Illusionist Andrew Lee is first Malaysian to perform at London’s New Year’s Day Parade

First, he cast a spell all across Asia with his stunning magic tricks in the second season of Asia’s Got Talent (2017). Then, he wowed audiences and even got a standing ovation from hard-to-please judge Simon Cowell at last year’s Britain’s Got Talent in the audition round.

And once again, Malaysian magician and illusionist Andrew Lee has made the country proud by becoming the first ever Malaysian to have performed at the London New Year’s Day Parade (LNYDP) at this year’s new year’s day celebration.

Themed London Welcomes The World, the 2019 parade was broadcast across the United Kingdom on Jan 1 and saw cheerleaders,marching bands, giant inflatables and motor stunt teams, to name a few, parade through a 3.2 km stretch.

The route began in Piccadilly and ran to Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, Cockspur Street, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and finally ending at Parliament Square.

The 31-year-old Lee, together with assistants Cindy Teh and Jamie Mcloughlan, captivated the spectators with his signature danger-induced magic tricks.

After all, it was his knife-throwing card trick that earned the Klang-born the standing ovation from Cowell and the other three judges in the first place.

Lee is the first Malaysian illusionist to perform at the London New Year's Day Parade.

Lee is the first Malaysian illusionist to perform at the London New Year’s Day Parade.

Lee probably faced his biggest audience yet (a crowd of over 500,000 people) in his already impressive career. But nothing could get in the way of this Malaysian wizard.

But of course, performing in a controlled environment like a proper stage versus performing outdoors are completely different matters.

“This is definitely my first time performing on a flatbed truck,” Lee wrote on his Instagram (@andrewleemagic) post. “The challenges were limited movement space, audience and camera on all sides, strong winds and try not to fall of the truck.

“Would I do it again? ABSOLUTELY!”

Lee navigated through the challenges of performing to thousands of people outdoors and managed to pull off spellbinding magic tricks. Photo: instagram/andrewleemagic

Lee’s love affair with magic began when he was 16 and throughout his student days in the US, Lee continued practising magic as a hobby. After his graduation, Lee returned to Malaysia, where he worked as a sales manager and nutritionist with a gym for six years.

Yet his love for magic never waned, and Lee uploaded videos of himself performing tricks onto YouTube and Facebook. It was from those videos that Lee landed his first international gig in Mumbai, India.

Since then, the trained nutritionist from the Global Institute for Alternative Medicine in California has performed all across Asia and countries such as Egypt, Dubai, Kuwait, Qatar and Australia. He also performed in Genting Highlands as their in-house magician.

Here’s hoping that Lee will continue to make Malaysia proud across the globe.

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10 Malaysian celebrities who took the #10YearChallenge

Unless you’re a social media recluse, you’d have noticed that people have been posting about the #10YearChallenge, in which they put a picture of themselves in 2009 and compare it to one they took in 2019.

Celebrities like Sarah Hylan, Chrissy Teigen, and even Jennifer Lopez have been taking part in this meme, and of course some local celebrities as well. Some of them actually did the proper 10 year comparisons, while others had a little fun with it.

Here are some of our favourite #10YearChallenge posts from Malaysian celebrities.

Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh

Is this the 10 year challenge or the 10 minute challenge? That was the question by fans after Yeoh posted her #10YearChallenge. While the 2009 picture does look noticeably more youthful, she doesn’t seem to have aged very much over the past 10 years. Could she have been replaced by a younger alternate version of her from another dimension, like her character in Star Trek Discovery?


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😎 #10yearchallenge

A post shared by Michelle Yeoh 楊紫瓊 (@michelleyeoh_official) on

Nora Danish

For her #10YearChallenge, the actress posted pictures of her with her first son in 2009, and her second son in 2019. How sweet is that?


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2009 & 2019 💜 #10yearchallenge #blessed

A post shared by Nora Danish (@noradanish) on

Hans Isaac

“2009: Never stop working with late nights out.
2019: Working smarter, early night sleep, gym, holidays, balance life and cut down 70% of rice.”

Looks like Hans Isaac has got this ageing thing down pat.


