After five punishing days, Zoe Ball has completed her epic BT Sport Relief Challenge: Zoe’s Hardest Road Home
The TV presenter has been raising awareness of mental health issues, a topic close to her heart
Today a triumphant and exhausted Zoe Ball pedalled across the finish line of her epic BT Sport Relief Challenge: Zoe’s Hardest Road Home. The TV presenter cycled an amazing 352 miles in just five days, from her birthplace in Blackpool to her beloved hometown of Brighton. The challenge is sponsored by BT, a long-term supporter of Comic Relief challenges since 2009.
Zoe pedalled through wind and lashing rain along the Brighton seafront to conclude her 35 hours on the bike with a heartfelt squeeze from her children and mum at the finish line. Zoe’s tumultuous week will be broadcast for a BBC One documentary, Zoe’s Hardest Road Home, to be aired at 9pm on BBC One, on Wednesday 21st March.
With plenty of tears along the way, battling extreme muscle fatigue and a few bruising falls off the bike, the mother of two has raised an unbelievable £500,114 so far, thanks to the ever-generous great British public and a donation from sponsor BT. The money is continuing to roll in, and her final total will be revealed on the Sport Relief night of television, on Friday 23rd March.
Speaking to the crowd of family, friends and supporters who had waited in the rain for her arrival, Zoe said: “I’m so overwhelmed, thank you for staying in this weather, it’s biblical. I’m so happy to be here, I can’t really believe it. It’s all quite surreal. We did it. We did it!”
Zoe was overcome with emotion as she talked about the “incredible and inspiring” people she met along her way who shared their own stories of mental health with her.
When asked about her plans for Mother’s Day this weekend, she joked with her children, “Woody, should we go for a 50 mile cycle? Or Nelly, shall we just stay in our pyjamas all day?!”
Comic Relief CEO, Liz Warner said: “Zoe has been absolutely amazing. It has been a physical and emotional challenge and she has pushed herself to the limit to help others. The money she has raised will genuinely change lives, but the awareness she has raised is priceless. Zoe has really engaged the public and they have got behind her with donations and moral support and it is great that BBC Breakfast and her Radio 2 mates have been so supportive. Sport Relief also thanks BT for being great partners.”
Zoe was joined by a host of famous friends along the way including past Sport Relief challengee John Bishop, Harry Judd, Fearne Cotton, and Zoe’s father, Johnny Ball. Their support, along with the applause, horn toots and waves from the thousands of people who have come out to cheer her on her way, have kept Zoe going even in moments of self-doubt.
Zoe took on the challenge to raise money and support vulnerable people, across the UK and the world to live healthier, happier and safer lives. The TV presenter has been raising awareness of mental health, a subject close to her heart and one of the issues tackled by Sport Relief cash.
You can continue to support and donate 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
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.
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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).