The prospect of a South African safari feels more distant than ever before.
But if you’ve been diagnosed with a bad case of wanderlust, and fancy seeing some very sweet animals, Channel 4 is coming to the rescue.
New daytime series, Work on the Wild Side, follows the British vets, vet nurses and volunteers who uprooted their lives to help endangered species across the world.
Series producer Lee Salisbury has told RadioTimes.com everything we need to know about the new series, which features incredible scenes of animal drama and high cuteness levels!
What is Work on the Wild Side?
The series follows British vets, vet nurses and volunteers who have moved to South Africa to dedicate themselves to animal conservation. “This programme is what everyone needs right now,” promises producer Lee. “There’s something special about South African we get to see everything from vets doing massive procedures on lions to the rehabilitation of orphaned monkeys. We even see vet Emily giving a cheetah mouth to mouth resuscitation!”
Which animals will we see on Work on the Wild Side?
Lots! Monkeys, cheetahs, hippos, rhinos, lions – all sorts of animals for you to fall in love with. “You’ve got the endangered species, like giraffes, and sanctuaries where monkeys are being rehabilitated and then released,” says Lee.
‘There are a lot of orphaned rhinos, because poaching is a huge problem and a lot of the mums get killed for their horns. Lily is the first orphan we meet, she’s bottle fed milk and you can’t help but fall in love with her, especially when she is bullied by bigger rhinos!
“We meet Hector the baby hippo, who got stuck stranded by a watering hole under a bridge during a drought and his mum had disappeared, he’s amazing.
“We also go on a six hour night walk for an aardvark!”
When is Work on the Wild Side on TV?
The daytime series is on every weekday afternoon at 4pm on Channel 4. “It was mad doing a series like this on a daytime budget, but I made sure we had a very experienced crew,” says Lee.
Was Work on the Wild Side filmed during lockdown?
Luckily not, the crew had finished filming before social distancing began. But Lee does worry about the charities and conservationists still in South Africa, who were filmed on and off for a year.
“I’m in contact with them literally every day, they are the best bunch and they’re obviously really excited about the show, but they are really struggling at the moment. A lot of sanctuaries depend on volunteers who have had to be flown home, and poaching is probably going to escalate because lots of game wardens have been sacked in the current crisis.”
Work on the Wild Side airs weekdays at 4pm on Channel 4, starting Monday 18th May. To find out what else is on TV throughout the week, check out our TV Guide.