Million Pound Bike Ride: A Sport Relief Challenge Sport Relief


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Million Pound Bike Ride: A Sport Relief Challenge

The story of how, in 2010, David Walliams recruited a team of celebrities for a non-stop cycle relay between John O'Groats and Lands End.


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PHONE RINGS

0:00:020:00:04

-Hello?

-Hello, is that my favourite comedy actress, Miranda Hart?

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Yes! Is that my favourite comedy actor, David Walliams?

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Basically, we're wanting to cycle from John O'Groats to Lands End.

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-A team of people led by me.

-There's going to be seven of us.

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So David Walliams, myself, Paddy Kielty here, Jimmy Carr,

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Miranda Hart, Russell Howard and Davina McCall. What a motley crew!

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I just want David to know that, even if I'm dying,

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I will give it everything I have!

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-I think it's over 1,000 miles.

-1,000 miles on a bike... Brilliant.

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So are you available in March?

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Oh, what am I letting myself...? The annoying thing is, I am.

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It's better than your other idea of swimming up Kilimanjaro. I'm in.

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# Well we know where we're going

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# But we don't know where we've been... #

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This is no ordinary bike ride.

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David Walliams has persuaded six fellow celebrities

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to cycle 1,000 miles in just four days.

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# We're on a road to nowhere... #

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It's a massive challenge.

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David's hoping the British public will get behind them and help

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raise at least £1 million for Sport Relief.

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For the last three months, Olympian Greg White has been overseeing

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the team's intensive training regime.

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This is a really tough challenge.

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We've got unfit celebrities, who've never ridden a racing bike before,

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who are going to embark on a 1,000 mile trip

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across the roughest terrain in the UK, in the middle of March

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where we could be down to -5, -10 C,

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with a wind chill that could be down to -15, in the snow.

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It's so relaxing, this music.

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Last minute thoughts? I want to go home, and this is a really bad idea.

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-I'm really nervous.

-Really nervous.

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-We just want to get going now, really.

-I'm covered in bruises.

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I'm just nervous about being able to stay on the bike.

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Ready? Three, two, one... go!

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Bye!

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Thank you.

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The challenge will require stamina, speed and motivation.

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David's team has little in the way of qualifications.

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Stand-up comedian, Russell Howard.

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The furthest I've ever cycled before this is probably

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four miles on my paper round when I was a kid, and I hated it.

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TV presenter, Patrick Kielty.

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-Ah... Oh!

-Very nice indeed.

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Radio One DJ, Fearne Cotton.

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-I'm really nervous.

-OK.

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Once again I've underestimated a Sport Relief challenge.

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TV presenter, Davina McCall.

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-Am I the oldest?

-Yeah.

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Come on! You youngies!

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And comedienne, Miranda Hart.

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Bit careful at the moment.

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Like that!

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I can't believe I've done that! Did you know that was going to happen?

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Oh, and Jimmy Carr.

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Jimmy's on a national tour and can only join the ride for one day.

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They may not seem like the fittest bunch,

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but if they pull together they might have a chance.

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This is more like it.

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I like these bits.

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Hello, my darlings!

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It's got to be done.

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For the first 12 miles, they cycle as a group.

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But after that, they will do a non-stop relay at a sprint pace

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to keep to David's ambitious target

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of reaching Lands End within just four days.

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We're cycling home.

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It's an amazing way to see the country.

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They clearly have no idea what lies ahead.

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Are we still in Scotland?

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For the next four days and three nights, their home will be a bus.

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This is it.

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That's all the room we've got!

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It is slightly smaller than we'd anticipated.

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A lot smaller. Miranda doesn't fit anywhere on this whole bus!

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Each rider will have a cycling pacemaker. With their help,

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David wants the team to maintain an average speed of 13mph,

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so they can complete the distance in the four days.

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It's a big ask, and getting tougher by the second.

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Is this a snow storm or am I slightly over-milking it?

