Paul O’Grady announced as patron of Effingham orangutan charity


Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser

Orangutan Appeal UK raises awareness of the plight of primates

By Dorking Advertiser  |  Posted: November 06, 2015


    cute APPEAL: Paul O’Grady cradles a baby orangutan as Sue Sheward watches on Photo by Cede Prudente

Paul O’Grady’s fondness for dogs is no secret, but now another member of the animal kingdom has stolen the presenter’s heart, thanks to an Effingham charity.

The Blankety Blank and For The Love Of Dogs star, 70, has been named as a patron of the Orangutan Appeal UK, following a reception at the House of Commons last week.

O’Grady, who achieved fame as drag queen comedian Lily Savage, became involved with the charity after joining its founder, Sue Sheward, from Effingham, on a trip to Borneo in September.

The TV and radio host witnessed first-hand the work of the charity during a visit to the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre, which rescues and cares for orphaned and injured orangutans.

“I am delighted to be a patron of Orangutan Appeal UK, to help raise awareness of the plight of this beautiful endangered ape and promote the work the charity are doing to conserve them,” he said.

“Seeing their work first-hand and meeting the baby orangutans was heart-wrenching, I immediately fell in love with baby Archie which has inspired me to get involved.”

The event was hosted by Bill Wiggin MP on behalf of the charity, and was held to raise awareness of the threats to the endangered ape and the impact of deforestation.

Presenter Bill Oddie and biologist Ian Redmond were among the guests to attend, while leading conservationist Stanley Johnson was a guest speaker.

Ms Sheward founded the Orangutan Appeal UK in 2000 to raise awareness of the plight of primates in the rainforests of Borneo, a cause she has since devoted her life to.

She told the Advertiser: “Filming in Borneo with Paul O’Grady was a complete honour. He has become such a genuine supporter of the appeal we were delighted at our House of Commons event to announce him as our patron.

“We still have a lot to do to save these great apes and our rainforest. We desperately need to attract donations, and Paul will be perfect to help us do this. The entire event at the House of Commons was a great success.”

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