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Entertainment » Art & Culture


Published: 24/05/2009 at 12:00 AM
Newspaper section: News


Somchai ‘Tao’ Kemklat

Bad boy actor/singer Somchai "Tao" Kemklat wants to make a fresh start, but a Lampang shopkeeper nursing a broken head first wants him to make amends for his past.

Tao is the talk of the town after he married a Bangkok magazine marketing executive in a lightning wedding. The bully boy artiste of Chiang Mai - seldom seen in the industry these days, but a hot young thing in his time - tied the knot with Athamart "Yui" Attsawawimol at the marriage registry. He has moved to Bangkok to make a new start.

Only a few friends knew about the couple's plans. Among those who didn't are Tao's girlfriend, and his former wife.

Tao, who has since confirmed reports that the two were wed, says he is keen to start a family, though denies he married the girl because she is pregnant.

On the work front, he has asked Sony Music to take him under its wing. Senior executive director, Suttipong Wattanajung, known as "Chompu Fruity", says he is happy to hire Tao, and is already working on the concept for his first album.

"I am not worried about Tao's image, as he can make amends for his misdeeds. I am just worried about what he might do next," he joked.

Two years ago, Tao was convicted of assault, and given a suspended jail term. This year, a new assault case came along.

In January, Lampang grocery store owner Wirachart "Kota" Densirikhun, 56, complained to police that Tao beat him up at a roadside eatery as he was tucking into a bowl of noodles and dumplings.

Kota, frustrated with the lack of progress in the case, is now appealing to anyone who took pictures of Tao allegedly assaulting him to come forward.

"I'm told that someone who witnessed the assault recorded it on his mobile phone camera. I'm prepared to buy the video clip. The video could serve as key evidence, and bring this case to a speedy end," says Kota.

That day, Tao was accompanied to the noodle-shop by another love interest, student Erng.

"We were seeing each other a couple of years. He stops calling for a week, and the next I hear, he's married," says Erng, responding to news of his wedding.

Tao's former wife, Myria "Nat" Benedetti, says she, too, knew nothing about Tao's marriage until she read it in the media. However, she wishes him well.

In Bangkok, Tao recently took part in a fashion show, which he declared was his first big chance to turn over a new leaf.

Kota says he is not interested. "He can account for what he did to me first," he says.


Presenter Promporn "Erk" Yuwawet's nuisance caller saga has come to an end, but she's still annoyed with the people who started it all. Erk complained to police last week that a young man had been making nuisance sex calls to her home for two months.

The man called her on a phone number provided by True Corporation, which she obtained when they connected high-speed internet to her home.

Police tracked down the young man, and arrested him.

Erk confronted her admirer, Chainan Srinaht, 23, unemployed, and his parents at Bang Phlat police station this week.

His parents saw him making the calls, but thought he was talking to friends. Chainan was fined 1,000 baht for annoying and scaring people. After admitting the charges, the young man presented Erk with a vase of flowers.

Erk says she does not want to take further action against Chainan, who has a history of mental illness. She is more upset about True's role in the saga. She would like to know how her number found its way into the public domain.

"Chainan saw me on television, and called the 1133 directory service to ask for my number. They gave it to him. When I asked True to connect my internet, I told them I wanted the number to be silent. Yet it was freely available at the 1133 line to anyone who asked."

Initially, Erk suspected the caller was a True staff member, as she had given the number to no one else, and the caller was able to ask for her by name. Erk also complained to True, but says she heard little until her story went public.

"After the news emerged last week, someone from True's management called to apologise," says Erk. "Previously, I dealt with an ordinary staff member. They admitted they had moved too slowly."

True issued a public apology for causing Erk bother, and suggested she change her number.

"They can do more - such as making sure numbers that are supposed to be silent stay that way," says Erk.


Krissada ‘Noi’ Sukosol Clapp, above left, and Sek Loso,

Thai rocker Sek Loso has made up with actor/singer Krissada "Noi" Sukosol Clapp, after he attacked him with a shoe. Sek is back on Thai shores to promote an album and concert, and has invited Noi to perform as a special guest.

Two years ago, the pair were performing on an international stage, when they fell out during a rock opera adaptation of the Ramakien play. They were among Thai artists staging the opera before a hi-so crowd at the Lincoln Centre for Performing Arts in New York.

Noi, playing Hanuman and wearing nothing more than a pair of white boxers, was dancing when Sek, playing Phra Rama, strode onto the stage and belted him.

Noi, formerly of the band Pru, fought back, pushing Lek off stage and away from the cameras. After that fracas, Sek refused to rejoin the show, and was replaced.

The media said guitarist/singer Sek's attack brought Thailand into disrepute.

"It wasn't an argument as such, just a misunderstanding," said Lek this week, as he went before the media to promote his concert. Presumably, an argument would have been even more spirited.

"I have talked to Noi, and apologised. He was just as upset about what happened. No one understands Noi's feelings as well as I do. And no one understands my feelings on the stage that day as well as Noi," says Sek.

He has invited Noi to join his concert next month as a special guest. Thais, for all their fretting about how the pair's clash damaged the country's image, evidently like watching replays.

A YouTube video of their fight is the first item which Google returns on searches of Noi's name.

"Sek and Pru kiss and make up" said media reports in response to Sek's news. Ordinary Thais were sceptical.

"It is just a publicity stunt to promote Sek's concert," they said.

Sek has written a song with a nationalistic message, called For Thailand.

In a show of unity, he has invited veteran musicians to perform it with him, including Noi and song-for-lifer Ad Carabao.

The message is: If Sek and Noi can make up, then so can Thailand.

"I will play more of the same songs of heartbreak which my fans like," says Sek, who has a wife and two children, aged 12 and eight.

"Whenever Sek plays, teens in the audience beat each other up," says one glum Thai poster.

That doesn't sound too unifying, but then neither was the attack with the shoe.


Nonsri ‘Oui’ Nimibutr

Would you want this man urging you not to drink and drive?

Director Nonsri "Oui" Nimibutr has been convicted on a second drink-driving offence.

A court has sentenced the former drink-driving campaigner to 14 days in jail, reduced to seven days confinement after he confessed. They also suspended his licence for six months.

On March 11, Oui was travelling in his Mercedes sports when he hit a taxi. He was on his way home from a function held for the animated movie, Khan Kluay 2, in which he provided a voice-over.

Oui, who was given a suspended jail term on his last drink-driving conviction a few years ago, is repentant.

"I regret what happened, but I am sure my fans will understand why it was important for me to take my own car rather than a taxi that night. I was invited to many functions, and a car was simply more convenient."

The Queen of Langkasuka director, who intends to appeal, is out on bail.

"I want the court to reconsider the sentence. I don't want to just sit around for seven days. How about getting me to front another advertisement, free of charge, on the dangers of drink-driving?"

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