What former TV leading man Desmond Shen has been up to since leaving showbiz 26 years ago

Desmond Shen with his wife Chua Kay Tse
Lianhe Zaobao

If you were a TV drama fan back in the '80s and '90s, you'd remember the handsome Desmond Shen. Then a leading man to starlets like Zoe Tay and Chen Xiuhuan, he could juggle playing both the dashing protagonist and scheming baddie with aplomb.

Since quitting showbiz some 26 years ago, he has mostly kept away from the limelight, returning to the small screen only occasionally for small roles in Channel 8 dramas such as The Little Nyonya (2008) and The Journey: A Voyage (2013).

In an interview with Lianhe Zaobao published yesterday (Jan 9), the 58-year-old said it's not likely he would act again.

"Unless I could squeeze it into my schedule, or it's a script that I really like," Desmond clarified.

While he doesn't watch dramas, he thinks Singaporeans should support local movies and TV shows. "That's because Singapore's showbiz industry is too weak (compared to the region's). We must support our own productions."

Desmond also spoke to the Chinese daily about his new book on naturopathy titled Living A Life, which he and his nutritionist wife Chua Kay Tse took two years to write.

It is his second book since his 2016 autobiography Alive.

In 2001, he founded Eagle's Therapy Management & Consultancy which focuses on natural therapy. He told Zaobao that he's thrown in a five-figure sum to publish their latest book in English and Chinese as well as for promotional activities, videos and events.

On the home front, Desmond has been married to Chua — who is 13 years younger — for over 16 years. It's his second marriage and they have no intention to start a family.

He joked: "Every month when my wife has her period, I shout, 'Hallelujah!' If not, it would be terrible if I had to bring my child to school in my old age."

kwokkarpeng@asiaone.com