Hong Kong TV veteran Liza Wang was the biggest winner with three nods at the annual StarHub TVB Awards held last Saturday at Marina Bay Sands.
She and actor Adam Cheng took home the commemorative Star of the Stars, an award introduced this year for artists who have "forged a strong affinity with local audiences across his or her multiple roles throughout the years".
Speaking to the local media after the show, Wang, 68, says: "If you ask me to pick a classic character, I simply can't. I put a lot of effort into breathing life into each character.
"If I say Chiu Man (The Heaven Sword And Dragon Saber, 1978), I'll be sorry to Fok Siu Yuk (Legend Of The Purple Hairpin, 1975)."
She made her TVB debut in 1971 as a host on variety show Enjoy Yourself Tonight and went on to become one of TVB's leading actresses with memorable roles such as a difficult mother-in-law in period comedy Wars Of In-Laws (2005).
Some of the winners
Star of the Stars
Liza Wang and Adam Cheng
My Favourite TVB Actress
Liza Wang (Limelight Years)
My Favourite TVB Actor
Ruco Chan (Captain Of Destiny)
My Favourite TVB Supporting Actress
Rosina Lam (Young Charioteers)
My Favourite TVB Supporting Actor
Vincent Wong (Tomorrow is Another Day)
Best New TVB Artiste
My Favourite TVB Variety Programme
My Favourite TVB Variety Show Host
Adam Cheng, Liza Wang and Jerry Lamb
My Favourite TVB Infotainment Programme
Not Far But Away
My Favourite TVB On-Screen Couple
Edwin Siu and Priscilla Wong (Madam Cutie On Duty)
My Favourite TVB Drama
Captain Of Destiny
She counts her recent drama Limelight Years (2015) as a good project that is hard to come by. In it, she plays a career-minded singer who wants to reclaim missed moments with her family. For the role, she won the My Favourite TVB Actress award last Saturday night.
Wang also shared the My Favourite TVB Variety Show Host award with her Sunday Songbird co-hosts Cheng and Jerry Lamb.
Cheng, 68, said: "It looks like if I want to win a hosting award, I can't leave her."
The pair have worked together in dramas. They are regarded as TVB's golden couple of the 1970s, romancing each other in classics such as wuxia drama Romance Of The Book And Sword (1976).
The Heaven Sword And Dragon Saber is Cheng's favourite drama, "because I shared some intense, intimate moments with Liza", he explained with a cheeky glint in his eye.
The younger actors who attended the show here were in awe of Cheng and Wang.
Actress Linda Chung, 31, said: "I admire them so much, they are an inspiration. They've been in the industry for so long. Besides being good entertainers, they are super humble people. That's something I admire and want to learn from them."
Actress Selena Li, 34, recalls renting tapes to watch Cheng's classic stock-market drama The Greed Of Man (1992) when she was growing up in Canada.
"It's one of my favourites. I watched the recent rerun in Hong Kong. It's so intense, the acting is so amazing. Even when I watched it again, I cried my eyes out. My eyes were all swollen. I've bought the DVD so that I can rewatch it."
The gala ceremony, which is a fan event here organised by Hong Kong TV station TVB and local cable operator StarHub, is in its sixth year. This year's theme was Walk Down Memory Lane, "a timely round-up to Singapore's Jubilee celebrations". The event was conducted in Cantonese.
A total of 33 awards were presented in 17 categories; 14 of which were decided by public votes.
In an ode to TVB history, Cheng showed off his vocal range when he belted out the theme songs of his dramas such as Chor Lau Heung (1979), while Singapore's musical cabaret trio Dim Sum Dollies dressed up as iconic TV characters.
Pamela Oei was the loving matriarch Auntie Hao from long-running family drama A Kindred Spirit (1995-1999), Denise Tan was the dapper Hui Man-keung from mafia classic The Bund (1980) and Selena Tan was the ethereal Small Dragon Girl from period drama The Return Of The Condor Heroes (1983).
Two other big winners of the night were actor Edwin Siu and actress Priscilla Wong.
The pair, who play police officer lovers in the drama Madam Cutie On Duty, won the My Favourite TVB On-screen Couple award.
They also became an item in real life. Siu, 38, got the crowd to sing Happy Birthday to his 34-year-old girlfriend, whose birthday was last Friday.
During backstage interviews before the show, he said: "We sat next to each other on the plane here. We had a few hours to chat to each other. We have been really busy.
"Today, it doesn't matter if I don't get an award. I'm grateful to the organisers for inviting me so that I could spend some time with her."
- The event will be telecast on Saturday on TVB First (StarHub TVB Channel 860). It will also be available in Mandarin on VV Drama (StarHub TV Channel 855) and E City (StarHub TV Channel 111/825) on Nov 7 and 14 respectively.