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-This is a snow storm!

-OK, we're in a snow storm.

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Just as everyone else gets to get off their bikes, snow hits us.

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So...

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Lovely and cooling though,

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on your face.

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Back on the bus, reality sets in.

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I was a bit freaked out by that

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because we were only cycling for an hour. And...and it was flat.

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And I actually found that quite hard. I did, yeah.

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Very cold. The side wind was really tricky.

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David's got another hour of that.

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It'll be interesting to see what shape he's in after that.

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And this is the easiest thing we're going to do today.

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It just makes you think, what's up the road? That's worrying me now.

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I fell off at the start when I was standing. Don't laugh, please.

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Don't laugh at me. Um... It was slightly embarrassing.

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Because it was embarrassing and a lovely crowd had gathered,

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I felt like I couldn't go, "Actually that really hurts!"

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So, yeah, quite disgusting...

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I'm so glad that they have Sport Relief now, in March,

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and not the summer(!)

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This is not much fun.

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David and his team are putting themselves through this

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for one reason - to raise money for Sport Relief.

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-Hi, David!

-Hello. Are we on air now?

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Yeah, how long?

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Two weeks earlier, David and Fearne were busy drumming up support.

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-Look who it is - Mr David Walliams!

-Hello!

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David, we're going to talk to someone on the phone,

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-who is exceedingly rich and wants to help.

-On line one.

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It's Peter Jones from Dragon's Den!

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Peter, how are you going to help us?

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'There's lots of businesses that should be behind you.

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'You're travelling the length and breadth of the country,

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'there's got to be a lot of people that will support us.

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I'm very happy that you want to help and get us loads of money.

0:07:050:07:10

'Let's surpass your challenge of £1 million. Wouldn't that be great?'

0:07:100:07:14

-I think so.

-You could do it right now, Peter - write a cheque!

0:07:140:07:19

Dragon Peter Jones will spend the four days of the ride raising money,

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whilst Fearne and the others try and keep up the pace.

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The pacemaker with Fearne is pentathlete Richard Ball.

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Fearne's finding the demanding schedule extremely difficult.

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Another hill on the way, look.

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So we're 23 miles into the whole challenge,

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is that what you're saying? Yeah? That sounds puny.

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Only 23 miles in, only about a thousand to go!

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With just four hours of the ride completed,

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the money's already started to come in.

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When I spoke to Sara Cox on Radio 1,

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they'd raised £40,000 since nine o'clock this morning.

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-That's amazing.

-Which is really good.

0:08:120:08:14

Listen, not raising the rest of the money isn't an option.

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Yeah. We just will.

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The team will ride in strict rotation,

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each doing around 26 miles in as close to two hours as possible.

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Because she's having the big hills, our average speed has dropped

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and she's gone over 2½ hours for what should have been 2.

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-We've somewhere got to pick up half an hour.

-We're uphill all the way.

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We are up a lot of hill, mate. So we've got some work to do.

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It's Patrick's first outing. He's heading inland

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and will be the first to tackle the treacherous Highlands.

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-How you doing, you all right?

-Yeah.

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Fearne knows she needs to rest before her next ride at 11pm.

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The team have chosen lightweight racing bikes for speed,

0:09:030:09:09

which simply aren't suited to icy conditions.

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At least it was in the snow, that was good. On an isolated road.

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And thankfully there's no camera on my bike to record it(!)

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After eight hours in the coach, Russell takes up the baton

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for the evening shift.

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The team will cycle through the night.

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CROWD SHOUTS ENCOURAGEMENT

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Even friendly, it sounds terrifying in the Scottish accent! "GO ON!"

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"Argh! All right, I'm trying! Don't hit me!"

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He may not have been on a bike since he was a boy,

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but unlike some of his team-mates, at least he's pretty fit.

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-Nice to get out?

-Definitely.

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I've been going to the gym, running, playing football,

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and trying to eat less chips and biscuits. That is about it, really.