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#10yearchallenge #alamak

A post shared by Hans Isaac (@hansisaac) on

Thanuja Ananthan

2009 was a special year for Thanuja, as it was the year she won the Miss Malaysia crown. 10 years later, the former beauty queen looks as radiant as ever with her signature hairstyle and smile.

Zizan Razak

He may be a huge action and comedy star these days, but back in 2009, Zizan was just barely two years into his career. He finished in second place at the first ever Astro’s Raja Lawak in 2007, and started hosting the show the next year with second runner-up Johan, whom Zizan also includes in his #10YearChallenge post.

Fish Leong

“10 years ago, were you by my side?” asks the Taiwan-based Malaysian singer. Well, we can’t tell, because 40-year-old Fish Leong really doesn’t look very different from 30-year-old Fish Leong!


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#10yearschallenge 十年前 你也在我身邊嗎? 左圖 2018 右圖 2008 #無美圖

A post shared by 梁靜茹 Fish Leong (@fishleong616) on


“From Handsome boy to Handsome Gangster” is the caption Namewee uses in his #10YearChallenge, along with a “88kg > 62kg”. Judging from his pictures, the Malaysian musician has certainly grown up a lot in 10 years.



Ayda Jebat

Both the pictures of the singer are not only gorgeous, but also look almost alike…. wait, is that Ariana Grande? Now we know why she asked us to “Sila muntah” (please throw up) in her #10YearChallenge post…


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😜😂😉 Sila muntah sis. . #AydaJebat #ArianaGrande #AydaGrande #10yearschallenge #Temberang #TemberangAydaJebat #SalahKeBerangan

A post shared by Ayda Jebat (@aydajebat) on

Alvin Chong

From fresh-faced teenager to dashing young man, Chong’s #10YearChallenge clearly shows how much the Malaysian actor has grown since 2009, when he was just 17 years old.


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Nah #10yearchallenge

A post shared by Alvin Chong (@alvinchong123) on

Lisa Surihani

Of all the #10YearsChallenges posted, Lisa Surihani’s has to be the most drastic transformation of them all. I mean, look how much she has changed over these ten yea…. oh wait, that’s just from her movie Jangan Pandang Belakang Congkak in 2009.


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2009 and 2019 #10yearschallenge 🤣🤣🤣 #janganpandangbelakangcongkak

A post shared by Lisa Surihani Mohamed 💋 (@lisasurihani) on

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Why Kaitlyn Bristowe and Jason Tartick Have a Legit Shot at Being the Next Bachelor Power Couple

Kaitlyn Bristowe, Jason TartickWith all due respect to current lead Colton Underwood and the endless parade of virginity fodder he’s provided ABC, Jason Tartick would have been quite the inspired pick for Bachelor….
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Susan Boyle is still dreaming a dream of a comeback

Susan Boyle  “woke up” even hard-to-please entertainment mogul Simon Cowell when she sang I Dreamed A Dream at an audition of Britain’s Got Talent in 2009.

Though that show – in which he was a judge and she finished second eventually – catapulted her to fame, she also had to endure some nightmares, from the pressure of being under the spotlight to abuse from taunting teens.

Now, Boyle, 57, who has been out of the limelight in the last few years, is ready to make a comeback.

She is competing in America’s Got Talent: The Champions (AGT), which sees other winners of past editions vying for the title of top dog.

AGT judge Mel B has inadvertently revealed in a podcast that Boyle is already through to the semi-finals of the programme which recorded Boyle’s segment in October.

Boyle, who is signed to the Syco record label founded by AGT judge Cowell, said recently: “I couldn’t walk away from a second chance to prove myself. I’m really looking forward to singing – this time, with something to prove.”

In a promotional clip for AGT, she also said: “(I’m) a champion for those who don’t have the confidence to do things and don’t have a voice; the ones people tend to ignore.”

In another indication of her walking her talk, she is also set to release a new album.

She last rolled out an album, A Wonderful World, in 2016 but has largely stayed out of the limelight since, as she grappled with personal issues, such as tiffs with family members, reportedly over money, and run-ins with hooligans.

But she has stood her ground, staying put in a council house she grew up in, and which she now owns.

