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Two New Free-To-Air Channels Launch In Singapore

21 Oct

SINGAPORE: Sunday was a beautiful day for TV junkies in Singapore.

That’s because it saw the launch of not one but two brand new MediaCorp channels: Okto and Vasantham.

At the Launch Extravaganza held at the MediaCorp TV Theatre on Sunday, the new Vasantham was unveiled in a show that celebrated the history and evolution of Indian broadcasting in Singapore together with more than 100 local artistes and award-winning Kollywood playback singers Krish and Neha Bhasin.

Vasantham is Singapore’s first full-fledged free-to-air Indian channel.

Viewers can now enjoy nine hours of programming daily instead of the previous two-and-a-half hours’ worth.

What’s more, the number of locally produced and acquired programmes has also doubled. There will be food programmes, infotainment series, daily long-form drama serials, four live programmes a week and five movies a week.

Okto is the bigger, better, newly improved Kids and Arts Central rolled into one dynamic channel.

Its new features include interactive programmes catered to all demographics, such as oktoLIVE! at 8.30pm every Tuesday. This is a youth magazine programme produced, scripted and run by the students of Singapore Polytechnic, and gives viewers their say on live television.

For the first time, kids’ programmes will be on prime time (7pm to 9pm). Kids can also look forward to watching the “oktoriginals” (locally-produced programmes) My Classmate, Dad (starring Mark Lee) and Cosmo & George (starring Gurmit Singh and Andrea De Cruz).

Connoisseurs of art here will appreciate that FilmArt is now shown on Saturdays as well as Sundays, at 10pm.

Oktoriginal film art productions include Pulau Hantu, which stars Adrian Pang and Hong Kong father-and-son team Richard and Carl Ng, and Squirks, a magazine programme hosted by Hossan Leong.

There’s more jolly good news: On Mondays at 11pm, okto has a “Retro Belt” featuring favourites such as Mind Your Language and ‘Allo ‘Allo.

“It’s an exciting moment for many of us”, said Lim Suat Jien, Managing Director of TV12, of the launch of the two new channels. “Our viewers can look forward to more choices and variety.”

She added: “These channels will strengthen our connections with the Indian, kids and arts communities.”

For more information about tuning into okto, visit

Channel News Asia

Andrea De Cruz Ready To Jumpstart Career 5 Years After Liver Transplant

31 Jan

Five is a significant number for Andrea De Cruz. After all, it was about five years ago that the 32-year-old actress’ liver failed after she took the slimming pill Slim 10, and her then-fiance-now-husband Pierre Png donated part of his liver to her.

It was a gesture that touched many Singaporeans, even as her decision to file a suit against fellow MediaCorp actor Rayson Tan – who had sold her the pills – divided people.

Hitting the five-year mark is also significant for her, because it’s only after that length of time that she can get the all-clear from her doctors. And five years after the whole Slim 10 saga, she appears in her first MediaCorp TV Channel 8 drama, “My Dear Kins”, which stars Hong Huifang, Huang Yiliang and Joey Swee and debuts next Thursday.

In a candid interview, an affable Andrea, who showed no signs of being the difficult person that the media made her out to be previously, talked about new challenges and, shockingly enough, the time limit on her life.

Channel News Asia

New Take For Star Charity

12 Jul

This year’s President’s Star Charity show takes on a whole new approach, with the theme “Helping Hands and Dancing Feet”.

Much like the NKF Cancer Show, there won’t be artistes performing dangerous stunts or competing against each other in gameshow-like contests to raise funds.

Come July 31, local celebrities such as Zoe Tay, Ann Kok, Celest Chong, Darren Lim and Aileen Tan will perform song and dance items in aid of 47 beneficiaries. Actresses Joanne Peh and Li Lin, along with the Flying Dutchman, will host the show.

Zoe will be performing a dance item with fellow actress Andrea De Cruz and 30 children, which she describes a a “heartwarming act”.

“It doesn’t matter what I perform, just as long as it’s for charity,” said Zoe, who was last seen performing her dice-stacking act at the NKF Cancer Show.

The show will also include a special performance from Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam, with a gymnastic act by The German Wheel.

“Singapore is a city that has a special place in our hearts and we are honoured to be a part of this important and prestigious annual charity event,” said Milan Rokic, Cirque du Soleil’s Asia Pacific marketing director.-

Channel News Asia