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The whole team was given rigorous fitness tests before they left.

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But some of the riders have trained harder than others.

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I'm now really confident in all the team, bar Jimmy Carr,

0:10:170:10:21

who I believe, to this point has done no training.

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I think David's a horse.

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Davina is super-fit. You know...

0:10:280:10:31

Army-type fitness person. She's going to be absolutely fine.

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Fearne, I know, is really determined.

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Paddy's mega-strong, like big-thighs strong.

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Russell looks fit.

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Jimmy - rubbish.

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That's basically it.

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I think training is basically cheating.

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Jimmy Carr is on tour and is only able to join the team for one day.

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But he's never far from their thoughts.

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We trained a lot, didn't we, for two months?

0:11:030:11:06

That was really hard. Jimmy's just swanning in off the stage.

0:11:060:11:11

Miranda is dreading her night ride.

0:11:110:11:14

We've got 2,000 ft to climb on your little section.

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On your BIG section. That's a long climb.

0:11:190:11:22

I think she's doing really well.

0:11:220:11:25

If she opted to do an extra hour, she must be just coasting along.

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-I want to cry.

-Yeah, that's good. That means you're right on the edge.

0:11:290:11:34

Beautiful. That's what we like.

0:11:340:11:36

15 minutes from her handover to David, Miranda is forced to walk.

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Ohh! It just hits me, a faintness.

0:11:410:11:45

-All of a sudden it sort of comes over you?

-Yes.

0:11:450:11:49

Miranda defied expectations

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and kept going in the icy winds for an hour and 45 minutes.

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You OK, Miranda?

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No, not really.

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It's brutal out there.

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So just keep an eye on fingers and toes, yeah?

0:12:020:12:05

As David climbs, the temperature drops even further.

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Miranda is just not having the best experience,

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because she did two major mountains, which was really amazing.

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But, you know, she's not been well and she has asthma.

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She was really suffering.

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On the bus, sleep is proving almost impossible.

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But at least it's warm. As David prepares to hand over to Patrick...

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Which bus is ours?

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..the severity of the winter night is clear.

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His hands have completely seized up.

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Ohh, my fingers!

0:12:430:12:45

Follow the car?

0:12:450:12:47

Ahh!

0:12:490:12:52

Ahh!

0:12:520:12:54

Ohh... Ahh...

0:12:560:12:58

As Patrick presses on into the heart of the Highlands,

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the temperature plummets to minus 15.

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It's harder than he ever imagined.

0:13:060:13:09

Get in, get some of that kit off straight away.

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I feel like crying.

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I actually feel like crying.

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-Drained?

-Yeah. I feel just so empty.

0:13:210:13:25

3am, and even pacemaker Richard is forced to pull up

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in serious risk of hypothermia.

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Despite the crippling cold, Davina insists she'll cycle on alone.

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I really am on my own now.

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# One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do

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# Two can be as bad as one

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# It's the loneliest number since the number one... #

0:13:500:13:53

It's 340 miles into the ride and Fearne's keen to find out

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how much they've raised.

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Radio 1 listeners alone, since yesterday on the text,

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-have done 97,000.

-97?

-In a day.

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And the actual total is round about 270,000.

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So we're over a quarter of a million. In a day!

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That is just extraordinary.

0:14:120:14:15

Thank you!

0:14:150:14:17

Gathering crowds are a welcome support.

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Hey, hey, hey!

0:14:320:14:33

-How old are you guys?

-Six.

-Six years old? Have you got any idea who I am?

0:14:330:14:40

-No.

-Oh thank you, this is beautiful.

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Is that for good luck? Is it?

0:14:450:14:48

England! Homeward bound.

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After 36 hours of non-stop cycling,

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the team has finally conquered Scotland. But there's no let-up.

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They now face probably the toughest terrain in England -

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the Lake District.

