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Media Releases

2008 ESPN STAR Sports Charity Event at Laguna Phuket Golf Club Celebrity Biographies

Media Release

Drinie Aguilar
Drinie is the STAR Sports presenter for Game, the first-ever gaming programme produced in the region for Pan-Asian audiences, the motorsport magazine show Engine Block and can be seen on STAR Sports' news bulletin Score Tonight. A media darling in the Philippines, Drinie has graced numerous magazine covers
such as Vanity, Lifestyle Asia and Girl, and is regularly seen in TV commercials. After her stint as an actress on the theatre stage and television, Drinie discovered a flair for hosting television variety programmes which she put to good use. But she found her calling as a sports presenter and commentator after working as a sportscaster for Solar Sports, the biggest sports cable network in the Philippines.

The change to join the sports broadcasting industry certainly suits the self-confessed sports and adrenaline junkie. She earned a full scholarship playing football for the University of the Philippines, excelling in her favoured position as a striker. Her other outdoor exploits include sky-diving, scubadiving, wakeboarding, surfing, kayaking, boxing, practicing Capoeira and taking part in the occasional adventure race.

Paula Malai Ali
One of Asia’s most popular television personalities, Paula Malai Ali’s invaluable experience and passion for working in television has made her a key addition to STAR Sports’ strong ensemble of presenters, adding a touch of glamour and charm to the sports entertainment channel.

Known for her consummate professionalism, Paula is a hot favourite in the entertainment industry in Malaysia as well as across the region. The high-profile presenter is also the face of many international brands.

Over the past 9 years, Paula has graced the screen for various networks, with Channel [V] being the place she called home for 4 years. Besides her work on TV, Paula also presented several radio programs in Malaysia, and acted on the theatre stage. Because of her career achievements, she was featured in a special episode on The Oprah Winfrey Show that profiled successful women in their thirties.

The Eurasian beauty is a mainstay on the Formula One pre and post-race show, Race Day and Chequered Flag with Steve Dawson, and the weekly sports highlights show Seven @ Seven. Paula is also one of the anchors on STAR Sports’ news programme Score Tonight.

Ally Begg
Ally Begg joined ESPN STAR Sports in 2007. His programme credits include Star Rugby, STAR Soccer Sunday, Score Tonight and Rugby World Cup 2007. Ally comes from Newburgh in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. During his youth he was a keen footballer. He trained with Aberdeen, had trials for Burnley and Blackpool as
a defender, and was captain of the North of Scotland under 15 and under 16 teams. Injuries prevented his football career from progressing to professional level. Instead Ally worked as a lifeguard and leisure centre worker before being spotted by a talent scout in Edinburgh when he was 18. This led to modeling work in London and the chance to form ‘90s pop boy band “Bad Boys Inc”.

After leaving the band Ally returned to Scotland where he devoted his time to becoming a qualified football coach and fitness instructor. After managing a small gym Ally was approached by Granada TV to become Granada Shop’s Health and Fitness advisor. Manchester United’s own TV station, MUTV, soon came calling and for the next five years Ally worked and lived in Manchester. During his time with MUTV he interviewed David Beckham, Sir Alex Ferguson and Roy Keane among others. Ally has also had spells with Sky Sports News, Sky News, Talksport Radio and Thomas Cook TV, as well as Celtic TV.

Derek Currie
Derek Currie used to play professional football for a number of years for the Hong Kong Rangers. He was the first foreign player in Hong Kong. Derek is one of the anchors on Football Focus, Football Forecast and ESPN STAR Sports’ Champion League coverage.

John Dykes
John Dykes is one of Asia’s most well-informed and respected football presenters for ESPN. As the anchor of ESPN STAR Sports’ Barclays Premier League coverage, John is popular with viewers across Asia. He hosts ESPN’s flagship football chat show Football Focus, Football Up Close, First Edition and coordinates live weekend EPL coverage from our Singapore studios, regularly working with big names from the English football scene.

Englishman John has in fact presented and commentated on a wide range of sports for ESPN STAR Sports since 1996. He has anchored live cricket and rugby World Cups, hosted Champions League finals from the Stade De France and the San Siro, and also spent five seasons broadcasting live Formula One to Asia. Prior to joining ESPN STAR Sports, John was a journalist with Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post and also a presenter with TVB in Hong Kong, where he hosted movie and entertainment shows, as well as live telecasts of The Oscars.

