CUPARIANS watching Channel 4 last Thursday night may have spotted a familiar face on their TV screens.
The British consulate employee featured on the ‘Our Man In...’ programme was Cupar-born Maria Leng.
Maria (35), who works for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the Canary Islands, was shown helping Brits in distress as part of her consular role.
The three-part documentary series was filmed in various foreign locations last summer and revealed how staff regularly come to the rescue of expats and holidaymakers who find themselves in trouble.
In the Canary Islands episode, Maria was shown putting her skills as a British consul into practice by working with the Royal British Legion to help a military veteran found living on the streets of Tenerife get back to the UK.
Her team also provided support to the only British woman in a Tenerife prison.
Maria, who went to Castlehill Primary and Bell Baxter High School, offered the following advice to anyone travelling abroad: “This documentary highlights just how important it is to prepare properly before you travel overseas.
“Take out comprehensive travel insurance and get a free EHIC health card, or you’ll find it much harder to get medical care.
“It’s also really important to make a note of your passport number and consider taking a photocopy with you in case you lose it or have it stolen.
“Even if you’re staying with friends and family, it is important to ensure you are aware of the local laws and customs — being British doesn’t grant you a get out of jail free card if you’re caught breaking local laws.
“By taking a few simple precautions, you can avoid a dream holiday turning into a nightmare.”
Maria’s mum and dad still live in Cupar and she comes back to north east Fife to visit them several times a year.
Before becoming consul in the Canary Islands, Maria was vice-consul in Ibiza and also had a spell working for Curtis Fine Papers in Guardbridge.
‘Our Man In...’ is available to watch on Channel 4’s online catch-up service, 4OD.