George Young and Janet Hsieh: Pals for 10 years, and now lovers

26 January 2014 / 2 years 9 months ago

They went on a date a decade ago, but it was only recently that sparks flew between the pair.

Singapore-based actor-host George Young and Taiwanese-American host Janet Hsieh have officially taken their relationship to a new level. They are now a couple.

Speaking to The Straits Times over the phone on Friday, Young said: "We met each other in 2004 when I was shooting a mobile phone commercial in Taiwan. Janet was a model at the same agency that represented me for that ad."

"The agent was trying to set up Janet with a friend of mine. It didn't quite work out between Janet and my friend, but both of us really hit it off. What came out of the date was a friendship."

The best friends-turned-lovers, who both turn 34 this year, were often spotted hanging out together and most recently celebrated her 34th birthday at a glitzy hotel in Singapore.

What was the turning point in the decade long relationship? "I'm just going to say Janet made the first move, so that I can annoy her when she reads this," quipped the cheeky Young.

On a serious note, Young revealed that the magic happened this New Year's Day - when Hsieh took care of a feverish Young by cooking him warm vegetable soup. "It was the first time she had cooked for me. I saw a different side of her. Things just happened naturally. We just knew. It sounds like a film, but it's real life."

That's when he decided to surprise his newly minted girlfriend with a birthday party at W Hotel earlier this month.

He said: "We posted photos of the birthday celebration on our individual social media accounts. We've done that before. This time people put two and two together, and things kind of blew up."

Hsieh had told the probing Taiwanese media that a "mystery man" was the photographer behind a sexy photo of her soaking in a bathtub that was posted on her Facebook account.

Based on the clues Hsieh had given about the man - a foreigner of the same age, and someone she's known for 10 years, Taiwan's media outlet Apple Daily narrowed it down to Young.

On why he decided to come clean about the budding relationship, Young said: "What's so bad about going out with someone. We decided if anyone asks, we're going to say yes."

The vivacious Hsieh is best known for her outgoing personality and adventurous stunts in travelogue Fun Taiwan. The British lawyer-turned-actor Young has starred in local dramas like The Pupil and Joys Of Life.

The plus points about going out your best pal is fast tracking the dating process, and they get to skip the initial awkward phase of getting to know each other.

Young, who has been communicating with Hsieh daily using internet video chats, said: "So far knowing each other well has been a plus. But who knows when we have a big fight, we both will have a lot of ammunition to use against each other."

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