Andrew Leci
Andrew Leci has worked his way up the ladder at ESPN STAR Sports to become one of the most recognisable and versatile presenters around. He has at one time been an actor, investment broker, theatre producer, barman, theatre director, chef, lift attendant, restaurateur, comedian and writer. He now hosts ESPN’s live presentation for the Barclays Premier League, the preview show Football Forecast
and the exciting football game show, Samsung Kick-off. Andrew is also a founder member of the notorious Instant Café Theatre Company that has provided so much entertainment and controversy in Malaysia since the 1990s. His articles on food, books and Malaysia have appeared in innumerable publications over the years, and Andrew has written extensively for the theatre. Once Removed is his first novel. Andrew is also a qualified Cordon Bleu chef.

Paul Masefield
Paul played professional football in England for several years, representing the likes of Birmingham, Stockport and Preston before moving to Hong Kong. There he played for the Hong Kong selection side taking on the likes of Sampdoria, Inter Milan and the Yugoslavian national side. Paul’s programme credits include Football Focus and Football Forecast.

Andy Penders
Andy Penders is one of STAR Sports' most recognisable faces for football as the cohost of Nokia Football Crazy. He started his career in the football journalism world at TeamTalk, where he was editor of one of the world's largest football websites. Having covered the Euro Championships for UEFA, Andy decided it was time for a switch and headed down under to work as a content manager for one of Australia's largest bookmakers where he contributed regularly to newspapers and websites.

A move to Singapore followed next, and this time he served as Chief Editor of the acclaimed ZoomSports network of websites. Andy's role at ZoomSports landed him a spot as a pundit on Channel 7 in Singapore where he gave his expert opinion on Premier League matches. Andy was also chosen as the only guest for the channel’s coverage of the Euro 2000 finals. After a two year stint at ZoomSports, Andy moved to ESPN STAR Sports where he worked as a Senior Producer for, Asia largest sports website. Andy's predictions and overall football comments made him an ideal candidate to host Football Crazy. His favourite team is Southampton, who he adores with a passion and having represented them once at the under-19 level it shows that he can also play a bit!

PJ Roberts
Born in Canberra, Australia, PJ is a familiar figure on ESPN STAR Sports. PJ had a distinguished international career as an elite athlete playing professional football in Australia, the U.S.A., Malaysia and Singapore, which included captaining Australia. He has also taught at the Australian International School
Singapore in Business Studies, and Personal Development, Health & Physical Education.

PJ has moved seamlessly into the media world as a football analyst since hanging up his boots, and appears on ESPN STAR Sports' football coverage, offering entertaining insights on the game today. PJ is co-host of Nokia Football Crazy.

Shebby Singh
Shebby started his football career as a central defender for local team Kuala Lumpur FA, which won the Malaysia Cup three years in a row from 1987-1989, and went on to play in the international arena for Malaysia. His career in domestic football lasted eighteen years from 1978-1996. He won every domestic honour, including the Malaysia Cup, Malaysian FA Cup and League Championship.

Shebby played nine years of international football for Malaysia, including playing in three Asian Games in 1982, 1986 and 1990, and was a South East Asian Games gold medallist in 1989. He has played against the likes of Bayern Munich, Hamburg, Aston Villa and Newcastle. Shebby’s programme credits include Football Focus and Football Forecast.

Peter Withe
Peter is a football legend remembered for scoring the winning goal for Aston Villa, to win the European Cup in 1982. He was also an England Squad member for the World Cup that same year. Representing England from 1980-1985, Peter achieved 11 Full International Caps.

Peter is also a professional football coach, with a UEFA “A” Full License and the FA Preliminary Coaching Award and FA Full Licensed Coaching Award as testimonial to his coaching skills. He has coached and managed the Thailand and Indonesia national teams, as well as Wimbledon, Aston Villa, Power Dynamos and Huddersfield Town. Under his guidance, the Thailand national team placed fourth at the 1998 Asian
Games and qualified for the 2001 World Cub Asian final stages, a first in Thai football history.