Host Guo Liang had only $2 left before payday when he first came to Singapore

A screenshot showing Guo Liang from the meWATCH talk show Hear U Out. SCREENSHOT: MEWATCH

SINGAPORE - Host Guo Liang has opened up on his struggles when he first arrived in Singapore from China in 1994.

On the latest episode of talk show Hear U Out with host Quan Yifeng, he revealed that he and his wife, Ms Jade Shen Jie, once had only $2 left before payday.

Known as an eloquent and unflappable host, Guo, 52, said: "We were at our poorest when we just got here. Things were so bad that I had to go through my clothes to see if I had any money a few days before payday.

"I only managed to find $2, so the both of us had to share a packet of instant noodles."

He said his initial salary of $1,500 had gone to other necessities, such as pots and pans, and he even considered becoming a property agent to make ends meet.

He also shared that his wife had misgivings about his future in the local entertainment industry, especially during her pregnancy with their son Marcus, who was born here in 1999.

"My wife kept vomiting throughout her pregnancy and suffered from post-natal depression for a few months after giving birth," he said.

"She felt that my job wasn't stable and that I could become jobless at any time," he added. "There was no way for me to argue with or assure her that I'd always be able to earn a living. There was no way to prove it. Even if you were to open five shops right now, there's a possibility of losing money the very next day."

Fortunately, things picked up for the Shanghai Drama Institute graduate, who established himself as a host and actor, and is now a household name after close to three decades in show business. He took up Singapore citizenship in 2001, with his wife following suit in 2015.

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