Text and Photos: Tan Thiam Peng
Video: Tay Yixuan and Fiona Lin

Nat Ho

"An entertainer never really leaves the entertainment business."

With that, the winner for this year's Favourite Male Character summed up the mass exodus happening on Caldecott Hill, and reassured his fans that would be the case with him too.

Nat Ho will leave his current employer MediaCorp after his contract ends in June, joining a growing list of departing or departed artistes that include Jesseca Liu, Dawn Yeoh, Adrian Pang, Charlyn Lin, Peixuan, Jeff Wang and Fiona Xie.

But the good-looking lad tells xinmsn in an exclusive interview he'll still be around, as he pursues his "real passion" - music.

"There is a lot of stuff I want to try while I'm still young. Because of my age, I think it's the right time to leave. You know, I'm old enough, yet not too old to try other things," he said.

"I've an itch for singing! If I never try I'll regret it!"

Nat previously mentioned that his original intentions in signing on to MediaCorp four years ago were "to build [his] foundations and to network," which he has achieved.

Nat Ho

The former Singapore Idol contestant will take a diploma in audio engineering "to familiarize [himself] with the ins and outs of music production," and will also venture into F&B business with a cousin.

Is there no way to juggle the many hats?

Nat feels that something has got to give, but conceded that the latest contract offer by the company played a major part in his decision.

xinmsn understands the two-year extension doesn't include a pay rise for the rising star.

"It's always a combination of factors. There were pull factors already, and then that contract came...," the 25-year-old stopped, without elaborating.

Nat first thought of leaving two years ago, but stayed on to support his family. This time, it took him a few months of consideration.

That also meant he had already made the decision when he was voted Favourite Male Character at Star Awards 2010, leaving the mass communication diploma holder in a dizzy.

"You saw I was quite emotional [when my name was announced]. There were a lot of things going through my mind. It's a really strange, heart-aching feeling, to give me this when I'm leaving."

But no, he doesn't see it as "coming too late," as reported by other local media.

"It's more a nice farewell gift."

The main cast of With You.