Good 'ol reliable Vittachi returns

Top News | Jane Cheung 23 Oct 2018

Veteran columnist Nury Vittachi will next Tuesday start a new column in The Standard - Reliable Sauce - which, as the name suggests, will be cheeky and witty.

The gossip column - from Tuesday to Friday - will feature short and true stories from our readers and Vittachi wants people to think of it as their space. With the massive reach of social media, Vittachi's new column will have a global audience of both readers and story providers.

Vittachi, who began his career in London's Fleet Street in the early 1980s before moving to Hong Kong in 1987, said: "All the best stories come from the readers."

After news leaked out that he would soon be back to writing a daily diary, Vittachi received scores of letters.

Here are some sneak peeks: One person revealed his unique collection of the craziest car license plates in the SAR, another shared funny information about the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, and a third gave interesting comments about the proposed new artificial island to be formed east of Lantau.

"The column will be filled with funny observations about life and stories that I hope will give readers a smile, or even a laugh," he said.

The author of many humorous books added: "You know what? In the 1950s, [the then] Chinese leader Mao Zedong made an official law to ban jokes and even had an Official Joke Inspector.

"Historically, there's not been much comedy in Asia. So humor in Asia has tended to come from the West and has been aimed at Western people."

He wants his column to feed people's need for laughter, as he reckons there is "too much negative news nowadays."

He added: "It's going to be about daily life: observations, witticisms, comments, anecdotes and gossip. It'll be nothing like a hard political commentary. Some people say I have a reputation of being mean and nasty, but I'm actually very gentle - honest!"

Vittachi's signature columns in the past have often featured humorous anecdotes from his inter-cultural background and readers can also expect to see more of these funny episodes in his new column.

He hails from Sri Lanka and is married to a woman who is of British descent.

"There are so many cultures in this city and it's fun to interact with people from different backgrounds," Vittachi said.

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