventually tying the knot and welcoming their very own bundle of joy.

Although they have always been relatively low-key regarding their relationship, the couple was recently seen traipsing the streets and visiting a temple to obtain blessings for their little daughter earlier this year, as well as holidaying in Japan.

When Ruby guested on the talk show, Date With Xiao Yan in June this year, the tight-lipped actress shared that Wallace, who is a “stiff” and “boring” person by nature, had proposed to her after they had watched a Sandy Lam concert together.

“When we got home, there was a sudden strange smell and I saw candles on the floor. He had invited a lot of people to my house and then he proposed!” she shared, with the host, Hsiao-yen exclaiming, “I feel like Wallace has actually waited for you for a while, not daring to fall in love with you, and biding his time.”

Moments that melted everyone’s heart
Moments that melted everyone’s heart
22 Aug 2017

Moments that melted everyone’s heart

When Ruby was looking for an actor to play the role of the male lead in the drama The Glamourous Imperial ConcubineWallace rejected her twice because he was neck deep in work, but eventually relented when the actress persisted with her offer, even though he had no time to take on another project.

Ruby also let on that she admires how Wallace is kind and a filial son, with Ruby manager remarking that Wallace is someone who will even “take care of everyone around Ruby, a meticulous man”.

When the couple was almost mobbed by their fans and the media after appearing together at a Sandy Lam concert, Wallace also made sure to protect Ruby by supporting her, and ensuring that she was the first to leave the venue.

Related:
How did Wallace Huo propose to Ruby Lin?
Ruby Lin, Wallace Huo say ‘I do’ in Bali

Christy Chung, 47, Golden Zhang, 35
Christy Chung, 47, Golden Zhang, 35
22 Aug 2017

Christy Chung, 47, Golden Zhang, 35

Age gap: 12 years
Relationship status: Tied the knot in November 2016

Canadian actress Christy Chung, who is a single mother to three daughters from her two previous marriages, Yasmine Ross, 19, Jaden Yen, 9, and Cayla Yen, 7, joined the dating reality show If You Love two years ago, and hit it off swimmingly with her assigned partner, Chinese actor Golden Zhang, who’s 12 years her junior.

On June 6 last year, the couple took their relationship to the next level when Golden proposed during the recording for an episode of the third season of If You Love.

As Christy missed out on the opportunity to don a wedding gown during her previous two marriages, the couple went all out with their pre-wedding photoshoot, with a mermaid and Chinese opera-themed shoot, and did a pictorial spread in Bali wearing their wedding best.

Moments that melted everyone’s hearts
Moments that melted everyone’s hearts
22 Aug 2017

Moments that melted everyone’s hearts

Christy and Golden initially faced media backlash and disapproval when they announced their relationship, but they have proved that love know no boundaries after dating for a year, and decided to get married after Golden proposed last June. They have since received countless blessings from the public and their friends.

Golden has also readily accepted Christy’s three daughters, and has received the seal of approval from them. The actor also managed to charm Christie’s parents, despite the language barrier between them, as they cannot speak Chinese.

“My parents have slowly come to find Golden very kind, and responsible. Although he’s young, he takes care of his family well, so they’ve accepted our relationship. My dad really likes the fact that he doesn’t smoke and drink, instead preferring to exercise, just like him.”

Annie Yi, 48, Qin Hao, 39
Annie Yi, 48, Qin Hao, 39
22 Aug 2017

Annie Yi, 48, Qin Hao, 39

Age gap: 9 years
Relationship status: Tied the knot in June 2015

Annie and Qin Hao first met on the set of Rock Hero in 2013, they hit it off and went public with their relationship the following year when they appeared on the red carpet of the Berlin Film Festival hand-in-hand. In 2015, the lovebirds tied the knot, with their bundle of joy, Milly Qin, joining the family-of-three last year.

Moments that melted everyone’s hearts
Moments that melted everyone’s hearts
22 Aug 2017

Moments that melted everyone’s hearts

Annie once revealed that Qin Hao gives her a sense of security, and protects her, just like a father does.

