Comic relief desert trek

The BT Red Nose Desert Trek

Celebrities to brave the gruelling demands of the desert

A team of nine courageous celebrities will be embarking on the toughest physical challenge of their lives this Red Nose Day as they attempt to take on one of the world’s most inhospitable deserts, under Kenya’s scorching sun, on The BT Red Nose Desert Trek, which launches today (7th February). The trek is sponsored by BT, who are a long term supporter of Comic Relief.


The intrepid team - Ronni Ancona, Craig David, Lorraine Kelly, Scott Mills, Olly Murs, Dermot O’Leary, Nadia Sawalha, Kara Tointon and Peter White - will push themselves to the limit as they take on some of the planet’s toughest terrain and deadliest creatures to raise as much cash as possible for Comic Relief.


To help the team raise heaps of cash, sponsor them now at rednoseday.com/trek. In addition BT will be donating money from phone calls made on ‘Chat for Change’ day on Friday 18th February.


Covering 100 gruelling kilometres in the Kaisut Desert in just five days and facing temperatures as high as 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the daring celebrities will trek over mountains, through bush and across a vast expanse of barren desert. The trekkers are expected to lose between 15 and 20 litres of water and burn around 8,000 calories per day. If all of that wasn’t enough, the celebrities will also have to contend with a convoy of camels which they will lead during the five day trek.

The celebrity team’s incredible efforts will raise money to help people living unimaginably tough lives both across Africa and the UK. In particular they will be highlighting the issue of sight. Money they raise will go to Comic Relief projects which include those that help to prevent thousands of people in Africa from going blind or contracting terrible eye conditions like trachoma, something which affects many people living in the region where the trek is taking place.

Throughout the course of the trek, the celebrities may meet many people who are losing their sight and need urgent eye care. They'll be spreading the word about a special eye care camp that they’ll reach on the last day of their trek, where people they've met along the way will get treatment that could save their sight.


All the ups and downs of their journey will be captured for a documentary which will be broadcast on the BBC in the run up to Red Nose Day. You’ll also be able to follow all the action at rednoseday.com/trek and hear updates from the celebrities on BBC Radio 1 throughout week, plus there will be video updates sent back by Scott Mills and the team available on the Radio 1 website.


Every minute, a child goes blind somewhere in the world and the effect is truly devastating. Tragically, up to fifty per cent of all children who lose their sight will die within two years. 


What makes these figures even more astonishing is that eighty per cent of all blindness is preventable and just £5 could pay for a sight-saving operation for someone in Africa who’s suffering from a debilitating eye condition called trachoma.


To help the team get off to a great start, BT is declaring ‘Chat for Change’ day on Friday 18th February 2011. On behalf of its customers, BT will donate 1p to Comic Relief for every call made from a BT home phone line as well as every call made from a BT payphone. Plus they’ll donate 25p for every call to BT’s Directory Enquiry Service 118500 from any landline or mobile.


A small amount of cash can make a huge difference to projects here in the UK and in Africa, so sponsor the team at rednoseday.com/trek now.