Thursday, February 12, 2009

Frances Yip on our couch!

Today, there was quite a mayhem outside our 938LIVE studio. People were milling around the radio building lobby, where our "fish tank" of a studio is located. And when our guest was done with her interview an hour later, they surrounded her to request for photos. 

It's been a while since we've had such a crowd. Even with Miami Ink's Chris Garver in the house, there weren't as many fans loitering about. It surprised me a little that veteran songstress Frances Yip still has such an amazing pull ~ even after 40 years in showbiz. And it also pleasantly surprised me that so many people within MediaCorp tune in to The Living Room! *laugh*

Pam is secretly thrilled to meet the iconic Frances Yip 

I must admit that when MediaCorp VizPro - who brought Frances in to Singapore for a Valentine's Day concert - contacted us about a possible interview with her, I was secretly thrilled. I immediately SMS-ed my parents: "Mum! Dad! I'm going to interview Frances Yip!" *sheepish* 

Frances started singing in 1969, and has released over 80 albums, and performed in more then 30 countries across 5 continents. Stan remarked that she must have done millions of interviews, and we wondered if there were indeed any questions she had not been asked! 

Despite the fact, Frances was the most amiable, warm and attentive interviewee we've had in a long while. She came across as being fully present with us, very engaged in conversation, and so nurturing. 

At one point, I ran into difficulty with a word while reading the news bulletin. Frances, who was at the time taking a break between interview segments, overheard me asking Stan how to pronounce the word 'Mea Culpa', and she volunteered, "It's pronounced 'mia koo-par'. It's a Latin word. We use it at Mass [church service] to say we're sorry or repentent," she explains, adding that she's Catholic. 

Her simple gesture spoke volumes to me. I mean, she needn't have bothered. But she did ~ out of a spontaneous, genuine willingness to help. And you know what? Pamela Ho will never, ever forget how to pronounce 'Mea Culpa' ~ because Frances Yip taught it to her! *grin*

And it's not surprising that Frances is so nurturing. She's a mother of a grown son, who is now living & working in Sydney, and a grandmother of a one-year-old grand-daughter! It didn't take her long to bring up the subject of her grand-daughter. And when I asked her if she had a picture of the little girl, Frances dug into her wallet and pulled our 2 photos of the cutie. Here's a photo Frances carries in her wallet... 

Frances Yip is a doting Grandma! 

Can you believe Frances is 61? I definitely can't. She looks 45! And we found out that she bikes everywhere in Sydney, goes to the gym several times a week, and eats very healthily. All this, after a breast cancer scare that became a turning-point in her life. 

Well, as Frances is set to woo the crowd at the Singapore Indoor Stadium this Saturday night, we wish her all the very best. And yes, 3 of our lucky listeners won a pair of tickets each to catch her 'live' in concert. Congrats Anthony, John & Liz! *applause*

Our phone lines were busy from the moment Stan mentioned he had free concert tickets in hand. I practically missed the entire second-half of the interview because I was picking up phone calls! *sob* But it warms my heart that Frances still draws such a fanatic response from Singaporeans after 4 decades ~ and the good news is that she has no plans to retire! 

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