When the duo first attended an event together, Qin Hao saw that Annie was uncomfortable on-stage, as she was being treated like a “standee” for people to take pictures with. At that point in time, the actor immediately walked on stage and whisked Annie away, just like what Prince Charming would do for a damsel in distress.

Related:
Qin Hao promises Annie Yi: Till death do us part
Annie Yi marries Qin Hao in Phuket

Alyssa Chia, 43, Xiu Jie Kai, 34
Alyssa Chia, 43, Xiu Jie Kai, 34
22 Aug 2017

Alyssa Chia, 43, Xiu Jie Kai, 34

Age gap: 9 years
Relationship status: Tied the knot in May 2015

Alyssa Chia found love with Xiu Jie Kai five years after a bitter divorce from her first husband, Chinese businessman Sun Zhi Hao. The couple were introduced to each other through Alyssa’s younger brother and Jie Kai was supposed to help train her for a race, but the couple found their way to each other’s hearts.

After admitting to their relationship in 2014, Alyssa and Jie Kai went on to welcome their first daughter, Bubu, in 2015 and their youngest daughter, Bobo, in March this year.

Moments that melted everyone’s hearts
Moments that melted everyone’s hearts
22 Aug 2017

Moments that melted everyone’s hearts

Alyssa shared that she has always treated Jie Kai like a friend and younger brother. However, during a drinking session together, Jie Kai reached out to pat Alyssa’s head before he left, reminding her to sleep early, to the surprise of Alyssa.

From then on, their relationship slowly progressed and it dawned on Alyssa, who is an independent woman, that she didn’t mind having another person in her life as well.

“The best thing about being together with Jie Kai is heading to the market together to buy groceries for the week.  It’s the best marriage, and the simplest form of happiness,” Alyssa once said, when asked about her life together with the actor.

Related:
Alyssa Chia, Xiu Jie Kai spend Valentine’s Day in Tokyo
Alyssa Chia, Xiu Jie Kai hold an intimate family gathering

Chen Zi Han, 39, Dai Xiangyu (formerly known as Dai Yang Tian), 33
Chen Zi Han, 39, Dai Xiangyu (formerly known as Dai Yang Tian), 33
22 Aug 2017

Chen Zi Han, 39, Dai Xiangyu (formerly known as Dai Yang Tian), 33

Age gap: 6 years
Relationship status: Tied the knot in December 2016

The lovebirds, who are under the same management agency, registered their marriage in May last year after dating for close to a year. Zi Han and Xiangyu then tied the knot in a fairytale ceremony in Barcelona, Spain’s Castell de Santa Florentina, where Korean drama, Legend of the Blue Sea, was filmed, in December last year.


Moments that melted everyone’s hearts
Moments that melted everyone’s hearts
22 Aug 2017

Moments that melted everyone’s hearts

Zi Han revealed that the first time the couple set eyes on each other was when Xiangyu hitched a ride with her, as they were guesting on the same programme. The minute Xiangyu set foot in the car, he immediately passed the actress a bento box filled with food for her, touching her heart with his kind action.

After they started dating, Zi Han and Xiangyu were often separated in different cities due to work. Once, the actress was on the phone with Xiangyu, who was overseas, as she walked her dog alone at night. Once Xiangyu found out that she was out alone, he immediately urged her to return home soon, as it was dangerous for a lady to be out alone at night.

Xiangyu also shared with Toggle that even though they are in a May-December relationship, his personality is more serious, while Zi Han is more childlike, so they fit together perfectly.

Tavia Yeung, 38, Him Law, 33
Tavia Yeung, 38, Him Law, 33
22 Aug 2017

Tavia Yeung, 38, Him Law, 33

Age gap: 5 years
Relationship status:  Tied the knot in October 2016

Tavia and Him’s relationship was not viewed favourably by the public when they first announced their relationship, as Tavia was at the peak of her career, while Him was not a top-tier actor yet. Him was also plagued by reports that he had cheated on Tavia, plus his ex-girlfriend also alleged that he was violent towards her, adding fuel to the fire. However, the couple braved through the odds, and eventually tied the knot after dating for six years

Moments that melted everyone’s hearts
Moments that melted everyone’s hearts
22 Aug 2017

Moments that melted everyone’s hearts

This couple’s love for each other can be seen in the smallest of things. For example, on Instagram, Him only follows Tavia’s account, and no one else. Similarly, Tavia only follows 60 of her closest friends, and Him.

