KOTA KINABALU – Actor and comedian Gurmit Singh, popularly known for his role as the boorish contractor Phua Chu Kang in Singapore’s English TV sitcom Phua Chua Kang Pte Ltd, says the most important priority in his life these days is his family.
Since ending his full-time TV career in December 2014, after 20 years with Singapore’s largest broadcaster MediaCorp, the versatile actor said 2015 had been a great year for him after finding a better work-life balance.
He now has more time with his wife and three children.
ITS TIME TO BE WITH THE FAMILY
The 50-year-old Singaporean of Punjabi, Chinese and Japanese heritage who is also a professional singer said now he has more freedom and flexibility to choose his acting engagements or other roles and show appearances according to his liking.
“Doing a TV or movie production can take a huge amount of your time. I was doing Phua Chu Kang, dramas, my own talk show and hosting a whole lot of other programmes to a point where I was doing almost two shows in a day. There was hardly time for any breaks in between shows. I did that for 20 years.
“During the recent school holidays back home in June and December, I decided not to work at all and I will make up for the lost income when my children return to school in the other months,” he told Bernama when met here recently.
GURMIT IN SABAH
Gurmit came to Sabah for a holiday with his family three years ago and returned to the state last week to appear as a special guest in a Christmas programme of Skyline Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) church for two evenings from Dec 19-20 at a hotel here.
He has just completed production of a movie called ‘Young and Fabulous’ that is due out in cinemas in 2016, and is writing a book which is expected to be published by November next year.
Fans of Phua Chu Kang Pte Ltd will remember the character’s trademark curly hair, huge mole on his face, long finger nails and yellow boots and most of all his cliches “Best in Singapore, JB and some say Batam” and “Don’t play play” which he pronounced as ‘pray pray’ in broken English.
The show ran for eight seasons on MediaCorp TV Channel 5 from September 1997 to February 2007 and subsequently led to a spin-off, Phua Chu Kang Sdn Bhd produced fully in Malaysia and aired on ntv7 in 2009 and 2010.
GURMIT IN GENTING
Gurmit will host the third ‘Laugh Die You – The Mob Show’- a stand-up comedy battle in Genting Highlands on Jan 9, 2016 following two earlier successful shows in Kuala Lumpur in May and October this year.
Joining him are Malaysian comedians Harith Iskander and Rizal van Geyzel and Singapore’s Fakkah Fuzz and Mark Lee.
Gurmit has been happily married for 21 years to wife Melissa and live with their daughter Gabrielle, 18, son Elliot, 15, and two-year-old daughter Mikaela in Singapore.