Actor Dominic West has been secretly training for a 208-mile (335km) race to the South Pole.
And as if that task weren’t intimidating enough, his competition is none other than HRH Prince Harry.
The pair, who are both Old Etonians, will take part in the South Pole Allied Challenge organised by military charity Walking With The Wounded later this year.
Harry will walk with a team of wounded British servicemen and women, while West has joined a Commonwealth cohort of wounded soldiers from Canada and Australia. The two groups will also be competing against a third team from the United States when they set off on their trip in November.
West, best known for starring in hit HBO series The Wire, spoke of his preparation for the challenge in the new issue of Radio Times, explaining his concern about his next role as a gay activist diagnosed with Aids which requires him to lose a great deal of weight. “The problem is I am walking to the South Pole after that and I really need a spare tyre for the journey,” said the 43-year-old who will soon be seen in BBC4’s Burton and Taylor.
A Walking With the Wounded spokesman confirmed West’s involvement in the challenge, stating, “He will be joining the Commonwealth team as a celebrity team mentor.
“He will be taking part in the full trek to the Pole, enduring gruelling conditions of up to minus 50 degrees. In fact, he has spent a week in Iceland for secret training on glaciers with his team and only got back on Thursday night.”
Harry confirmed back in April that he would be joining Team UK – also known as Team Glenfiddich – for the race after withdrawing early from the charity’s trek to the North Pole in 2011 due to his brother’s wedding and missing the Mount Everest challenge last year because of military commitments.
“The form may be different. The scale is certainly different,” he said of the South Pole trek. “But the aim remains the same – to enable our wounded to do what they and all other servicemen and women do better than anyone else I know – meet a challenge head-on and overcome it and inspire others to do the same.”