Local actor-host Darren Lim has been in some of the most dangerous situations that many Singaporeans may never get to experience in their lifetimes.
From patrolling a remote village in the Philippines for guerilla groups to visiting a hospital in India during the onset of Covid-19 pandemic, he has seen it all.
In an interview with Lianhe Zaobao published yesterday (Sept 27), the 50-year-old said that he had concerns before accepting these documentary projects.
“The producers told me that only I could work on this programme. I felt flattered, but I also felt that this was my mission.
“I was definitely worried and thought ‘what if I can’t return to my wife and children?’ Nevertheless, we had done all the necessary precautions and didn’t visit places that were too dangerous,” he said.
Despite that, Darren is still fearful when he is exposed to invisible threats such as diseases.
Darren shared that his wife, local actress Evelyn Tan, 48, is usually supportive of his work, but the only time she discouraged him from taking on an assignment was when he had to travel to a hospital in India during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said: “My wife hoped that I would wear a mask and gloves and take the necessary precautions. But when we were at the hospital, the doctors and nurses were not wearing any, what would others think if I wore a mask and gloves?
“At that point, I decided not to wear them. I was very worried, but could only leave matters to fate.”
When he returned to Singapore, he had a fever for a week.
While interviewing a family in Inner Mongolia, Darren also accompanied a coughing man to the hospital for a checkup, and found out later that the man had tuberculosis.
He added: “When I heard it, I backed away slowly, because tuberculosis is contagious! I have four children at home, how could I not be afraid?”
So how did he convince Evelyn to let him continue filming in dangerous situations?
“From time to time, I would tell Evelyn, if my time is up, then so be it. Everyone has to leave at some point, I would rather leave under such circumstances than because of illness,” he said.
This is not to say that Darren hasn’t faced physical dangers either.
He shared that, when he was filming season three of infotainment programme Fixer, he travelled to a Philippines village to find out more about the guerilla group New People’s Army and was escorted by the Philippines military.
“I was thinking, if something happened, I would snatch the soldier’s gun to protect myself,” he said, adding that he and the cameraman had to wear bulletproof vests when they were in the village.
He also shared another experience in the Philippines where they went to a small island to film sea turtles.
They were told by the locals that they would reach the island on their sampan (wooden boat) in 30 minutes, but ended up drifting on the sea for two hours until it turned dark.
They had no lights or navigation system on the boat and didn’t even wear life jackets, he added.
They also got lost and their boat almost collided with another boat.
Despite all the dangers and challenges that he had faced in his course of work, Darren remains positive.
“When everyone puts in their best efforts to present the story, I feel really satisfied,” he said.
All four seasons of Fixer are available on MeWATCH now.
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