Billy’s Big Red Nose Challenge back on track after extreme weather halts day two

24th February 2021

 Billy Monger, kayaking 16 miles in Ullswater, on the 24th February 2021 in the Lake District, England.
  • Billy’s Big Red Nose Challenge is back on track after yesterday’s weather made kayaking too dangerous

  • Determined Billy Monger has today completed the second stretch of the challenge by kayaking 6.5 miles across Ullswater

  • Today Billy was joined by BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker for last couple of miles to offer encouragement.

  • Money raised by Red Nose Day this year will help tackle issues including homelessness, hunger, domestic abuse and mental health problems, all of which have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, in the UK and around the world.

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Wednesday 24th February: After a full assessment and careful consideration from safety experts, Billy’s Big Red Nose Challenge has been able to get back on track today after winds of 50mph and high waves made yesterday’s plan to kayak across a lake too dangerous.

Billy pushed himself and endured wet and windy conditions but still managed to complete 6.5 miles in a kayak in the freezing open waters of the Lake District, a sport he has never done before he began his training for the challenge a few months ago.

Billy Monger said: “Yesterday was out of my control and that’s frustrating. I'm used to overcoming setbacks but there was just nothing I could do about that. Originally, I had a whole day to just crack on and get the miles done in the kayak. But It was a race against the sunset to get this done today as I couldn’t start till the afternoon because of the weather, but I pushed myself. I managed to knock 6.5 miles off my total. I knew the longer I stayed in the boat, the less mileage I'd need to make up on the bike at the end of the challenge.

“I was really proud getting day one under my belt and I really wanted to try and keep that positive momentum going. Having an unexpected day off yesterday probably sounds like a treat but when I woke up this morning, I actually felt as nervous as I did at the start of the challenge.”

Billy added: “The kayak day was never going to be easy, but it was the one I was most looking forward to. There’s no time to relax though. Before I'd even taken my waterproofs off my trainer reminded me that I've got two incredibly tough days ahead of me. For now, though it feels great to tick off another leg of the challenge.”

Dan Walker, BBC Breakfast presenter, said: “I wanted to come down to support Billy. I've met him a couple of times before and to get back behind the wheel within a year of his accident is remarkable. He's the perfect person to attempt a Red Nose Day challenge.”

Speaking about his own Red Nose Day challenge, Kilimanjaro: The Return in 2019, Dan said: “I jumped at the chance to do a challenge, but the difference is I did mine as part of a big group. I can’t imagine the extra pressure of doing this alone. I wanted to come and offer some support, but he doesn't need it. He's a superstar.”

After the challenge being halted due to the extreme weather conditions in the Lake District, tomorrow will see Billy cycle huge distances as he continues his way south for the end point at the world famous Brands Hatch race circuit, aiming to raise life-changing cash for Red Nose Day.

People at home will be able to see all the highs and lows of Billy’s challenge in an hour-long special documentary, filmed by a reduced crew that will be adhering to strict Covid-19 guidelines throughout the challenge, on BBC One in March.

Money raised by Red Nose Day this year will help tackle issues including homelessness, hunger, domestic abuse, and mental health problems, all of which have been exacerbated by the covid-19 pandemic, in the UK and around the world

To support Billy, go to