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Lee Tim Shing - The backstage pro

| Sunday, November 6, 2011 | |
Scan from i-Weekly #731

People call him Uncle Tim. He is the golden producer who produced many classic dramas that belonged to the golden era of the Hong Kong television industry. From The Good, The Bad And The Ugly in the early days to the Rosy Business series now, many dramas throughout the years owe their success to him.

He is now 63 years old, and has spent nearly 40 years in this industry. He slowly worked his way up; from the props department, the scene department, the assistant script-editor to script-editor, until finally, he became a producer.

Classic dramas include Hotel, The Good, The Bad And The UglyA House Is Not A Home and Conflict of the 1970s, The Duke of Mount Deer, The Yang's Saga and The Legend of the Book and the Sword of the 1980s and the Rosy Business series, the dramas which were such huge hits despite their small production values.

The mega-stars that we all know today, including Chow Yun Fatt, Dodo Cheng, Andy Lau and Tony Leung all owe their successes to him. Even Stephen Chow specially thanked Uncle Tim for transferring him from the children programme to the acting group, thereby paving his path to becoming a true actor when he won his Movie King award.

10 over years ago, he was once promoted to be the deputy executive producer, but he still enjoyed being personally in-charge of the backstage work, so he willingly demoted himself and continued being a producer. "One must know where his strength lies. Wearing an office suit and supervising people is a comfortable job, but it doesn't suit me. One can't escape from politicking and rivalry in big organisations. I will feel tired and unhappy if I continue to work in such an environment."

The trend in Hong Kong dramas now is all about women fighting with each other or people plotting against each other. He bucks the trend by using artistes who can really act and a realistic script that is meaningful and yet stirs the emotions in people.

In recent years, Hong Kong is facing the same problems as Singapore. There are less and less artistes. The more popular ones have either gone on to film movies or gone over to Mainland China to earn money. He once said that he made do with whoever and whatever he had. As such, many second and third-line artistes have gotten the chance to shine in his dramas. Such people are Steven Ma and Tavia Yeung in Sweetness in the Salt, Pierre Ngo in Safe Guards, Dominic Lam in A Fistful of Stances and Evergreen Mak in No Regrets.

With such vast experience on hand, he, who will be retiring when he reaches 65, will be dearly missed by both the artistes and drama fans alike.

Talks about the Rosy Business cast
Sheren Tang: One fine day, when I was outside the canteen smoking, she walked past me and said that she would like to work with me before I retire. I asked her if she was serious or just joking about it. If she was serious, I would have to tell the company. This was how we collaborated for the first time. The more free rein you give Sheren, the more you gain because she knows how to act very well.

Wayne Lai: The first time I knew Wayne was at Ocean Centre. At that time, Spotlight Children's Education Centre was organising a drama-acting class. The company asked me to go over to teach. Wayne seemed as though he was crazy and ran to sign up for it. He even paid for the school fees. Wasn't that very silly of him? I gave him a scene to act out. After watching him, I was thinking to myself, "This fellow is already near the professional standard. What does he want to sign up for this course for? He's just wasting his time." I went back to the company and told them, if this person really graduated, sign him on to become an artiste. He really made it in the end.

Difficult for Rosy Business 3 to start filming?
In 2009, when Rosy Business was first shown, Wayne Lai was not popular yet. The only first-line artistes were Sheren Tang and Ron Ng. It was not highly looked upon by the executives and it was seen as a "warehouse good" that nearly did not get the chance to air. After the drama was aired, Chai Gau and 4th Wife became very popular. The entire crew then decided to ride on the success of Rosy Business and came up with No Regrets. Lau Sing and Gau Gu Leong created another ratings miracle. Cheung Wah Biu, who had already left TVB, wanted to return to work with Lee Tim Shing on the third sequel. However, in recent times, TVB has been the subject of poachers who poached away their staff. It is not known whether the third sequel will still be going on or not. "There are only 2, 3 people left from the original script-writing team of Rosy Business because the rest have left already. We are now all working with new people. We do not have enough talent, so what we can do is to work longer, with everybody having more work to do. We have to work from morning till night without stopping. I can't think of other ways to remedy the situation. The process of creation is a long one. You can't just find anybody to replace them immediately."