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Kirkstone Pass is 1,500ft high

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and one of the steepest and longest climbs in the UK.

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You the man!

0:15:220:15:24

That is great work - really, really strong. Very impressive.

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Keep driving down that pedal.

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Great focus, great zone.

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DAVID GROANS

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Keep up a little bit. Don't worry, don't worry.

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It's not about how quick you go. Keep pushing, keep pushing.

0:15:430:15:47

OK. I'm OK.

0:15:510:15:53

-You OK?

-This is just another terrible night, isn't it?

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I always think, if you're doing something for charity,

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it's good if there's a bit of suffering involved.

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I think you become a little bit closer to the people you're helping.

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I can't compare what we've done.

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We've had to work really hard,

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but that's not comparable to living on the streets in Delhi.

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In Delhi, as many as 100,000 children live on the streets.

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Sport Relief helps to fund Butterflies,

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who run street schools all over Delhi.

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David met Rita Panika.

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How many pupils do you have at your school?

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On average there would be anywhere between 25 and 30.

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Hello, how are you? Did you do this today? Oh, my word. That's very good.

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It's amazing still how the children have a positive outlook.

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It's amazing. I can't imagine that children living here

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could think of the future, can say, "I want to get out of this,

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" want to be a teacher, I want to be a policeman."

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Another scheme run by the project is a children's bank.

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Afsar keeps the money he earns safe in his account.

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What has Afsar done with his money?

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-He's bought a bicycle, which he rents out.

-Can I rent your bicycle?

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For one hour, he takes 14 rupees.

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14 rupees.

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I'm very well known in Britain.

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I'm on television. Would he do a discount?

0:17:360:17:39

-10 rupees.

-10 rupees! Result!

0:17:410:17:43

'The more money we can raise, the more we can help kids like Afsar.'

0:17:530:17:58

RINGS BICYCLE BELL

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He's a lot tougher than I was at 12 years old.

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I'm going to think about him on those gruelling hills.

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FANFARE

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At last, the moment the team has been waiting for.

0:18:120:18:17

What?

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Jimmy Carr is about to be unleashed.

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I'm not in a hurry to get on the bike!

0:18:200:18:23

Thanks for coming out!

0:18:230:18:25

While the ride continues at pace through Lancashire, David goes ahead

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to pick up Jimmy from his hotel.

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-How are you?

-I'm all right.

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-You've got all your gear on! You're ready to go.

-I'll be fine!

0:18:340:18:38

Swimming the Channel is fine, you do it on your own.

0:18:380:18:42

Why did you have to get us involved?

0:18:420:18:44

Jimmy hasn't trained and has almost no experience riding a racing bike,

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so David shows him the ropes.

0:18:510:18:54

-Hello!

-It's Jimmy Carr! From TV!

0:18:540:18:57

Thanks for coming out. Cheers!

0:18:580:19:01

-This guy's a big fan of yours.

-Is he?

-Yeah.

-Hi! It's really me, hi!

0:19:020:19:08

Straight over, boys. Straight over.

0:19:080:19:11

This is hard. I've done eight miles so far,

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which is officially the furthest I've ever cycled in my life!

0:19:150:19:21

# Hey, Jimmy, you're so fine You're so fine, you blow my mind

0:19:210:19:23

# Hey, Jimmy! Hey, Jimmy! #

0:19:230:19:25

Day three. 650 miles into the challenge.

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Dragon Peter Jones has dropped in

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to give news of how much he's helped them to raise.

0:19:310:19:34

This is amazing. It's going to shock you. You have reached,

0:19:340:19:39

-at one o'clock today, £627,000.

-Very, very good. That's fantastic.

0:19:390:19:44

Spurred on by the money they've raised so far, there's a real chance

0:19:450:19:49

that lost time can be won back over the Cheshire plains.

0:19:490:19:53

OK, guys?

0:19:580:19:59

Next to take the baton,

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Patrick Kielty, the team's strongest performer so far.

