Taiwan presidential hopeful William Lai meets entertainer William Shen

The two Williams recorded a food show outside a Taipei temple

Ex-Premier William Lai (left) with TV host William Shen.

Ex-Premier William Lai (left) with TV host William Shen. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – In a William double bill, former Premier William Lai (賴清德) met entertainer and television producer William Shen (沈玉琳) to record a food show outside a temple Tuesday (May 14).

Lai registered last March to contest the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) nomination for next January’s presidential election in a challenge to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

Shen said he wanted to lift Lai’s spirits after recent online attacks by netizens, the Central News Agency reported. The former premier and ex-mayor of Tainan described Shen as a potential politician who had been reined in by the entertainment world.

The TV personality said that when he got up one morning, he saw his fans had written online that since both men had chosen William as their English name, they should meet. Shen had agreed, leading to Tuesday’s recording for a food show under the trees outside a temple in Taipei City’s Datong District.

The entertainer expressed his admiration for politicians who lived to realize their ideals even though they could make much more money if they went into business, CNA reported.

Shen said his own job was much more simple, with his main task being to entertain the public and present shows.

Lai recently paid a five-day visit to Japan, during which he met with senior politicians, including three former prime ministers and the brother of incumbent Shinzo Abe, Diet member Nobuo Kishi.