It was the prop, no harm was intended — and that’s the story.
Tse Lap-yuen stepped up to claim responsibility for an embarrassing spill by executive councilor Regina Ip during a Lunar New Year ceremony last week but insisted it was an accident.
“I was completely unaware Mrs. Ip was stepping forward from the side,” the 45-year-old interior decorator told Apple Daily.
Tse, who was dressed as a unicorn for the traditional dance, backed into Ip as she was walking toward the main stage.
The former Hong Kong security minister reeled backward and toppled over before being helped back up by a man next to her. She gamely went on as if nothing happened.
Tse said the unicorn prop made it difficult to see people around him, let alone perceive those on his blind side.
Still, he said he tried to catch Ip with one hand as she began to lose her balance.
In the 30 years he has been performing, Tse said he has had no accident.
Spectators are supposed to give the performer enough space and usually, they don’t have to be told, he said.
In a Facebook post, Ip said she was not able to pick a spot for herself because the venue was crowded.
Tse said Ip seemed unaware of the proceedings, which meant she might have been in such a ceremony for the first time. Ip is a Christian.
Tse had been invited to perform the unicorn dance at the Sha Tin Che Kung Temple by the Sha Tin Rural Committee for a 10th year in a row.
However, Ip was not on the official guest list, according to committee sources quoted Monday by Apple Daily.
Ip later said she might have been invited to a different event.
Tse’s neighbors in Sha Tin Lower Fui Yiu Village hailed him as a “hero” but it’s not clear if they were applauding the embarrassment he caused on Ip as a heroic act.
“People have been swamping me with so many video clips of the incident my handset broke down. I had to get a new one,” he said.
Would he do it again?
(Not again on Regina Ip, of course).
“It’s satisfying to promote this tradition, especially as more and more young people are showing interest in it,” he said.
But next time, he said he would be more careful.
“I’ll ask my teammates to watch out for me.”
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