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Bryan Wong minds his ‘lah’-s and ‘lor’-s for new game show 'Minute To Win It'

Bryan Wong reveals why he was “a nervous wreck” while hosting the new Channel 5 game show Minute To Win It, his first major English-language hosting gig, and why he was “freaked out” by the experience.

SINGAPORE: Veteran television host Bryan Wong is known for his spontaneity and his gift of gab.

But he said he had to watch his mouth when he was hosting the new game show Minute To Win It, his first major English-language hosting gig.

“When I speak English with my friends, all the ‘lah’-s, ‘lor’-s and ‘wor’-s will come out!

“I also have this strange habit of speaking English with an American, British or Australian accent, because I watch a lot of overseas shows at home and pick up whatever accent which sounds nice. So I had to be careful while hosting the show,” said Wong with a laugh.

Wong pointed out that Minute To Win It, which will see contestants attempt to complete 60-second challenges for a chance to win S$250,000, represents the first time in 22 years that he had to speak this much English on air.

“Twenty two years. It has been an extremely long time. The last time was Masters of the Sea I think,” said the 43-year-old, who made a name for himself after hosting the iconic Mandarin infotainment show City Beat in the 90s.

“For the past 20 odd years, I’ve been immersing myself in Chinese culture. It was like everything was in Mandarin. To suddenly host Minute To Win It and to converse in English … I’d be lying through my teeth if I said I wasn’t a nervous wreck!”

“It really freaked me out!”

WELCOME DISCOMFORT

Although it made him feel uncomfortable while was working on the game show, Wong said he actually welcomed this nervousness.

“It’s good because it keeps me on my toes. It’s good that I am still freaking out after 20 something years in this business, because that means my work still matters to me. If I’m not freaking out, I probably shouldn’t be doing this any more, because I don’t feel anything for it any more,” said Wong pensively, before returning to his usual, bubbly self and flashing a smile.

“I rejoice in the fact that at this ripe old age, I still get that ‘rookie’ type of feeling. Not that I like this kind of feeling or course!”

Apart from being Wong's first big English-language hosting gig, Minute To Win It also holds the distinction of being the first local game show to have a minister as a contestant - the Minute To Win It PSC Charity Special saw Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin play to raise funds for charity alongside actor Gurmit Singh.

The cast of Mata Mata 2 and comedians like Alaric Tay as well as Chua En Lai will also appear in the Minute To Win It Mata Mata Special and Comedy Special respectively.

The debut episode of Minute To Win It airs on August 9 after the National Day Parade. Subsequent episodes will air every Wednesday from August 13, 8pm on Channel 5.