Ntv7 talk show co-host Grace Ng
This newsreader and up-and-coming actress is out to get young people’s attention with a new talk show.
WHAT if I told you that the pretty lass anchoring the English news and hosting a youth programme on Ntv7 was a modern-day Malaysian witch?
The gal in question is Grace Ng Fei Fen, a graduate of Australia’s Monash University who took several intriguing subjects to spice up her school life. “One of the subjects was Witchcraft In The Modern World. Another was Love, Sex And Feminism,” Ng said in a recent interview at Menara Star in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Is there really a Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft And Wizardry in our midst? Laughing, she clarified: “It’s actually an anthropology subject. A lot of people think we cast spells or whatever. But it’s about how people hunt for witches back in those days.”
Asked about her hometown and the 25year-old had another interesting story to share. “My parents actually drove all the way back just before my birth just so the cert would say Malacca. But I grew up in Kuala Lumpur. So did my parents and siblings.”
For over a year now, Ng has been assistant producer for Ntv7’s primetime evening news bulletin 7 Edition, on which she doubles as a newsreader. Before that, she was a newsreader and producer at radio station BFM 89.9.
Starting today, viewers will also see her in a new talk show called Cube with host-actor Adrian Jalaludin, 25. Comprising 13 weekly half-hour episodes, Cube is a youth-oriented programme that offers the latest information on youth activities besides providing them a platform to voice out on issues in an informal setting.
The show’s title implies “finding a way out” and thus, challenging people to think out of the (TV) box.
This latest project is something close to Ng’s heart.
“I read in the newspapers recently that Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes (AirAsia CEO) said Malaysian youth are actually a suppressed lot who have lots to say. Even before he said this, I had felt the same way. We have a lot of opinions, though our leaders may say otherwise and think our youths are too busy clubbing or watching MTV. To me, that couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Ng.
“I always post stuff on my Facebook account about current affairs because I work on news on a day-to-day basis. And I used to get quite emotional over certain things. Those posts got a lot of comments and people used that as a platform for debate. Young people seemed to be more interested in talking about current affairs in the country than self-indulgent matters.
“My friends were all interested in such discussion. Everyone had a strong opinion as well,” said the passionate host.
“So Cube is a good way for our leaders and adults in general to find out what’s on the minds of our youth, and also for the youth to know that they are being heard,” she added.
Shooting on a weekly basis to keep the issues fresh, Ng is also glad that the show allows her the opportunity to explore different topics. “For the first episode, we talked about teenage pregnancy and baby-dumping. After that we covered the Malaysian education system and Gen-Y vs Baby Boomers at work.”
One of the segments in the show entails the hosts going out of the studio to learn something new and they have ended up doing silat, cycling, tap dancing, and baking cupcakes. Interestingly, while Adrian learnt to make cupcakes, Ng went for silat lessons with an instructor called Mahaguru (Master) Azlan Ghani in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur.
Ng, who also has a deep interest in theatre, used to take to the stage during her school days. She has performed in Taylor’s College restaging of Hip-Hopera, KLPac’s A Christmas Carol, Masakini’s 24-hr Theatre, and KLPac’s Short+Sweet: Age-Defying Tricks For Women, to name a few. More recently, she dabbled in film as well. She can been seen in the local indie flick The Joshua Tapes, a tale of friendship among a group of young people set in Kuala Lumpur. Directed by the UK-based Arivind Abraham and Benji Lim, the dramedy revolves around five school friends from different backgrounds – Ryan (Phoon Chi Ho), Reza (Baki Zainal), Ajeet (Matthew Ho), Joshua (Alfred Loh) and Sam (Ng).
Ng revealed that her role in The Joshua Tapes was not planned and was done as more of a favour for a friend. “The girl originally slated to play Sam pulled out and they called me at the last minute. I sat down for a quick audition with the director and then joined the cast.”
Prior to the movie, Ng has had experience acting in short films.
“In secondary school, everyone liked to come up to me whenever they needed entertainment by asking me to imitate a teacher or someone. I’d oblige. When my friends went on to study film-making, some of them would call me to act in their short films. And I’d do it for free.”
Fortunately for her, those favours have stood her in good stead in her future undertakings. n Cube airs on Ntv7 every Thursday, 8.30pm-9pm, starting today. Those who are interested in sharing their opinions on the show can email email@example.com.
Winsome: Grace Ng – Ntv7 newscaster, TV host, actress – is glad to be involved in Cube as she believes that Malaysian youth have some strong opinions and lots to say.
Grace Ng plays Sam in local feature film
The Joshua Tapes. She was roped in at the last minute after the girl who was supposed to star in it pulled out.