The top 6 local entertainment newsmakers of 2018

As we prepare to usher in 2019, we look back at Singapore showbiz topics that got us talking this year

The top 6 local entertainment newsmakers of 2018
The top 6 local entertainment newsmakers of 2018
28 Dec 2018

The top 6 local entertainment newsmakers of 2018

This is it, ladies and gentlemen. In just two days, we bid goodbye to the year 2018, which means it’s time once again to make another set of New Year’s resolutions (don’t worry, we won’t ask if you fulfilled this year’s ones or not) and of course, to round up some showbiz news headlines that caused the biggest buzz over the past 12 months, including the happy, the sad, and the heart-breaking.

Read on for more!

More celebrity babies join the club
More celebrity babies join the club
28 Dec 2018

More celebrity babies join the club

The ol’ stork was busy this year, with no less than five sets of famous folks and their other halves welcoming mini-me’s into their families in 2018.

First to arrive on April 26 - just a day after his mama’s birthday - was Marc Fong, son of actress-entrepreneur Cheryl Wee (and grandson of beauty mogul Jean Yip). Then, entering the world 20 days earlier than the estimated due date on July 10 was actor Xu Bin’s baby boy, nicknamed “Xiao Mumu” and “Duo Le”, followed shortly by Mandopop queen Stefanie Sun’s second child, daughter “Poppy”, on July 25.

The next public figure to contribute to Singapore’s birth rate was martial arts shifu Vincent Ng, whose son “Bumblebee” buzzed in on August 30, and finally, Daren Tan’s little girl Vera Mae Tan was born on December 22, just three days shy of being a Christmas baby.

Congrats to all the parents! Please post more adorable photos of your tots on social media for us to coo over, thanks.

Read more:
Vincent Ng has his hands full with two ‘babies’
Cheryl Wee welcomes son one day after 31st birthday
Xu Bin’s sweet suffering for his son
Stefanie Sun gives birth to second child

Photos: Instagram/Vincent Ng, Cheryl Wee, Stefanie Sun, Daren Tan, Xu Bin

Mark Lee opens up about daughter’s sickness
Mark Lee opens up about daughter’s sickness
28 Dec 2018

Mark Lee opens up about daughter’s sickness

Most parents freak out when their child so much as catches a cold or gets a small cut on their finger, but for actor-comedian-towkay Mark Lee and his wife Catherine Ng, they had to deal with their youngest daughter Calynn battling glomerulonephritis, a type of kidney inflammation caused by an autoimmune disease.

While they intended to keep this matter private at first, the brave parents decided to seek help and support from the internet, setting up a Facebook page named ‘Cheers for Calynn Lee’, which has amassed over 15,000 followers (at the time of writing) and still provides semi-regular updates about their “Little Warrior”.

The 5-year-old has indeed displayed extraordinary courage during her ordeal. According to Mark, courageous Calynn does not cry often (despite needing numerous injections) and even “matured overnight”, a sudden change that he can’t explain. We reckon she probably learned a lot from observing her own resilient mum and dad. Jiayou to the family!

Read more:
Mark Lee’s youngest daughter diagnosed with kidney problem
Mark Lee on turning 50 and coping with his daughter’s illness: ‘Life goes on’

Photos: Facebook/Cheers for Calynn Lee

Star wars: the wrath of the aunties
Star wars: the wrath of the aunties
28 Dec 2018

Star wars: the wrath of the aunties

Admit it: you couldn’t look away from all the Mean Girls-esque drama surrounding veteran actresses Pan Ling Ling and Hong Hui Fang, whose falling out was splashed across newspapers and websites for a period of time in the middle of this year.

The feud came to light when a Chinese tabloid published a series of damning text messages that Hui Fang had sent to her and Ling Ling’s mutual friends in the industry, accusing the latter of bullying her over the years and making hurtful remarks about her children, Tay Ying and Calvert Tay.

Julie Tan, who was then rumoured to be dating Calvert, was also roped into the saga when it was revealed that Ling Ling had suggested Calvert take precautions against sexually transmitted diseases, which was viewed as a thinly veiled attack on Julie’s relationship history.

All the Channel 8 dramas in the world had nothing on this real-life situation going on.