During their ceremony in England, Him also thanked Tavia for being the “only one who has wholeheartedly supported me” throughout their six-year relationship.

Gao Yuanyuan, 38, Mark Chao 33
Gao Yuanyuan, 38, Mark Chao 33
22 Aug 2017

Gao Yuanyuan, 38, Mark Chao 33

Age gap: 5 years
Relationship status: Tied the knot in November 2014

“Movies can make a relationship appear more appealing. All females wish to have some romance [in their lives], but [a] romantic [relationship] can be dangerous as well. I value honesty and kindness over being romantic in my ideal type, as it’s something excessive for me,” Gao Yuanyuan once said, when asked about love.

The actress first got to know Mark when they starred alongside each other in the movie, Caught in the Web. Though they were tragically separated on-screen, off-screen, their relationship blossomed, eventually tying the knot after dating for two years.

“Many of my friends told me that my ideal type simply doesn’t exist in this world, once they heard of my requirements. However, after I met Mark, I realised that my previous “ideal type” barely scraped the surface of an ideal man, [which is Mark],” the actress shared, in an interview after tying the knot with Mark.

Related:
Mark Chao, Gao Yuanyuan display their love

Moments that melted everyone’s hearts
Moments that melted everyone’s hearts
22 Aug 2017

Moments that melted everyone’s hearts

The couple chose to keep their relationship low-key, though it was revealed that Mark had taken the initiative to go after Yuanyuan, after filming for their movie had wrapped up.

According to industry insiders, Mark matches Yuanyuan’s ideal type to a tee, with his mature and respectful manners.

Barbie Hsu, 41, Wang Xiaofei, 36
Barbie Hsu, 41, Wang Xiaofei, 36
22 Aug 2017

Barbie Hsu, 41, Wang Xiaofei, 36

Age gap: 5 years
Relationship status: Tied the knot in March 2011

Barbie and Xiaofei got to know each other after being introduced by a mutual friend, Taiwanese actress Ady An. It was love at first sight for them, with the couple getting engaged less than a month after first setting eyes on each other. Though they only met four times before deciding to get married, it was more than enough for the couple to know that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together.

Six years after tying the knot in 2011, the happy couple now have two bundles of joy, a daughter Wang Xiyue, 3, and a son Wang Xilin, 1.

Moments that melted everyone’s hearts
Moments that melted everyone’s hearts
22 Aug 2017

Moments that melted everyone’s hearts

Though Xiaofei is busy with his work, often jetting off to different countries on business trips, he makes sure to call Barbie every day for a chat, as he misses her. He also makes sure to do something special for her every year on her birthday, often holding a small party for her, as Barbie dislikes celebrating her birthday.

In May last year, Xiaofei also announced the name of the latest hotel he was opening, ‘S Hotel’, which is named after none other than Barbie herself.

Related:
Wang Xiaofei dismisses family discord rumours

Michelle Chen, 34, Chen Xiao, 30
Michelle Chen, 34, Chen Xiao, 30
22 Aug 2017

Michelle Chen, 34, Chen Xiao, 30

Age gap: 4 years
Relationship status: Tied the knot in July 2016

This reel-to-real-life couple started dating after working together on the drama, The Romance of the Condor Heroes. They announced their relationship in August 2015, with Chen Xiao proposing in Paris at the end of the year. In December 2016, the couple welcomed their first child, a son nicknamed “Little Star.”

Moments that melted everyone’s hearts
Moments that melted everyone’s hearts
22 Aug 2017

Moments that melted everyone’s hearts

Chen Xiao once confessed that before he met Michelle, he had never thought of getting married in the future, jokingly describing himself as a “little boy.” However, after meeting Michelle, his thoughts on marriage and tying the knot changed completely.

“Meeting her was like getting shocked by a bolt of lightning,” he shared in an interview.

