IT WAS a happy family affair for the TV families of Gam and Chung from Moonlight Resonance, the highest-rated TVB series ever in Hong Kong.
The 40-episode drama garnered 18 nominations in 15 categories at TVB 41st Anniversary Awards, before finally winning six trophies.
Seen as Hong Kong's answer to the Emmys, the awards ceremony honours the best in television where the winners are voted by a panel of judges.
Moonlight Resonance - available for rent at all Scorpio East authorised outlets in Singapore - is the successful sequel to last year's hit drama, Heart Of Greed (recently aired on StarHub Cable TV).
The show, anchoring on a confectionery business, tells of how the benevolent Chung Siu Hor (Louise Lee) tries to keep her family together after best friend Yan Hung (Michelle Yim) steals her husband Gam Tai Jo (Ha Yu).
'Papa' Ha Yu pipped his onscreen son (Raymond Lam) to the Best Actor award on Saturday night.
Before announcing the winner, Louise - who was last year's Best Actress for Heart Of Greed - told the audience at TVB City: 'This is really so difficult. One is my 'husband', the other is my 'son', both are equally important to me.'
And in her excitement to offer a piece of tissue paper to the teary eventual winner, Louise left the award on the podium, prompting Ha Yu to ask: 'Are you not going to present me the award?'
It was a poignant moment for the 63-year-old veteran, who said in his acceptance speech: 'I've waited 40 years (for this award), finally I get it today.
'I didn't win last year but I persisted, because as long as I don't leave this industry, there will always be a chance (for me).'
Ha Yu was Best Actor nominee last year for his role in Heart Of Greed, but lost to another onscreen son, played by Moses Chan.
The forthright actor had earlier spoken of his desire to be crowned the TV king to Singapore reporters hours before the ceremony.
He also made it clear to the audience that he intended to continue acting.
'This award marks a key milestone in my career and not the end. It's but one of my many goals in life,' he said to resounding applause.
Borrowing one of the many popular lines from Moonlight Resonance, he switched to Mandarin and said: 'You say I can make it, I will make it. You say I won't make it, then I won't make it. I thank everyone who tells me I can make it.'
Raymond, 28, had to contend with being voted Best-liked Male Character for his role as the goody-two-shoes Gam Wing Ho.
He had earlier drawn flak for resorting to various tactics to secure his chances of winning Best Actor, such as using his hand to wipe off Ha Yu's dripping mucus - which was unscripted - in one emotional scene.
The paparazzi also snapped photos of Raymond going out for dinner with TVB management executive Virginia Lok and accused him of pandering to her.
Speaking to reporters later, Raymond said: 'I didn't win the coveted award, so this has proven that all the media reports were false.'
He added: 'I don't mind the loss and I don't think I was a failure... there'll be many more opportunities.'
Taking home the Best Actress award was another veteran, Michelle Yim, who played a scheming woman in the show.
Struggling to keep her tears in check, she said: 'I won't cry...I never dreamt that I would become the most-hated person in Hong Kong in 2008.'
Michelle, 52, spoke of how she had begun her career in her teens and of her joy for the recognition now: 'I will continue to play every role well and I hope, one day, when I'm playing a grandmother, I can still win this.'
But clearly, the most popular winner of the night was comedy actor Wayne Lai.
In The Gentle Crackdown II, he plays dual roles - a corrupt official and his upright brother, a legal adviser.
When he was named Best Supporting Actor, his colleagues seated on stage with him stood up to congratulate him.
Wayne, 44, said: 'I've always been nominated, but I've also always gone home empty-handed. I'm really happy to be given this honour.'
»View photo gallery of TVB 41st Anniversary Awards
This article was first published in The New Paper on 18 Nov, 2008.