Zoe Ball is taking the Hardest Road Home

26th February 2018

  • Further details revealed of Zoe Ball’s gruelling five day challenge for Sport Relief that will push her to the physical limit

  • Zoe is being spurred on to raise awareness of mental health issues after her own personal bereavement left her searching for answers

Zoe’s feeling nervous on the bike: https://youtu.be/T8j4ilomYdQ(opens in new window)

Zoe Ball will be pushing herself to the limit this Sport Relief with a punishing five day cycling challenge, in the epic BT Sport Relief Challenge: Zoe’s Hardest Road Home. The presenter will set off from her birthplace of Blackpool, attempting to pedal over 300 miles south, in just five days, towards her hometown of Brighton, with only sheer determination powering her through. The challenge is sponsored by BT, a long-term supporter of Comic Relief challenges since 2009.

Starting on Monday 5th March, novice cyclist Zoe, will leave Blackpool behind covering 70 miles on day one alone. The days to come will be just as demanding, pushing her through immense physical and mental fatigue as she battles the unpredictable British weather to attempt the mammoth cycle south. Zoe will be facing her crippling fears of taking on the open road, but hopes to find strength in the friends and family who will join her along the way, Zoe and her bike will finally reach her beloved Brighton on Friday 9th March.

Zoe is taking on this epic Sport Relief challenge to raise money and support vulnerable people, across the UK and the world to live healthier, happier and safer lives. The TV presenter will be raising awareness of mental health, a subject close to her heart and one of the issues tackled by Sport Relief cash. Personally, she has a lot of questions about how to support those closest to you who live with mental health illnesses, how to move forward and how to know that you are not alone. In the UK, one in four of us will experience a mental health problem over the course of a year, and in most sub-Saharan African countries, specialist mental health services are either limited, or don’t exist.

Zoe said: “I’ve been training my heart out for the last few weeks in preparation for this epic BT-sponsored challenge for Sport Relief. A few predictable and embarrassing falls and lots of chafing cream applied but thinking of the reason I signed up for this challenging adventure will spur me on. Knowing that every penny we raise will make such a difference to so many different people’s lives is a great feeling. I’ll also be joined by my incredible family and friends, who will be pushing me along the way. I hope that my endeavours inspire others to do something that moves them for Sport Relief too!”

Ahead of her challenge Zoe visited The Tomorrow Project, which has been set up to support individuals and communities to prevent suicide. The Tomorrow Project is managed by Harmless, an organisation that provides support to people who are at risk of self-harm; their friends, families and professionals.

  • Zoe will need the public’s support to help motivate her across the finish line of her Hardest Road Home. Sponsor Zoe at sportrelief.com/Zoe

  • Zoe’s hoping to inspire the nation to take on their own challenge by joining together to beat a billion steps a day, every day, from 17th-23rd March. For more information on how to get involved with this year’s Sport Relief campaign, download the Sport Relief app or go to sportrelief.com.

Where will Zoe’s pedal power take her?

  • Day 1: Blackpool to Widnes

  • Day 2: Widnes to Upton Magna

  • Day 3: Upton Magna to Stratford upon Avon

  • Day 4: Stratford upon Avon to Marlow

  • Day 5: Marlow to Brighton

Zoe’s tumultuous week will be broadcast for a BBC One documentary, to be aired during the week of Sport Relief, which takes place Saturday 17th to Friday 23rd March.

The BT Sport Relief Challenge: Zoe’s Hardest Road Home isn’t the first challenge BT have sponsored. From Jo Brand’s mammoth walk to Davina McCall’s incredible 500 mile run, swim and cycle, BT has always championed Sport Relief’s epic challenges.



Red Nose Day Media Team:020 7820 2500media@comicrelief.com(opens in new window)Press area07984510473 (out of hours only)

About Comic Relief

Comic Relief is a UK charity which aim to create a just world, free from poverty – where everyone is safe, healthy, educated and empowered. Since 1985, Comic Relief has raised over £1 billion. That money has helped, and is helping, people living incredible tough lives, both here at home in the UK and across the world.

For information about Comic Relief and the work it carries out, please visit comicrelief.com.

Comic Relief, registered charity 326568 (England/Wales); SC039730 (Scotland).

For the latest news, statements and exclusive content direct from the Comic Relief Press Office follow @ComicReliefNews(opens in new window).