HONG KONG • Kenneth Ma has been crowned Best Actor for the first time at the TVB Anniversary Awards 2019 on Sunday, after having been nominated a whopping 12 times at the awards.
The 45-year-old actor, who broke up with girlfriend Jacqueline Wong last year after she was caught in a cheating scandal with married singer Andy Hui, won the award for his role as a doctor in medical drama Big White Duel.
Ma was given a standing ovation after his ex-girlfriend Nancy Wu, rumoured girlfriend Natalie Tong and actress Ali Lee announced on stage that he was the Best Actor winner.
The actor, who has been in the entertainment industry for more than 20 years, said he was surprised by the win and thanked the audience for their reactions after he received the trophy.
"I consider myself a winner even if I do not win, as there are many strong contenders this year," he said. "I am lucky to have acted in Big White Duel."
Big White Duel was one of TVB's anniversary dramas last year and was well received when it was aired in June and July. It also won Best Drama Series and Most Improved Female Artist for actress Kelly Cheung.
Meanwhile, the Best Actress award went to Kara Wai for her role as a police chief superintendent in police drama The Defected.
Like Ma, the 59-year-old actress won the award for the first time and became only the second Hong Kong actress after Carol Cheng to have won Best Actress for both television and films.
Both Miriam Yeung and Selena Lee won the Most Popular Female Character for their roles in romantic comedy Wonder Women and supernatural drama Barrack O'Karma respectively, the first time the award was shared in TVB history.
This was the first time Yeung won at the TVB Anniversary Awards, while it was Lee's first individual award at the anniversary awards, Ming Pao Daily News reported.
Actor-singer Pakho Chau won the Most Popular Male Character and Most Popular Drama Theme Song for Wonder Women. He disclosed after accepting the trophy that he was recently hospitalised for high fever and had to be supported by staff while leaving the stage.
Veteran actor Lau Dan won the Lifetime Achievement Award, receiving the award from actress Nancy Sit, his co-star in TV drama A Kindred Spirit (1995 to 1999).
Lau, who celebrated his 76th birthday yesterday and is the father of actor Hawick Lau, said this was his first award in 52 years of acting.
The TVB Anniversary Awards 2019 was originally scheduled to be held last month, but it was postponed to this month due to the Hong Kong protests.