Legal Mavericks and The Unholy Alliance win big at StarHub TVB Awards

SINGAPORE - For the first time at the StarHub TVB Awards, there was a two-way tie for the biggest winner of the night. Crime-detective drama Legal Mavericks and action crime-thriller The Unholy Alliance both notched up five awards each. The eighth edition of the glitzy affair was held on Saturday night (Oct 21) at Marina Bay Sands.

Legal Mavericks was the dark horse of the night and their big awards haul was surprising to many given the more controversial topics that the show explores, such as nudity as a form of art, the legality of euthanasia, animal rights and societal reaction towards the transgender and homosexual communities.

Their trophies included My Favourite TVB Actor for Vincent Wong, 34, for his convincing portrayal of a blind lawyer, and My Favourite TVB Actress for Ali Lee, 34, who plays a headstrong and insubordinate judge.

He had previously won the award for My Favourite TVB Supporting Actor in 2015 and was also part of this year's Favourite TVB On-screen Couple alongside Natalie Tong for their roles as Saving and Cherry in the show My Unfair Lady.

Wong, who won for the first time in the My Favourite TVB Actor category, was handed his award by a very emotional Nancy Wu, a long-time co-star and friend.

An equally emotional Wong recalled his family's insistence that he stop acting classes for fear that he would end up as an extra. He later went into singing before being signed by TVB.

Thanking his co-stars and wife, he ended his speech saying: "Lastly I'd like to say thanks to my grandfather, I hope I proved that I could be more than just calafare."

The winning duo of the night were among the more than 25 Hong Kong stars who attended the event, much to the delight of the 1,500-strong crowd.

Other notable award winners this year were Roxanne Tong and Brian Tse, who won the TVB Best New Artiste awards, and Owen Cheung and Jacqueline Wong, who won My Favourite TVB Supporting Actor and Actress awards. The Unholy Alliance took home the biggest award of the night, My Favourite TVB Drama.

Though time-travel comedy drama, The General, The Scholar And The Eunuch, starring Edwin Siu, Kristal Tin, Raymond Cho and Matthew Ho, led the pack with 15 nominations, it picked up only three awards, one winner in the favourite TV character female category and two in the male category.

Hot on its heels with 14 nominations were Legal Mavericks and TVB's first 4K high-resolution television series, My Unfair Lady. The Unholy Alliance had 13 nominations and it featured the same cast as martial arts drama The Fist Within Four Walls, the biggest winner at the StarHub TVB Awards last year with seven gongs.

Throughout the night, the mood was lively thanks to the banter from veteran host Lawrence Cheng and upcoming variety hosts Luk Ho Ming and Mayanne Mak. The crowd was also entertained by performances from Hong Kong singers G.E.M. and George Lam, Singaporean singer-songwriter Hanjin Tan and local acappella group, MICappella.

This year the awards featured a total of 15 categories, of which 12 were open for public voting. A special 25th Anniversary award was also presented in celebration of the silver jubilee of StarHub and TVB's partnership for the most popular TVB drama male and female characters.

It was taken home by Wayne Lai for his role as Chai Kau in the 2009 hit drama Rosy Business and Nancy Sit for her role as Leung Yun Ho in A Kindred Spirit (1995-1999), one of the longest running TVB dramas.

The StarHub TVB Awards 2017 will air on-demand starting Saturday on channel Hub Drama First (StarHub TV Channel 860) in the original Cantonese. It will also air on Hub VV Drama (StarHub TV Channel 855) on 4 November and on Hub E City (StarHub TV Channel 111/825) on 11 November at 7pm in Mandarin.