Godfrey Gao's body sent back to Taiwan; funeral to be held on Dec 15

Godfrey Gao collapsed and lost consciousness while filming reality show Chase Me in Ningbo, Zhejiang province.
Godfrey Gao collapsed and lost consciousness while filming reality show Chase Me in Ningbo, Zhejiang province. PHOTO: GODFREY GAO/INSTAGRAM

TAIPEI • The body of Taiwan-born Canadian actor-model Godfrey Gao, who died last Wednesday after collapsing while filming a reality show in China, has reached Taiwan .

The 35-year-old's body was sent from Zhejiang province, where the show was filmed, back to Taiwan yesterday, reaching Taiwan's Taoyuan International Airport yesterday afternoon.

Earlier yesterday, at 5am, waiting fans cried and shouted "Don't go" and "Godfrey Gao is going home", as Gao's body was transferred out of Hangzhou Funeral House, where it had been embalmed, to be taken to Shanghai's Pudong International Airport for a flight to Taiwan, Beijing News reported.

Gao's funeral will be held on Dec 15, his management agency Jetstar Entertainment said yesterday, adding that his body would be placed in Taipei's First Funeral Parlour.

Gao's parents and eldest brother have returned to Taiwan to prepare for his funeral, while his second brother Charles Gao accompanied his casket from China to Taiwan. Their mother has selected a photo of a smiling Godfrey Gao for his funeral photo.

The actor-model had collapsed and lost consciousness while filming reality show Chase Me in Ningbo, Zhejiang province.

He was said to be suffering from flu one day before the filming and had worked almost non-stop for 17 hours before passing out in the early hours of last Wednesday. He was reportedly rushed to hospital where he died about three hours later.

His death has sparked questions about reality shows like Zhejiang Television's Chase Me, which require guests to take part in punishing physical tasks.

Filming for Chase Me has since been suspended, with its prime-time slot last Friday taken over by another television show. There have been numerous calls by netizens to penalise the crew of Chase Me for Gao's death.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 03, 2019, with the headline 'Godfrey Gao's body sent back to Taiwan; funeral to be held on Dec 15'. Print Edition | Subscribe