Stars swing in to help orangutans with charity auction

The Oxford Times: A baby Sumatran orangutan A baby Sumatran orangutan

ACTRESS Joanna Lumley, rock band Coldplay and stars of the Lord of the Rings films are helping to raise thousands of pounds for an Oxford charity fighting to save endangered orangutans.

Last year the Sumatran Orangutan Society (SOS) based in Cowley Road arranged a Jungle VIP auction on eBay and stars including Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and DJ Chris Evans donated items to raise over £10,000.

This year more big names have come forward and the charity hopes the sale on Friday will raise a similar amount.

Stadium band Coldplay have donated a limited edition lithograph of their Viva La Vida album artwork, signed by band members including lead singer Chris Martin.

Oxford band Stornoway are also backing the SOS sale, having filled Oxford Town Hall for two homecoming concerts earlier this month. Singer-songwriter Brian Briggs said he was delighted to auction a handwritten lyric sheet for Fuel Up, a song from the band’s first album Beachcomber’s Windowsill.

The 32-year-old father-of-two from Cowley said: “When we played at the Regal in 2011 we raised thousands of pounds for various charities and the SOS was one of those to benefit.

“I’ve always been interested in conservation issues and before the band took off I worked with reptiles in Wiltshire and researched wildfowl conservation.

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“The orangutans’ habitat includes plantations cut down to produce palm oil and other biofuels so perhaps Fuel Up is an appropriate lyric to auction.”

Ms Lumley, who has donated a script page from the movie Ella Enchanted, said: “I really love orangutans and met many of these majestic animals when filming in Indonesia. It is our duty to do all we can to save them and their way of life."

The SOS charity launched in 2001 and has been based in Oxford for the past seven years.

The director of SOS, Helen Buckland, 31, from Abingdon, said: “Sumatran orangutans stand to be the first Great Ape to go extinct if we don’t act now to save their forest home.

“The Jungle VIP auction will help us raise vital funds to protect orangutans.

“We haven’t set the starting prices for bidding yet on the items but the Sebastian Vettel top will probably start at £100.”

The auction will take place between Friday and Sunday, March 10, at ebay.co.uk/JungleVIP. Members of the public are also being asked to sell their own items on eBay, with proceeds benefiting SOS.

The number of Sumatran orangutans in Indonesia is estimated to have fallen by more than 90 per cent since 1900 and there are just 6,600 left in the wild. SOS is dedicated to protecting orangutans and their habitat through rainforest restoration, community-led conservation, education and campaigning.

 

UNDER THE HAMMER

  • LORD of the Rings photos and a blu-ray disc signed by Dominic ‘Merry’ Monaghan and Billy ‘Pippin’ Boyd
  • A signed racing top worn by Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel 
  • Signed DVDs and books from actresses Natalie Portman, Ellen DeGeneres, and Gillian Anderson
  • An invitation to the Green Room at The Graham Norton Show
  • Director Steven Berkoff’s signed programme from his 1988 New York production of Coriolanus
  • Joanna Lumley’s script page from the 2002 film Ella Enchanted, signed by Joanna Lumley, Minnie Driver, Anne Hathaway and Jimi Mistry, plus a photo of Ms Lumley and a handwritten note
  • Coldplay limited edition lithograph of album artwork from Viva La Vida.

Comments (1)

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9:50pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Myron Blatz says...

You pay peanuts, and now you get Orangutans? At least it seems better value-for-money than last time a well-known City and County Councillor made a similar comment.
You pay peanuts, and now you get Orangutans? At least it seems better value-for-money than last time a well-known City and County Councillor made a similar comment. Myron Blatz

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