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Meeting the Oprah of China |

Modern Living

Meeting the Oprah of China

October 2 was a very exciting day in Shanghai and Beijing. A new TV series, Yue Sai’s World, was launched on Channel Young, one of the country’s top TV stations. Yue Sai’s World is an exciting new celebrity/lifestyle series from international media legend Yue Sai Kan, who is one of the most popular and influential women in China, according to the surveys. Her popularity started in the early Eighties, when she opened China to the western world through her TV series, One World and Looking East. She became Chinese women’s role model and every woman in China copied everything about her. In the early Nineties, she developed a cosmetic line and taught the women of China how to make themselves beautiful through her cosmetics. Her cosmetic line kept her in the limelight more than ever.

Yue Sai Kan has the kind of fame seldom experienced by western celebrities. Just think of the population of China and you will understand why. Her last TV series commanded an audience of 300 million. She has been called the Oprah Winfrey, the Barbara Walters and the Martha Stewart of China and she is indeed all these things and more. It is not surprising that her hairstyle is copied, dolls are made in her image and her face appears on postage stamps in the People’s Republic of China.

A few years ago, she was toying with the idea of going back to television. She decided that her TV series would be named Yue Sai’s World. She would gather a stellar group of guests and introduce her viewers to meet the world’s most famous people and experience new and exciting trends. She put her ideas into action and after a year and a half, she finished 52 half-hour episodes of different celebrities. I was privileged enough to see the raw copies of the series and among my favorites were the episodes of Naomi Campbell, Queen of the Runway; Catherine Deneuve, one of France’s most beautiful actresses; Jeanette Lee, the sultry billiards champion also known as the Black Widow; my favorite Latino singer, Julio Iglesias; and Josh Groban, whom I met in person when she interviewed him, as I happened to be around at the time. I also watched her interviews with Valentino, Ralph Fiennes, Paul Anka, and Alek Wek, a supermodel from Sudan who has no airs and loves lechon kawali, and the cast of "Bombay Dreams," a popular play currently running on Broadway.

Feeling very much part of the project, the Oct. 2 launch of Yue Sai’s World brought me to Shanghai one more time, not that I needed an excuse to go to Shanghai. It is always a pleasure to go to this exciting and progressive city, whether for work or play.

Yue Sai’s good friends threw a big party to celebrate the launch of her new TV series. For her first episode, she chose to air her interview with Jeanette Lee,who is rated as one of the top billiard players in the world. This sultry Korean beauty is fiercely competitive and deceptively agressive. Her nickname the "Black Widow" is apt because she has a reputation for luring men into her game, then destroying them with her ruthless skill. Jeanette tells the story of how she became the champion that she is today.

The ratings showed that there were at least 20 million tuned in to her show in Shanghai alone. It will be aired all over China by early next year.

Yue Sai’s dream is to be able to air her TV series in Europe, the USA and other countries in Asia. The series comes in English, Mandarin and generic international versions. Considering the excellent quality of her show and the interesting celebrities that she covers, I won’t be surprised if her dream one day turns to reality. One thing’s for sure: in China, where Yue Sai Kan is considered an icon and a mega-star, this show is already a winner!

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