Friday, February 25, 2011

They've done it! Comic Relief celebs including Kara Tointon, Olly Murs and Lorraine Kelly finish arduous 100km desert trek


We did it! Peter White, left, is helped over the finish line by a jubilant Kara Tointon as Olly Murs holds his arms aloft in celebration

It was one of the most gruelling experiences of their lives - but the nine celebrities who tackled the BT Comic Relief Desert Trek were jubilant tonight after completing their arduous task.

Sunburned and With battered feet bandaged, they heaved themselves the last few miles across the inhospitable Kaisut desert in northern Kenya.

Even blind BBC presenter Peter White, who'd been forced to pull out earlier in the week over fears blisters on his feet could become infected, had rejoined the trail to cross the finish line with his fellow intrepid and kind-hearted celebs.

One for all: Dermot O'Leary, Olly, Scott Mills and Nadia Sawalha get ready for the final push

The team walked an agonising 20 kilometres in the scorching heat today and crossed the finish line together.

There were emotional scenes as the trekkers embraced each other in relief and celebration, surrounded by a group of local children singing and clapping.

The nine who'd take part also included Strictly Come Dancing champion Kara Tointon, queen of the breakfast show sofa Lorraine Kelly and X Factor star Olly Murs.

The hardy group were completed by actress and presenter Nadia Sawalha, Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, R&B star Craig David, impressionist Ronni Ancona and X Factor host Dermot O'Leary.

Tears: It all got too much for Lorraine Kelly on the last day of their epic trek

The week-long trek has seen them suffer extreme physical and mental hardships, not least Peter's foot problems.

As they started the fifth day’s walk this morning, many of the group were on their last legs.

Dermot was struggling with incredibly painful blisters and Olly Murs was suffering from a debilitating stomach bug as well as severe chafing on his legs.

They’ve also had to avoid rock slides, snakes, spiders, scorpions and endure temperatures as high as 118 degrees Fahrenheit along the way.

Painful: Many of the celebrities, including Dermot O'Leary, had to have their feet bandaged when the blisters proved too much to bear

Dermot said after finally finishing: 'I’ve enjoyed every second of this trek. My feet are ruined but that doesn’t matter because I’ve met some amazing people both in the team and those that live in this harsh but beautiful place.

'Judging by the fantastic response we’ve had, people seem to have been following this trek.'

Many including Kara have also broken down in tears along the route as they struggled to cope with the gruelling challenge across tricky terrain in searing temperatures.
But the celebs efforts were all for a good cause.

The final push: The star walked their last 20km leg of the trek today

Exhausted: Olly Murs, left, and Lorraine Kelly, have been left wiped out by the experience

As well as raising money for Comic Relief, their testing trek was being filmed ahead of Red Nose Day on March 18 and was also helping to raise awareness of the challenges facing blind people in both Africa and back home in the UK.

Some of the team witnessed operations on people suffering from trachoma - a procedure to restore sight which can cost just £5.

Olly said: 'It was overwhelming to reach the finish line and to see all the people we’ve helped on the way. Thank you to everyone who’s donated so far. I’ve seen for myself how that money will make a real difference.'

Lots to think about: All the stars, including Olly, have been left deeply affected by what they've experienced on the trek

Lorraine meanwhile exclaimed: 'I’ve done four marathons in my time but this was harder than all of them by a million miles. My feet are like a pound of raw mince. I’d love to come back here but I won’t be walking.'

The resulting documentary will be screened on the BBC ahead of Red Nose Day as part of Comic Relief.

In the meantime, you can sponsor the team for completing their trek at

source: dailymail

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