While our cities are stirred up these days by those concerned with economic globalisation, they may be happy to learn that we are still quite immune as far as culture is concerned. This is evident from the release of the 6th Annual Celebrity Rosters, by the Language Information Sciences Research Centre of the City University of Hong Kong, for four cities – Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Taipei. The annual rosters are based on the accumulative exposure from the bi-weekly rosters compiled throughout the year.
Elected uncontested as our new Chief Executive, Donald Tsang is unrivalled at the top position of the Hong Kong roster, paralleling prominent political figures Hu Jintao and Chen Shui-bian at the top of the Beijing and Taipei rosters respectively, as well as Chen Liangyu at the third place of the Shanghai roster. Chen has given way to George W. Bush and Yao Ming in the Shanghai roster, suggesting broader interests of the Shanghai media. This is also supported from the number of people making it to the annual roster – 463 in Shanghai as compared to only 315 in Hong Kong. The commonality is greatest between Beijing and Shanghai, and unsurprisingly least between Beijing and Taipei. Taipei’s exclusion of the Shenzhou 6 astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng, even from any of the bi-weekly rosters, is continuing her treatment to their predecessor Yang Liwei two years ago. Only George W. Bush, Hu Jintao, Koizumi Junichiro, and Lian Chen have made it to the top 25 of all the four rosters. Local show biz is relatively low-key this year, led by this year’s new comers: Michael Jackson and first timer Korean pop idol Rain as well as the return of Jackie Chan and Faye Wong. But Anita Mui, James Wong, Cecilia Cheung, Sam Hui, Kelly Chan and Tam Mei Kam (Anita’s mother) have left the Hong Kong roster. Also, sports star Liu Xiang remains the focus of attention in three of the four cities.
Find full details of the individual annual rosters at http://www.livac.org/celebrity/.