This year’s Comic Relief expedition to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro turned into an emotional journey – and viewers were touched by the nine celebrities and the way they supported each other all the way to the summit.
The Red Nose Day 2019 challenge saw Ed Balls, Anita Rani, Love Island’s Dani Dyer, Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Breakfast presenter Dan Walker, Strictly’s Shirley Ballas, Pointless host Alexander Armstrong and NFL star Osi Umenyiora team up to take on the highest mountain in Africa, following in the footsteps of Alesha Dixon and Cheryl who climbed Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief in 2009.
It was a particularly emotional challenge for Ballas. Her brother lost his life to suicide in 2003, and the Strictly Come Dancing judge was determined to complete the challenge in his memory. “I think my brother would be proud of me,” she said, as she battled altitude sickness and panic attacks. “So, I’ll do this for him. If it means sleeping in a tent and being disorganised, I’ll do it. I’ll do my very best for sure.”
Viewers also praised BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker, who stepped up as the group’s main cheerleader and motivator – encouraging Ballas and keeping Little Mix star Thirlwall going when she struggled.
Thirlwall and Pinnock found the challenge tough, but they won praise from viewers who were impressed by how they pushed through:
And at the end of the day…