Foreign paparazzi swarm funeral for ‘Fei Fei’



Paparazzi block Joyce Cheng, daughter of Hong Kong celebrity Lydia Sum, outside Vancouver City Hall yesterday.

A horde of Hong Kong paparazzi invaded Vancouver this week to cover today’s funeral of legendary actress, comedienne and television host Lydia Sum – a woman who has been compared to Oprah Winfrey in terms of her popularity.

She was also the sister of fashion designer Alfred Sung.

"I’m sure every single media organization in Hong Kong sent someone here," said Claudia Lau, a news reporter for Fairchild Radio AM 1470 in Vancouver. "There are cameramen, photographers and paparazzi too."

About 30 paparazzi filled Vancouver City Hall’s council chambers yesterday to photograph Sum’s daughter Joyce Cheng as Mayor Sam Sullivan proclaimed June 1, Ms. Fei Fei Day in the city.

The group ran from the chambers after the proclamation and blocked Cheng ‘s path as she tried to get into a minivan outside City Hall.

Sum, who was known to her fans as ‘Fei Fei’ (a term of endearment meaning ‘fat fat’), was widely recognized by her bouffant hairstyle and black horned-rim glasses.

She starred in numerous movies and hosted the variety show, Enjoy Yourself Tonight, which ran on Hong Kong television for more than 30 years. Sum died last week of liver cancer. Her body was transported to Vancouver – her home for many years – and will be buried this morning at a private ceremony in Burnaby.


  • Lydia Sum’s death, while almost unmentioned in English media, has stirred a maelstrom of ink in local Chinese media, with one local daily giving it a reported 8 pages of coverage.

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