Since its inception in 1994, the Star Awards has been an annual award ceremony broadcasted live on national television where fans get to watch their favourite Mediacorp artistes receive recognition for their outstanding performances over the year. Celebrating its 25th anniversary or Silver Jubilee this year, it is a programme not to be missed by viewers and supporters of local drama. Here are some facts about the “Oscars” of Singapore.
MediaCorp's first locally trained artiste, Xiang Yun, is a household name in Singapore. The veteran actress has been in the entertainment industry for over 30 years, earning herself the seniority title “Ah Jie” as well as the most number of Star Awards. With a total of 18 awards up her sleeve, including the All-Time Favourite Artiste Award, Special Achievement Award and several others for Best Supporting Actress, Top 10 Most Popular Artistes and Best Evergreen Awards, the actress is an accomplished role model for many younger artistes.
Chen Shucheng is a seasoned actor and one of Mediacorp's few artistes who remains active since the "black and white television" era. Having won 5 Star awards, he is respected by many of his fellow colleagues for his passion and versatility in acting. He has portrayed roles as a doctor, philanthropist and father among many others.
Damien Teo won the Young Talent Award in 2015 when he was only 14, in recognition of his short but memorable performance in the Channel 8 Chinese period drama, The Journey: Tumultuous Times. The burgeoning actor played alongside other popular Mediacorp artistes such as Chen Hanwei and Joanne Peh in only three episodes, but received many positive comments from netizens about his realistic acting.
The Star Awards have evolved over the years, with several of its award categories becoming either suspended or retired since 1994. For example, the award categories, Best Variety Show Host and Best Info-Ed Programme Host have been combined to a single category called Best Programme Host in 2016. This year, two new categories will be added, namely Best Short-form Drama Serial and Best Short-form Variety Programme, to recognize short web series from the online platform Toggle.
The Dream Makers is currently the only show to have won twice in the category Best Drama Serial, the first in 2014 and the second in 2016. The star-studded drama revolves around the lives of employees working at a TV station, bringing viewers behind the scenes of the entertainment world. The first series coincided with Mediacorp celebrating 50 years of television, while the second commemorated the agency’s move from Caldecott Hill to Mediapolis@one-north.
If you grew up watching Star Awards, you would have noticed that although the show is broadcasted in April in recent years instead of in December before 2007, the programme’s theme tune, titled “Starlight”, has been unchanged since 1994. This year however, the tune will feature vocals to celebrate the ceremony’s Silver Jubilee.
Not only have award categories changed, the Star Awards trophy itself has seen four changes in designs since it was first presented to celebrities in 1994. During the inaugural ceremony, the trophy was a circular column capped with a star-shaped circle. Subsequently between 1995 and 1997, the trophy was a simple straight column topped with a gold star. Thereafter in 1998 and 1999, the trophy’s body was a cone with a bigger star as its head. Since 2000, the made-in-Shanghai trophies that weigh 4kg and cost SGD $1000 each possess a more minimalist but multicoloured design – a sleek crystal body that appears like the letters “S” and “A” at different angles, forming the initials of Star Awards.
One of the special features of the Star Awards is the ability of audience to decide who wins the trophy. The interactive system involves voters placing their bids online or calling in during the show, mostly for the category of Top 10 Most Popular Male or Female Artistes. While telepolling is chargeable, online voting is free-of-charge. To vote online though, you need to create a Mediacorp account.
The designation was first created at the 2014 Star Awards to refer to eight of Mediacorp’s promising young actors who have won popularity awards at the 20th anniversary ceremony. The eight actors included Zhang Zhenhuan, Romeo Tan, Desmond Tan, Jeffrey Xu, Xu Bin, Ian Fang, Aloysius Pang, and Shane Pow, who formed an ad-hoc boy band and performed at the 2014 New Year’s Eve countdown party.
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