“I won’t be driven out of my home – why would I let the bullies win?” she said defiantly. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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‘Widows’: How to get away with muddle

This crime drama clearly wants to stand out above its brethren.

It wants to matter, and it is quite insistent that we acknowledge its drive.

It has something to say about everything in its ambit: local authority politics, race relations, inner-city crime, familial expectations, abusive and/or exploitative marriages.

It has its fingers in many different sub-genres, too: heist, hard-boiled gangster, bad girl, urban decay, political corruption…

In short, it is a clearly ambitious piece of filmmaking in the guise of a big-screen Hollywood remake of a 1980s British TV series.

And ambition is usually not a bad thing.

Basically, the film is about the widows of four robbers who have to take up the “family business”, as it were, to get themselves out of a deep hole when their husbands are killed after a job.

They are: Veronica Rawlins (Viola Davis), widow of gang leader and mastermind Harry (Liam Neeson); Linda Perelli (Michelle Rodriguez), whose hubs Carlos (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) gambled away everything they owned before his expiry (in the archaic sense of snuffing it); and Alice Gunner (Elizabeth Debicki), whose old man Florek (Jon Bernthal) was a wife-beater.

Before turning to a life of crime, the ladies tried their hand at organising food container parties (sorry, we can’t use brand names in these captions).

If it seems unflattering to define these women by what their spouses were, or did, well … that’s only because it is how they are painted in Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) and director Steve McQueen’s (12 Years A Slave) screenplay.

Oh, there is a fourth widow: Amanda Nunn (Carrie Coon), married to Rawlins “associate” Jimmy (Coburn Goss). His only apparent link to a felony is having a criminally nonexistent role, while she is present in the ensemble just to be the hook on which the film hangs a Big Pivotal Moment.

Flynn and McQueen’s inspiration was created by acclaimed crime writer Lynda La Plante (Prime Suspect), spawned a second series and tie-in novels, and was also remade as a US miniseries in 2002.

By most accounts, the original – which I have not watched – was a sharply written, triumphant story of how the widows, perpetually viewed as incapable underdogs, refused to be dictated to by circumstance or society and decided to become the bosses of their own destinies.

In this new remake, however, the principal characters seem to be stuck in a rut of resignation to their respective lot in life, no matter how much the dialogue indicates otherwise.

‘Nah, you got it wrong, bruv. Killmonger was the REAL hero of Black Panther.’

Not even the evocatively expressive Davis manages to get a good grip on her character’s painful circumstances, manifesting rudeness (or “snappishness” as they might call it in a David E. Kelley dramedy) instead of the anger someone in her situation would be struggling with.

(There are many more reasons for that anger than just losing a career-criminal husband, as you will see in that Big Pivotal Moment and an ill-fitting, almost cynical flashback involving a young man in a convertible.)

And where its big caper is concerned, Widows falls maddeningly short too. With so many elements and characters to juggle – a lot of them superfluous despite the formidable talent involved – we just have to accept that everything somehow comes together through serendipity in the preciously brief time set aside for this sequence.

‘I’m pretty sure we’ll get away with it even if we’re arrested. The glove does not fit … so they must acquit.’

Oh, there is still a lot that is good about Widows. Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) is a chilling standout as the brother and merciless enforcer of a politically ambitious gangster, and I found Cynthia Erivo’s feisty single mother and eventual robbery accomplice Belle to be a much more consistent character than the widows themselves.

McQueen is also confident enough in his storytelling capabilities and cast to convey a lot of his intent without unnecessary dialogue – or, in one scene involving a conversation during a car ride, without even training his camera on the people who are talking.

But everything he sets out to do here just cannot sit comfortably within a restrictive running time of just over two hours.

This results in many of its numerous themes and sub-plots – let alone the filmmakers’ intended statements – getting only cursory treatment.

As such, Widows never settles into any particular groove long enough to be fully satisfying.

Widows is currently showing on GSC International Screens.

Director: Steve McQueen
Cast: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Carrie Coon, Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Daniel Kaluuya, Brian Tyree Henry, Robert Duvall, Garrett Dillahunt

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