Rosy Business will be shown every weekend nights at 7.30 pm on Channel U from 5th November 2011 onwards.

- Credits to Tammy for the scan


Here's another article from Express Weekly #690 about Producer Lee Tim Shing. It's a very interesting read. You can tell how much I admire Producer Lee heehee! ^^

Comments: I really admire Tim Gor very much. He really has the ability to 点石成金. Apparently, he saw potential in people whom other people tended to dismiss. He really possesses good foresight, something which most people don't have.

Channel U is really very laggy in airing Rosy Business huh... I've re-watched it 4 times already! Tsk tsk Mediacorpse. -.-'''


  1. Hi Dreamlucky,
    Thank you so much for taking your time to translate this article. Thanks to Tim Gor! He must see something very special in Sheren but still wonder how they were in the same company nearly 25 years and have never collaborated before! Good that Sheren approached him first otherwise we won't be able to watch such a great drama and acting!

  2. Thank you so much Dreamlucky!

    Long time no see you here! Your study and exams are fine, aren't they? Hope you all the best.

    You know, It is so hard for us to read the articles in Chinese, wow, so hard, but we have to do it without your translation, hahahaha....

    I am very glad to see your update. I admire Tim Gor too. Luv him!

    Tomorrow, the concert is going to start, go go Genting, keep updating! Hug :)

  3. @Daow You're welcome Daow! ;) I think it's fate that Sheren met and asked Tim Gor that time. It's all God's will that such good dramas are made and such a perfect on-screen couple exist because of Sheren's initiative. ;P

  4. @Anonymous Hello! Haha, my study load is really heavy now and I have my exams soon. But still, thanks for the encouragement! ;)

    I'm doing what I love, so I just treat it as a break from my studying. ;P I'm glad to keep fans like you happy.

    I will continue to update on their concert in Genting. Stay tuned! ^^

  5. oh gosh, have i missed this issue alrd? i love tim gor as well. ;D thanks for posting this up!

    tim gor def deserves our love as well, for producing so many heart-warming dramas.

  6. @meemee! Haha, I think so. It was lucky that a No Regrets fan emailed me the scan. I've missed it as well.

    You're welcome! It seems that many famous stars owe their successes to him.

  7. I often watched the HK dramas before they are screened here (in Singapore). I have watched No Regrets thrice already. It is so obvious that a world of difference separates the HK artistes and ours.

    With their lack of local followings and popularity, is it strange that our morons' advertisements and endorsements fees can be more than the HK, Taiwan and Korean artistes? hmmm.

  8. Lol, are our local artistes really being paid more than those artistes from Hong Kong and Korea? ._. I have a feeling that they command higher prices than our local ones lol!

  9. Let me be candid with you DreamLucky since you are so nice in doing up this fantastic site for the fans... we, meaning everybody know that Sg artistes can never be excellent becos they lack depth, wit or common sense. as a result they end up copying.. say Sheren's No Regret's looks, mannerism and even (wtf@) hairstyle, oh my gosh wholesale too! hmmm so utterly devoid of originality.. no standard, no shame or embarrasment. HA to the huge tall she-man who keep imagining they are so admired and sexy, let me tell you that on screen you are look like hard smelly stools in our famous toilets. As an aside I dont think our best and brightest will ever be in the media business.. too many critical comments from the taiwan and hk's artistes about how daft they gondus looked. Nevertheless however, I felt there are exceptions especially these four pretty things who could have develop themselves further, probably overseas ..jeanette aw, ivy lee, ann kok and cynthia Koh.. they seemed like well rounded and balanced individuals with better than average foundations and the best chances to succeed.
    Lovely site I must say! Thanks buddy for that.

    "The money IS in the ads!!!"

  10. @muahaha Thanks for your insight, muahaha! ;) Haha, I know which drama you're referring to. Are you referring to the current Channel 8 9 pm drama "A Song to Remember"? They even used 九妹 as one of their characters' name. ._.

    I feel that our local dramas have really no standard. I miss the times when Xie Shaoguang was still in the showbiz. He really showed what real acting is, instead of the pretty faces we see now. I think TVB is soon going down the way Mediacorp did. =(

    You're welcome. It's my pleasure to create this website. ;D


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