Sport Relief Mongolia challenge replaced with Namibia desert expedition

18th February 2020

  • Sport Relief: On Thin Ice celebrity fundraising challenge was due to take place in Mongolia next week

  • Due to ongoing coronavirus health and travel concerns in neighbouring China, Sport Relief has changed the location of the challenge to the deserts of Namibia

  • The same team of celebrities, including Frankie Bridge, Karim Zeroual and Nick Grimshaw, will take on the new challenge which aims to raise awareness and fundraise for mental health services

  • The challenge will be filmed for a special Sport Relief documentary set to air on BBC One in March

Tuesday 18th February: Due to ongoing travel uncertainty in East Asia and potential disruption to the Sport Relief challenge, the celebrities will now undertake a gruelling four-day 100-mile expedition across the Namib Desert instead. 

All of the celebrities taking part in the original challenge will participate. Frankie Bridge, Karim Zeroual, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Louise Minchin, Nick Grimshaw, Rob Rinder and Samantha Womack are now preparing for Sport Relief: The Heat Is On and the extreme change of elements, before they fly out to begin the challenge this weekend.

Dr Zoe Williams, who has been offering training support to the celebrities over the past couple of months, also remains on board and will join the expedition team on the ground to offer medical advice and help keep the public up-to-date on how the extreme elements will affect them all. 

The team will start at the source of the Kuiseb River and travel on foot and on bike towards the Skeleton Coast, scaling the highest sand dunes in the world in temperatures reaching as high as 30 degrees Celsius. The challenge will be filmed for a BBC One documentary to be shown in the run up to Sport Relief, which is back on Friday 13th March.  

Sport Relief is a fundraising campaign run by Comic Relief that aims to raise money to tackle issues such as mental health stigma, domestic abuse, homelessness and poverty, both in the UK and around the world.

Ruth Davison, Chief Executive of Comic Relief (interim), said: “After closely monitoring travel advice, we have decided to relocate our international fundraising challenge, which starts this weekend. We had previously been looking at a range of locations and challenges and we think that the Namib Desert expedition is a fitting alternative.

“We are extremely grateful for our team of celebrities who have not wavered in their passion and determination to want to take on a challenge for us, which is extraordinary in itself. We hope the public will join us in giving them our full support as they push themselves to the limits to raise money for Sport Relief.”

 Money raised for Sport Relief will support people living incredibly tough lives in the UK and around the world. Find out how you can get involved here.(opens in new window)