Actress Jaime Winstone and All Saints star Mel Blatt have spoken about their passion for tiger conservation in their bid to save the endangered animals. Inviting HELLO! to join them on a train trip on the Eastern & Oriental Express from Bangkok through Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, Jaime said she was shocked by the rapid decline in the number of tigers in the world. There are now only 3,900 tigers living in the wild globally, compared to more than 100,000 in the early 20th century. If no action is taken, they could be extinct within a decade. "It’s very daunting. It’s in your face and it hits home more when you see it with your own eyes," says Jaime, mum to three-year-old Raymond with her partner James Suckling. "The thought of my son growing up and asking: 'What’s a tiger, Mummy, do they just live in zoos?' is really depressing. It’s affecting us all and it’s our job to make a big enough noise to stop people like poachers and these huge companies. It’s just so sad."
Jaime Winstone and All Saints star Mel Blatt rode the Tiger Express from Thailand to Singapore
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The train trip, known as the 'Tiger Express' was taken to raise awareness for conservation group Save Wild Tigers, which Jaime is an ambassador for. And the journey, Jaime explains, was also a good reason to have some enjoyable time with her close friend Mel during some downtime on the train. "One night, Mel got up and sang [All Saints hit] Never Ever," Jaime says of her friend, who notched up five No. 1s in the 1990s. "I sang with her, which is obviously a personal dream of mine." Laughs Mel: "We did some very posh karaoke. Never ever did I ever think I’d sing Never Ever on the Eastern & Oriental Express going through Thailand. But Jaime helped me out. It was weird to sing without my girls, that’s never happened before. I was scared! But it was great."
To read the full interview, pick up the latest copy of HELLO!, out Monday 7 October
PHOTOGRAPHER PHILIP NORTH ON PR PIC