Are Michelle Chia and Shaun Chen still friends? You'll be surprised

25 May 2014 / 2 years 5 months ago

Maureen Koh
The New Paper
Friday, May 23, 2014

Yes, they are still friends. So much so that he still has his letters sent to her parents' address.

And when actress-host Michelle Chia's ex-husband, actor Shaun Chen, who is now based in Taiwan, is back in Singapore, they would catch up with each other when they have the time.

Said Chia, 38: "It has been two years since the divorce. We have moved on."

The pair registered their marriage in 2008 and held their nuptials a year later. They announced their split in 2011 and the divorce was finalised the following year.

Chia had previously cited personality and lifestyle differences as reasons for the failed marriage. But that has not put her off marrying again.

Speaking to The New Paper yesterday about her new TV game show Silence!, which she will host with Adrian Pang, Chia revealed that she is in a relationship now, but declined to provide more details, other than that her boyfriend is not in the entertainment industry.

"I am seeing someone and as I have said, I am happily 'paktor-ing' (Cantonese for dating). I'd still want to get married even though we have no plans for now," said Chia chirpily.

In an interview with Chinese evening newspaper Shin Min Daily News, Chia had said: "But if we have a baby, we'll definitely get married at once."

On the professional front, she clarified that she had not taken a hiatus from showbiz, as many seemed to think.


Chia spent the second half of 2012 filming the Channel 8 social documentary Borders, during which she travelled to various borders - such as the ones between the US and Mexico and India and Pakistan - to find out why people crossed borders. Borders aired last year.

When her contract with MediaCorp expired in May two years ago, she did not renew it. She took time off instead to focus on "something that I really wanted to do".

Last January, Chia started Chinese oracy school, YOU Station, which offers courses to children aged three to 10. The school, she stressed, offers activity-based classes with no writing drills or homework.

Chia, who is effectively bilingual, said: "I know the benefits of having two language tools in the pocket, so I wanted to help young children love Chinese and not find it a chore. When you offer them a creative environment to learn, they are more receptive to the language."

Chia does not teach at any of the school's three centres, but is involved in matters such as curriculum planning, hiring teachers and other logistical matters. With the school now stable, she will soon return to the TV screens.

Chia is definitely a busy woman. She also owns Twister hair salon, which has three outlets here. Then there is an "investment company" as well, but no details were provided because "that is very private".

She is currently filming the fifth season of Channel 5's Our Makan Places: Lost & Found with Gurmit Singh.

Then there is Silence!, which challenges contestants to perform a series of everyday tasks as silently as possible, for a chance to walk away with $10,000 in cash.

Chia said: "I was very excited when they first approached me. The concept of the show is interesting and when they told me that it is with Adrian, I was very happy."

The pair have shared great chemistry and rapport in shows they have hosted together, including the President's Star Charity.

But there are no TV drama roles for now.

Chia said with a hearty laugh: "No one has come to me yet. Maybe it's because they know I am a bit scared of dramas.

"I have always found it quite stressful because... I work from 7am to 7pm and when I go home, I still have to do homework for the next day. And if it's studio filming, there are 25 to 26 scenes we have to memorise."

She added: "It stresses me out when I don't have time for my family and friends, or to do my own things."

Get The New Paper for more stories.

Join in the talk