Dorking and Leatherhead advertiser press release

THE founder of a charity dedicated to preserving orangutans and saving their habitat from destruction will be the star of an eight-part documentary television series.

Sue Sheward, of Effingham, started her charity Orangutan Appeal UK in 2002, and was appointed MBE in 2012 for her work with the animals in Borneo and for raising awareness of their plight.

She was selected by satellite channel Animal Planet to be the focus of a one-off documentary last year, but after filming began, the channel decided to make the project an eight-episode series.

Ms Sheward told the Advertiser: "As soon as they got out there with me they said, 'This is big stuff'. They've already started talking about a second series."

Filming for the project began in November last year and Ms Sheward is flying back to Borneo this week to shoot the final scenes.

While full details of its contents have not yet been revealed, the series will feature Ms Sheward's work at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, in the Malaysian Sabah district of North Borneo.

She said: "They'll get you out of bed at 6 o'clock in the morning and you'll suddenly realise you can't wear make-up or anything. Of course, it's not about me, it's about the primates and the work we can do to make a difference.

"I have been filmed before for a BBC series but this was just following me and the work I do.

"They were forever on my tail asking me how I was feeling. They have already got me crying on camera.

"Since I first became involved in the conservation efforts of these beautiful apes, their numbers have fallen dramatically in the wild from over 100,000 to the latest estimate of just 20,000."

The series is due to start on Animal Planet in January 2015.

On Ms Sheward's return to the UK, she will host a presentation evening titled A Route To Compassionate Conservation, on June 13 at 7pm at the Preston Cross Hotel, Bookham.

OAUK's primatologist will speak about pioneering research into rescued and rehabilitated orangutans. Simon Cowell, founder of Leatherhead-based charity the Wildlife Aid Foundation, will also speak.

Doors open at 6.45pm. For tickets costing £9.50 (£5 students) visit, call 01590 623443 or e-mail

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