10 years since the likes of Gary Barlow and Alesha Dixon summited Mount Kilimanjaro, a group of celebrities have followed them on the steep climb up Africa’s highest mountain in aid of Comic Relief 2019.
Their journey – which has been an emotional one, judging by social media updates – is being broadcast in a film on BBC1 at 9pm on Wednesday 13th March.
Meet the nine stars taking part in the 19,000 feet ascent, here…
Shirley Ballas, the head judge on Strictly Come Dancing, has revealed that she’s “not an outdoorsy person”, so this climb is a big step for dance floor legend.
Ballas described the experience as “life changing” and said it was “by far the hardest challenge I ever had in my entire life”.
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There were many highlights of our #ReturnToKili climb for @ComicRelief with @Dani_MasDyer @ShirleyBallas @MrDanWalker @XanderArmstrong @OsiUmenyiora @LittleMix @ItsAnitaRani— Ed Balls (@edballs) March 7, 2019
This is one of my favourites - dancing with the great Shirley Ballas! https://t.co/UwufH4ac3O pic.twitter.com/0hLwPWmFeU
Former Labour MP and Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls was first known as a politician before losing his seat during the 2015 general election and going on to gain a whole new demographic of fans thanks to his memorable stint on Strictly Come Dancing. He’s since made a number of TV appearances, including fronting documentary Travels in Trumpland.
He showed off his moves once more while climbing Kilimanjaro with Strictly head judge Shirley Ballas.
During the climb, Dyer revealed she and her fellow celebrities “haven’t stopped crying”, but has since called the experience “amazing” and “unforgettable”.
Pointless presenter Alexander Armstrong is usually seen alongside his quiz show colleague Richard Osman – or comedy partner Ben Miller – but here he’s pictured at the summit of Kilimanjaro with fellow climber Ed Balls.
He has called reaching the peak of the mountain “very emotional” and “utterly wonderful”.
Anita Rani is no stranger to being out in the wild, having been a presenter on the BBC’s Countryfile since 2015. She also competed in the 2015 series of Strictly, reaching the semi-final, and fronted a string of documentaries including My Family, Partition and Me.
Rani has been posting a series of videos from her Kilimanjaro journey, and has been reassuring her mother along the way that she’s been wearing moisturiser.
Dan Walker presents Football Focus and BBC Breakfast and has a famous ‘feud’ with his rival, Good Morning Britain’s Piers Morgan.
In contrast, he spent his time on Kilimanjaro making firm friendships and bonding with Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall over strawberry laces.
— Jade Thirlwall (@JadeAThirIwallx) March 6, 2019
Jade Thirlwall is a member of Little Mix, the girl group who won The X Factor in 2011, and climbed Kilimanjaro with her bandmate Leigh-Anne Pinnock.
She has made numerous appearances on Celebrity Juice and Loose Women and is dating The Struts musician Jed Elliott.
Leigh-Anne Pinnock is also a member of Little Mix and climbed Kilimanjaro with her bandmate Jade Thirwall.
Since winning The X Factor in 2011, the singer has enjoyed international fame with the group, and has made numerous appearances on Celebrity Juice and Loose Women. She’s described the Comic Relief challenge as “the hardest most gruelling thing I’ve ever put my body through”.
When you finally come down from Mt.Kilimanjaro. Incredible experience with @comicrelief team. Also the Kili 9 @mrdanwalker @ShirleyBallas @itsanitarani @XanderArmstrong @Dani_MasDyer @edballs @LittleMix. We made it! pic.twitter.com/gPxGb5c71v— THE UPRISE (@OsiUmenyiora) March 2, 2019
Osi Umenyiora is an English sports pundit and former National Football League player.
He is one of five British-born players to have won a Super Bowl and was a presenter on The NFL Show for the BBC.
Kilimanjaro: The Bigger Red Nose Climb airs on Wednesday 13th March at 9pm on BBC1