Vernon Kay has just completed his “Ultra Ultramarathon” raising a staggering £4m for BBC Children in Need.
The Radio Two presenter, who replaced Ken Bruce in the mid-morning slot earlier this year, walked and ran 115 miles from Leicester to Bolton over the course of four days finishing at the Bolton Wanderers football stadium on Friday morning to raise funds for the charity.
He described it as “absolutely unbelievable. One of the most painful, but joyful experiences”, as the total raised continued to soar after he completed the challenge shortly after 10am.
Kay is the latest in a long line of celebrities and BBC Radio Two hosts who have taken on a challenge to raise money for Children in Need.
Who else has taken on the Children in Need challenge and what did they raise?
Fellow Radio Two DJ Scott Mills completed his Treadmill Challenge in 2022, walking, jogging and running on the treadmill for 24 hours.
He even recreated his infamous “crab dance” from Strictly Come Dancing while doing the challenge.
As he stepped off the treadmill, he had raised £751,445 rising to £1,000,365 an hour later.
He told his Radio Two colleague Zoe Ball: “I’m in shellshock right now.”
Pop star Sophie Ellis-Bextor took on the 2021 challenge with her Kitchen Disco Danceathon, dancing non-stop for 24 hours.
She raised £1,257,959 in total for children’s charities across the UK.
Completing the challenge, she said: “It’s actually been really fun.
“It’s been an honour – but am I allowed to not dance or talk to people any more?”
Fitness guru Joe Wicks, who led the nation through the lockdown with his PE sessions, took on the Children in Need challenge in 2020.
He carried out a 24-hour PE challenge, exercising non-stop for the charity and raising £2,108,229.
A year earlier Radio Two presenter Rylan Clark took up the Children in Need Challenge with his 24-hour karaoke session raising £1095,401.00.
BBC presenter Matt Baker, from Countryfile and The One Show, raised more than £45m for Children in Need over the course of 13 years with his Rickshaw Challenge which saw him cycle across the country each year raising funds.
However, he announced this year it would not be happening.
In a social media post he wrote: “For those asking about the Rickshaw Challenge… I’m sorry to say that as BBC Children in Need’s programming offerings and fundraising initiatives change year by year, the Rickshaw Challenge isn’t happening this year.
“It’s a real disappointment not to be out riding on the UK streets as the Rickshaw Challenge has been a highlight of Children in Need for me for the past 13 years.”
How to donate to Children in Need for Vernon’s Ultra Ultramarathon
Donations online can be made here or text:
- To donate £10 text TEN to 70710
- To donate £20 text TWENTY to 70710
- To donate £30 text THIRTY to 70710
Children in Need will be available to watch on iPlayer and BBC One tonight from 7pm.