SCMP Thursday, November 16, 2000

Monkey man and his pet offered date on television


Monkey man Chan Yat-biu and his pet Kam Ying have been offered a new career in television and a host of lucrative advertising contracts after the success of their first venture into commercials.
The 90-year-old hawker, who shot to fame with his fight to win back his confiscated three-year-old pet from government officials, has been inundated with offers after appearing in an advertisement for the Sun Hung Kai Financial Group.
Two days after the advertisement was released, the company has received numerous inquiries and gained widespread publicity. "The response is very good. I can hear people talking about it," said SHK Online chief executive Douglas Chen Waihuen.
Mr Chan's son, Chan Yiu-wing, said TVB had asked his father and Kam Ying to appear on the programme Super Trio Show. "We have talked twice with TVB. Father hasn't made up his mind yet. TV shows can be quite tiring and Kam Ying may not like the limelight." He added part of the programme required Kam Ying to throw objects at people, and Mr Chan feared this might teach the monkey bad habits.
A TVB spokeswoman said yesterday the company had approached Mr Chan but added: "Nothing is finalised yet."
Freeway Communications, the advertising company responsible for the Sun Hung Kai campaign, said it was satisfied with the response and might offer work with Mr Chan and Kam Ying again.
Kam Ying was confiscated from Mr Chan by officials in May because he had no licence for the monkey. The confiscation caused public uproar and more than 11,000 people signed a petition demanding officials hand the pet back.
A magistrate eventually ordered the monkey to be returned to Mr Chan in August.
Mr Chan has now resumed selling Chinese herbs and medicine in Kowloon City with Kam Ying.