Richie Koh bags best actor prize at Star Awards
Actor Richie Koh nabbed the top acting prize at Mediacorp’s annual Star Awards on Sunday.
The 29-year-old won Best Actor for his portrayal of an intellectually disabled adult in family drama Your World In Mine at the national broadcaster’s yearly awards show for its Chinese-language content.
He is the youngest winner of the award in 26 years, after Christopher Lee won in 1997 at the age of 26. This is Koh’s first acting nomination and win, beating out tough competition from first-time nominees Ayden Sng and Desmond Ng, veteran Brandon Wong and three-time winner Qi Yuwu.
In his acceptance speech, Koh gave a shout-out to members of the special needs community whom the cast consulted prior to working on the series: “Thank you, Johannes and Anna, for letting me into your world. Your world is beautiful.”
Koh also bagged one of three inaugural Most Popular Rising Stars trophies – a newly added popularity award decided by public votes on a par with Top 10 Most Popular Artistes – given to three stars with less than five years of experience as at January 2022. Actor Ayden Sng, 29, and Yes 933 radio deejay Gao Meigui also won the award.
His cast mates in Your World In Mine also won big. Best Actress went to Koh’s on-screen mum Huang Biren, who made history as a five-time winner, edging out four-time winner Zoe Tay as the actress with the most number of wins in the category.
Huang, 54, who also won the award last year, said in an interview backstage: “I didn’t think I would win again this year. It’s a blessing, I feel very thankful, especially since I’m not a full-time artiste with Mediacorp.”
Veteran actress Xiang Yun, 61, clinched the Best Supporting Actress trophy – her fifth – for her role as an ageing mother with dementia in Your World In Mine. But it was another veteran, Brandon Wong, who was the feel-good story of the night.
The 51-year-old won Best Supporting Actor this year – his first performance-based win ever.
He said: “As a professional actor, it’s always been my dream to win an award for my acting performance. It took 28 years for me to finally fulfil this dream.”
Wong also repeated his Top 10 Most Popular Male Artiste win this year, after finally nabbing his first award in that category in 2022.
The Star Awards, held at the Sands Theatre with Cantopop superstar Sammi Cheng and singer Jam Hsiao as guests, has long been lamented for often rewarding the same talent. But it saw many new winners this year.
Aside from the new Most Popular Rising Stars award, it gave Best Rising Star to Dharmadasa D Dharamahsena, or Das DD. The 33-year-old, who speaks fluent Mandarin and won for hosting online variety show #JustSwipeLah, is the first Indian nominated and awarded for performance at the Star Awards.
Quan Yifeng’s five-year winning streak for Best Programme Host was finally broken this year. Christopher Lee, who is currently in Taiwan, won for his culinary variety series Dishing With Chris Lee instead. His wife, actress Fann Wong, 52, accepted his award in his stead.
The Top 10 Most Popular Male and Female Artistes categories also saw surprising winners after rules were changed to open the award up to any eligible talent. Previously, only 40 contenders – 20 men and 20 women – selected from a popularity survey of 1,000 people could be in the running for the Top 10 Most Popular Male and Female Artistes.
This year, Yes 933 radio deejay Jeff Goh won Top 10 Most Popular Male Artiste while fellow Yes 933 deejay Chen Ning and Love 972 deejay Chen Biyu won Top 10 Most Popular Female Artiste – marking the first time that radio deejays have won since they became eligible for the award in 2021.
Other first-time winners in the category include Jeremy Chan, 41, who made his debut in 2006. His wife, Jesseca Liu, 44, burst into tears upon hearing his name announced.
Liu herself had cause to celebrate – she and Ann Kok, 50, both won their 10th Top 10 Most Popular Female Artiste trophy this year, which allows them to receive the title of All-Time Favourite Artiste next year.
List of major winners
Best Actor: Richie Koh – Your World In Mine
Best Actress: Huang Biren – Your World In Mine
Best Supporting Actor: Brandon Wong – Dark Angel
Best Supporting Actress: Xiang Yun – Your World In Mine
Best Programme Host: Christopher Lee – Dishing With Chris Lee
Best Rising Star: Das DD – #JustSwipeLah
Evergreen Artiste Award: Xiang Yun
Young Talent Award: Alfred Ong
All-Time Favourite Artistes: Rebecca Lim, Felicia Chin
Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes: Romeo Tan, Shaun Chen, Desmond Tan, Marcus Chin, Desmond Ng, Jeff Goh, Brandon Wong, Jeremy Chan, Guo Liang, Xu Bin
Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes: Paige Chua, Carrie Wong, Ya Hui, Ann Kok, Chen Ning, Chen Biyu, Denise Camillia Tan, Jesseca Liu, Tasha Low, Chantalle Ng
Most Popular Rising Stars: Richie Koh, Ayden Sng, Gao Meigui