Michelle also shared that she used to be very afraid of getting married just for the sake of it, but all her fears were washed away once she met Chen Xiao, as she felt that he was someone worth marrying.

Related:
Michelle Chen, Chen Xiao’s wedding photos revealed
Michelle Chen, Chen Xiao welcome baby boy

Goo Hye Sun, 33, Ahn Jae Hyun, 30
Goo Hye Sun, 33, Ahn Jae Hyun, 30
22 Aug 2017

Goo Hye Sun, 33, Ahn Jae Hyun, 30

Age gap: 3 years
Relationship status: Tied the knot in May 2016

Yet another reel-to-real-life couple, Hye Sun and Jae Hyun met on the set of the vampire drama, Blood.

The couple, who were once so awkward with each other that a kiss scene took over three hours to film, soon fell in love, even moving into the same apartment complex so that it was easier for them to date.

After dating for a year, they tied the knot in a low-key ceremony in May last year, with a hefty donation to charity as part of their celebrations.

Moments that melted everyone’s hearts
Moments that melted everyone’s hearts
22 Aug 2017

Moments that melted everyone’s hearts

Though this moment only came to light after the news of their relationship broke, fans of the couple have brought up the lovebird’s joint appearance at the 2015 KBS Drama Awards as a testament of their love.

As the couple emerged from their car and prepared to walk the red carpet, Jae Hyun naturally reached out to hold hands with his co-star, only for Hye Sun to move his hand away in favour of holding on to his elbow instead, to protect their relationship.

SPECIAL MENTION: Faye Wong, 48, Nicholas Tse 37
SPECIAL MENTION: Faye Wong, 48, Nicholas Tse 37
22 Aug 2017

SPECIAL MENTION: Faye Wong, 48, Nicholas Tse 37

Age gap: 11 years

Faye and Nicholas first admitted to their relationship in 2001, 16 years ago. However, their relationship was on-again, off-again, with the couple eventually calling it quits in 2003.

Two years later, Faye tied the knot with her second husband, Chinese actor Li Yapeng, with Nicholas following suit a year later, registering his marriage with Hong Kong singer-actress Cecilia Cheung.

Alas, both their marriages eventually ended in divorce, with Faye being spotted at home together with Nicholas a few years later, giving rise to rumours that the former flames had rekindled their relationship.

Since then, the couple has been spotted going overseas on vacations and spending more and more time together, with frequent rumours of marriage plaguing their relationship.

Moments that melted everyone’s hearts

According to Cecilia’s younger brother, Nicholas used to smoke and was addicted to computer gaming, even ignoring his sons in favour of gaming.

However, once he rekindled his relationship with Faye, he changed for the better, setting his games aside and revamping his life, all for love.

SPECIAL MENTION: Felicia Chin, 33, Jeffrey Xu, 29
SPECIAL MENTION: Felicia Chin, 33, Jeffrey Xu, 29
22 Aug 2017

SPECIAL MENTION: Felicia Chin, 33, Jeffrey Xu, 29

Age gap: 4 years

Felicia and Jeffrey admitted to their relationship after dating in secret for close to ten months, choosing to reveal it in October, as both their birthdays fell on that month.

The couple had their fair share of rude comments from netizens, after going public, due to the fact that Felicia is more well-known. But Jeffrey remains unfazed by the negativity and shared that he doesn’t mind these comments. The couple will be reaching the two-year mark in their relationship soon and are set to play a reel-life couple in Channel 8 longform series, Life Less Ordinary.

Moments that melted everyone’s hearts

Jeffrey, who took the initiative to confess to Felicia first, has often stated his desire to start his own family here in Singapore.

Thus, when he confessed with the words, “Are you willing to start a family here with me?,” to Felicia, it was no surprise that the actress immediately said yes, kicking off their relationship. Felicia and Jeffrey also aren’t afraid of showing off their love for each other in public and on social media, with numerous sweet pictures of the couple posing together uploaded on their respective Instagram accounts.

Life Less Ordinary debuts October 2, 7:30PM on Channel 8.

Related:
May-December celebrity couples who found love

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