0:20:010:20:05

-How are you feeling?

-All right.

0:20:050:20:07

Paddy flies, absolutely flies.

0:20:070:20:09

Every session I've been out with him, he's just been flying.

0:20:090:20:13

That makes a big difference.

0:20:130:20:15

We're catching up maybe 20 minutes every time he goes out.

0:20:150:20:19

-18 miles in an hour. Is that the fastest so far?

-Yeah.

0:20:190:20:22

D'you know what, the horrible thing is,

0:20:220:20:27

I'm absolutely going to cane that now.

0:20:270:20:30

Am I in the lowest gear? It's killing me.

0:20:300:20:33

I'm going to walk a bit.

0:20:340:20:37

This is where training would have paid off.

0:20:410:20:45

Jimmy's in no danger of breaking Patrick's speed record.

0:20:450:20:49

But he keeps going and completes his share of the ride.

0:20:490:20:54

He's been on the bike for a long time.

0:20:540:20:57

There's a bit of a difference

0:20:570:21:00

between being on the bike for a while and having done a lot!

0:21:000:21:05

# Jimmy mack When are you coming back? Jimmy? #

0:21:050:21:09

Jimmy is by far the slowest member of the team.

0:21:090:21:13

Greg is concerned that they're falling behind schedule.

0:21:130:21:17

It would be advantageous for the average speed

0:21:170:21:22

to exchange Jimmy for a cyclist as soon as possible.

0:21:220:21:27

D'you know what this is?

0:21:270:21:28

-It's a privilege.

-I'm glad you see it as that.

0:21:280:21:31

CHEERING

0:21:310:21:34

Russell Howard steps in, and not a moment too soon.

0:21:350:21:39

I think we're behind time a little bit overall,

0:21:390:21:42

but that's the price you pay when you get me to help.

0:21:420:21:46

As the riders start their final night ride,

0:21:460:21:49

they know they'll have to push up their average speed

0:21:490:21:53

to make up the lost time.

0:21:530:21:56

They'll pass through five counties, with a whistle-stop visit to Wales.

0:21:560:22:00

Wales! This is great. And we're back in...

0:22:000:22:04

England!

0:22:040:22:05

First light in Devon marks the final day.

0:22:090:22:12

870 miles cycled and 130 still to go.

0:22:120:22:15

The end may be in sight, but Miranda has a plan.

0:22:150:22:20

We're at Tiverton Parkway and I'm going to get a ticket to Lands End.

0:22:210:22:26

But Greg's not one for shortcuts.

0:22:260:22:28

Come on! Drive it down! Drive it down, Miranda.

0:22:280:22:31

Not far to go, not far to go. You're almost at the top.

0:22:310:22:35

You've got about 30 metres to go.

0:22:350:22:38

Greg has motivated Miranda throughout the ride.

0:22:380:22:41

Of all members of the team, she knows how important support can be.

0:22:410:22:45

That's a big climb, let me tell you.

0:22:480:22:51

You'd never, ever have got up that before. You keep surprising me.

0:22:510:22:56

'The Sport Relief £1 million Bike Ride.'

0:22:560:22:59

-CHRIS MOYLES: 'Good morning, Davina McCall.

-Morning!

0:22:590:23:03

'Davina, we needed a big push this morning. We wanted to try and hit

0:23:030:23:07

-'quarter of a million from Radio 1's side of things.

-Yes?

0:23:070:23:11

'So it went from 213,000, with a big push,

0:23:110:23:14

'Radio 1 has now raised for you...

0:23:140:23:18

'£290,000!

0:23:180:23:21

'Which means, Davina McCall, that your overall total

0:23:210:23:25

'for the bike ride is...

0:23:250:23:28

'£803,000.'

0:23:280:23:31

£803,000!

0:23:310:23:33

At last, the home straight. To meet their target time,

0:23:370:23:42

the team will have to go faster than they've ever gone before.