Read more:
Pan Ling Ling apologises to Julie Tan and family: ‘I don’t mean harm’
Hong Hui Fang: My kids learned a good lesson from the recent conflict

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Star wars: the #reporter and the #arrow
Star wars: the #reporter and the #arrow
28 Dec 2018

Star wars: the #reporter and the #arrow

A slightly less theatrical altercation happened just about a month prior to the war of the aunties. This time, it involved Elvin Ng and a less-than-flattering local news report claiming that he had fallen out of favour with upper management, thus being “relegated” to non-primetime shows on Channel 8.

The odd conjecture eventually fell flat as he soon went on to appear on 9pm dramas Gifted and Heart to Heart (we still wonder why taking on a wider variety of projects should be viewed as punishment, but we digress).

The famously frank actor fought back on social media with a subtle yet creative post that pondered, “Why does a #reporter hold a pen, thinking it’s an #arrow?” In our exclusive interview, he explained to us that he chose to speak up because, “I believe I have a platform to stand for something and be a role model for my supporters. I always say, ‘Justice diminished anywhere is justice diminished everywhere’, so I have to address it.”

Read more:
Elvin Ng: I’m not here for haters to feed on

Photos: Instagram/Elvin Ng

Kit Chan, Jacelyn Tay announce respective divorces
Kit Chan, Jacelyn Tay announce respective divorces
28 Dec 2018

Kit Chan, Jacelyn Tay announce respective divorces

While there were a number of happy couples taking their relationships to the next level this year, we also learned of the demise of two marriages, namely, those of former actress Jacelyn Tay and businessman Brian Wong (after eight years), as well as Singapore’s “national treasure” Kit Chan and her banker ex-husband known only as Han (after five years).

Kit’s split had actually happened last year, but she chose only to reveal it in an interview in February this year so that she could avoid answering questions about Valentine’s Day plans. Jacelyn, on the other hand, dropped the bomb about being in the final stage of divorce proceedings in November, and requested for everyone to give her and her son Zavier “a peaceful Christmas”.

We wish everyone involved all the best, and for 2019 to hold beautiful new beginnings for them.

Read more:
Jacelyn Tay announces divorce from husband
Newly-single Kit Chan opens up about her divorce

Photos: Toggle, Instagram/Jacelyn Tay

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ makes waves around the world
‘Crazy Rich Asians’ makes waves around the world
28 Dec 2018

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ makes waves around the world

Our little red dot doesn’t exactly lack international publicity (for better or worse), but seeing how prominently the city was featured in the highly anticipated big screen adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s bestseller was an excitement on a whole new level for Lion City residents.

The increase in global exposure was also a plus for our tourism industry - with reported spikes in travel searches and bookings - and of course, for beloved familiar faces such as Pierre Png, Fiona Xie, Tan Kheng Hua and more, who were put out there on a stage bigger than any of their wildest dreams. Who else felt an immense surge of #localpride seeing them rock the teal carpet at the Hollywood premiere?

For those who couldn’t get enough of Fiona’s fleeting appearance as the gold-digging Kitty Pong in the first film, the good news is that we could be seeing more of her in the sequel China Rich Girlfriend, in which her character has a meatier role. Rawr.

Read more:
8 roles Fiona Xie did before becoming Kitty Pong in 'Crazy Rich Asians'
Singapore stars at ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Hollywood premiere
Pierre Png has group chat with ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ co-stars

Photos: TPG

Vivian Lai ends long-time endorsement deal with Pokka
Vivian Lai ends long-time endorsement deal with Pokka
28 Dec 2018

Vivian Lai ends long-time endorsement deal with Pokka

It looks like we’ll have to get used to not seeing the Taiwan-born actress-host in advertisements and on vending machines for the Japanese beverage giant, flashing her dazzling smile as she gracefully holds up a bottle of green tea. In October, Mediacorp officially confirmed that Vivian had completed a three-year endorsement deal with Pokka, and that she will not be renewing her contract with them. She was the face of the brand for 10 years.

While they claimed that the partnership “concluded on a positive note”, the statement came not long after news broke that Vivian’s husband, Alain Ong, had been suspended from his position as Pokka International’s CEO as part of a major shake-up among higher management.

Neither party has personally commented on the matter, but it certainly hasn’t stopped Vivian from posting her usual perky photos on Instagram, or from diving back into work, as diligent, energetic and professional as always.

Photos: Facebook/Pokka Singapore

More round-up stories:
Celebs who got married in 2018
Celebrity babies who joined the pack in 2018
How local celebs spent Christmas

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