updated 18 Jan 2010, 03:15
    Powered by
user id password
Mon, Jan 18, 2010
The New Paper
EmailPrintDecrease text sizeIncrease text size
Too close for comfort?
by Germaine Lim

WHEN it comes to taking photos with the stars, adoring fans will often inch in just that little bit more to get closer to their beloved celebrities.

Are local male celebrities okay with such close contact with their supporters? How far would these stars go when it comes to dealing with female fans?

This issue came to light when actor Tay Ping Hui was slammed by some netizens for taking 'indecent' photos with his fans.

These pictures showed the 38-year-old and his fans having their arms around each other. A fan was also sitting on Ping Hui's lap in a photo.

Celebrities including Ping Hui told The New Paper that they frequently receive requests for hugs at public events.

While Ping Hui said he obliges because 'there's nothing wrong with it and stars do it all the time', other male actors such as Elvin Ng and Dai Yangtian prefer to keep a 'healthy' distance.

Elvin and Yangtian confessed to being 'uncomfortable' about acceding to such requests.

But Elvin, 29, said he would usually give in.

He has had annual gatherings with his fans for the last three years since he joined showbiz.

Elvin said: 'I find it hard to decline. I try not to disappoint them because they support me.'

Even though a generous Shanghai-born Yangtian foots the dinner bill whenever he meets up with fans from his hometown, the 24-year-old draws the line at physical contact.

He said he would not put his hand on a fan's shoulder for a photo, and admitted he has rarely done so, even with friends.

Go Live! host Pornsak Prajakwit revealed he has no qualms about taking photos and shaking hands with fans at events.

But he won't meet them outside of work engagements.

The 27-year-old Thai native said: 'Meeting people I don't know well makes me feel uneasy. It takes (a long time) for me to warm up to people I don't know well.'

But male celebrities The New Paper interviewed say they do not judge Ping Hui's actions.

Yangtian said he wouldn't do what Ping Hui did simply because he is more conservative.


He said: 'My impression of Ping Hui is someone who's straightforward and more Westernised. Perhaps it's my upbringing, but I won't ask a fan to sit on my lap.

'Unless I feel that words alone are not enough to comfort someone who's going through a rough patch, I won't oblige to giving a hug - not even for a photo.'

Actor Julian Hee also does not see anything wrong with Ping Hui asking a fan to sit on his lap for a photo.

But the 30-year-old, who has met his fans for meals and has become friends with a few of them, said he wouldn't do the same, even though he doesn't mind putting his arm on their shoulders or even hugging them.

One-on-one meetings are also out of the question for Julian and Elvin because they don't want to invite unnecessary gossip and misunderstanding.

Nevertheless, Yangtian said he wouldn't rule out the possibility of dating a fan.

After all, never say never. It's all about fate, he said.

But Elvin has his reservations.

He said: 'While it's all about chemistry, I can imagine the dynamics will be complicated because it would have started from an artiste-fan attraction.'

This article was first published in The New Paper

readers' comments

Copyright © 2010 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.