0:23:420:23:47

Give us a lift.

0:23:490:23:51

Today, they'll have to climb almost 22,000 feet.

0:23:520:23:56

That's more than on any other day of the ride so far.

0:23:560:23:59

There are some pretty steep descents too.

0:23:590:24:02

I had Richard next to me on the bicycle,

0:24:020:24:07

and he was going, "Don't put your brakes on!"

0:24:070:24:11

Ready? Let go! Let go! Go! Go! Go!

0:24:110:24:14

I went down this hill

0:24:140:24:16

and I swear we must have been going about 35 miles an hour.

0:24:160:24:21

In the end, I just had to scream.

0:24:210:24:23

SHE SCREAMS

0:24:230:24:25

It was like being a kid.

0:24:250:24:28

There was an old man - this was one of the coolest moments -

0:24:280:24:32

who had a flat cap. He just lifted it off and went, "We're very proud."

0:24:320:24:37

That just felt like a really cool moment.

0:24:370:24:39

There's something quite dignified about an old man going,

0:24:390:24:43

"I will get out of my house and tip my cap at a young man doing his bit."

0:24:430:24:48

Throughout the 1,000 mile journey,

0:24:480:24:51

Patrick has consistently kept the highest average speed.

0:24:510:24:55

And today is no exception.

0:24:550:24:58

45 miles an hour downhill.

0:24:580:25:00

He now holds the course record.

0:25:000:25:04

As well as going one hour 17 for 23 miles. This is where it counts,

0:25:040:25:10

so this boy is putting it in. Incredible.

0:25:100:25:13

Thank you!

0:25:130:25:16

I'm really thrilled that we've managed to raise so much money,

0:25:160:25:20

because that's what it's all about.

0:25:200:25:22

We'd not be doing this if it wasn't going to raise money and help people.

0:25:220:25:28

So, yes, I'm really, really chuffed.

0:25:280:25:31

# Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air

0:25:310:25:36

# I know I can count on you

0:25:360:25:39

# Sometimes I feel like saying... #

0:25:390:25:41

They started together,

0:25:410:25:43

and they'll complete the last eight miles as a team.

0:25:430:25:47

This is quite moving, seeing all the yellow jackets in front of us,

0:25:490:25:54

the whole team coming in together.

0:25:540:25:57

Thank you! Thank you!

0:25:590:26:02

Thank you, farmers!

0:26:020:26:04

This is just fun now. All fun. The sunset is amazing,

0:26:050:26:09

it's just a perfect evening.

0:26:090:26:11

Between them, they've ridden the length of Britain non-stop.

0:26:130:26:19

They've burned over 120,000 calories...

0:26:190:26:23

and climbed the equivalent of Mount Everest twice over.

0:26:230:26:28

All with hardly any sleep.

0:26:280:26:31

Who's going to win this race?

0:26:310:26:32

And they've captured the hearts of the nation.

0:26:320:26:36

# You've got the love... #

0:26:360:26:41

I'm not crying, I don't know what you're talking about! Dawn!

0:26:450:26:50

It's a remarkable achievement.

0:26:500:26:53

What they don't know is whether they've hit their ambitious £1 million target.

0:26:530:26:57

David whatever your name is, Peter and I have been asked

0:26:570:27:01

to give you this piece of paper which contains the total.

0:27:010:27:05

You got to that total half an hour ago.

0:27:050:27:08

-Oh my word!

-Go on, tell us!

0:27:080:27:11

The total is £517!

0:27:110:27:14

No, it's £1,006,509.

0:27:140:27:19

David Walliams recruits Miranda Hart, Davina McCall, Jimmy Carr, Russell Howard, Patrick Kielty and Fearne Cotton to attempt a non-stop cycle relay between John O'Groats and Lands End, for Sport Relief. The gruelling four-day challenge involves cycling almost 1,000 miles through day and night, during the coldest winter for thirty years.