In 2015, veteran TV broadcaster, producer, satellite TV pioneer, and content distributor Robert Chua Wah-Peng decided to write a 130-page self-published book to commemorate his 50 years in the TV business in Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
Even though it is an unusual book--in the sense that is has a Quick Response (QR) code on every page; he even renamed it a "Quick Response Book" or QRB--and has plenty of caricatures (apparently Chua was, for a time, Southeast Asian cartoonists' favorite subject), it was very useful to this journalist when writing this Hall of Fame feature. It only took one month to write this piece. Previous Hall of Fame features have taken three months or more.
Chua's autobiography contains an abundance of facts, dates, and tidbits. (It's clear, however, that the book was written without the assistance of a journalist or a ghostwriter.) All that info saved this reporter from having to spend weeks on end doing time-consuming research. All that was needed was to cross-reference and fact-check certain bits of information. A couple of face-to-face interviews were also conducted over the years, and some family background not included in the book was covered through e-mail.
VideoAge last met with Robert Chua in Cannes during MIPCOM 2019 at Caffe Roma, where he traditionally holds court at both MIP-TV and MIPCOM. There, Peggy, his wife of 45 years, from whom he is inseparable, good-naturedly grumbled about Chua having lost his driver and her being forced to travel throughout Hong Kong by taxi, while Robert described some of his new TV projects for his invited lunch guests.
The former Peggy Jen Ping Ping was the last of Robert's assistants at the Hong Kong TV station TVB, where he worked for six years (until 1973). Peggy had joined TVB in 1967 at the age of 17, starting as a receptionist. In 1974, Chua and Peggy started Robert Chua Productions (RCP), where they employed 23 people. In 1975, the couple produced 26 episodes of Audio Visual Robert Chua for RTV. And in 1977, they produced Asia Singing Contest, also for RTV, which became a big hit.
TVB was incorporated in 1965, and two years later began broadcasting in both Cantonese (TVB Jade) and English (TVB Pearl). The two stations were promoted as "Wireless Television" in order to distinguish them from cable service Rediffusion Television (RTV), which became a broadcast station in 1973, and was renamed Asia Television (ATV) in 1982. TVB was co-founded by Run Run Shaw (a...