A big ask: David Yee

Updated: 3 Apr 2012
A big ask: David Yee

So you started out as a model?
I did a bit of modelling in Sydney during university to pay some bills. I did a commercial for Asia and a friend said I should go to Singapore. Most of the market in Australia is runway and there’s no money in runway. Commercials are where the money is so I gravitated over here.

Was it easy being an Asian model in Australia?
In Australia at that stage, it was certainly very blonde hair, blue eyes. Moneywise, at least. I did Vogue Australia so that really opened up doors for me. But as a guy, modelling will only take you so far. It’s the women who make the real money. After that I did television in Singapore and now I work in a design school.

Do you miss modelling?
I certainly miss the pay cheques. Modelling is such an easy job too. They pay you pretty well and you do nothing – you just stand there! Easiest job I’ve ever had in my life.

You hosted a celebrity show called ‘Showbuzz’ in Singapore. Of all the people you’ve interviewed, were there any who stood out?
Val Kilmer was an interesting story because I believe he was high when I was interviewing him. He was super friendly and super happy. And the other one was Sandra Bullock, she was very nice and attractive. I was waiting for her outside and as she came out of the lift, there was an easel stand with her poster and she’s quite clumsy, so she tripped over the easel and fell right in front of me. Oh and another one I enjoyed was Mariah Carey. I remember her wearing this tank top which was very tight and see-through and it was very hard to look her in the eyes.

As the Malaysian host of Li’s ‘LINK’, you do little lifestyle snippets for the channel and we notice your inclination towards food. Is there a reason for this?
I guess it’s a phase when you reach a certain age. Also, it’s the people you spend time with.

What’s your definition of a good restaurant?
I’m driven mainly by wine lists, and then the chef, followed by the food. In terms of cuisine, I’m always partial to Italian food. And modern Australian. I really enjoy Neroteca.

What was the best thing you’ve had to do since you got involved with ‘LINK’?
I enjoy travelling to Indonesia because I’ve been to Bali a few times and I love it. I love Seminyak. There are so many good beaches and eateries there too. Surekha Ragavan

David Yee joins hosts Jason Godfrey, Hannah Al Rashid and Angelique Teo on ‘LINK’, daily two-minute vignettes on Li (Ch 706).