Pop Around Town﹕Mr QBobo

【明報專訊】In Hong Kong television history, non-Chinese actors/actresses that have gained popularity are few and far between. In TV period dramas, for historical reasons, white actors were employed, who typically played government officials, the professional class, and missionaries (傳教士). For example, Mr Gregory Rivers (also known as Ho Kwok Wing), who speaks fluent English and Cantonese, have been acting for over twenty years in various TVB dramas. Since 2005, however, another non-Chinese actor also fluent in Cantonese by the name of "QBobo" (his original name is Gill Mohindepaul Singh) rose to fame after winning a talent show Minutes to Fame (《殘酷一叮》). In local audience's minds, Qbobo is a warm, funny, optimistic, and down-to-earth Indian whose career as an entertainer has been growing in an industry dominated by ethnic Chinese stars. Up to 2014, QBobo has performed in nine Hong Kong movies and thirty-six TV dramas. However, most of the roles he plays in TV dramas are supporting roles. He began playing minor roles without a strong character or even a name, such as a casino customer in Dicey Business (《賭場風雲》, 2006) and a crime reporter in On the First Beat (《學警出更》, 2007). His more impressive roles came in The Other Truth (《真相》, 2011), in which he played a lawyer defending a client (who happened to be of Indian descent too) in a rape case. Diversity of ethnic images in our popular culture can only be a good thing.