Documenting an inspiring charity challenge, TV presenter Zoe Ball attempts to cycle over 300 miles, all to raise awareness about mental health and raise money for Sport Relief.
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Suicide is really cruel,
because you feel like there is so much
you SHOULD have been able to do.
Someone said to me, "There will come a time
"when you can remember the love and the laughter,
"and not so much the pain."
Billy will always be in my heart, you know? Always.
He's there, he's with me.
If one person watched this,
if one family was saved from going through that terrible loss,
it would be worth it, you know? It would...
It would be worth, you know, all of it.
Zoe Ball lost her partner, Billy, to suicide.
After one of the toughest years of her life,
Zoe is taking on an epic solo challenge...
..to raise money for Sport Relief...
..to understand more about mental health...
..and get people talking about it.
It can be a very isolating experience,
and you kind of feel, like, when you're going through it,
that no-one understands.
We look after our heart, our lungs -
we need to be looking after our minds, as well.
Men need to be a bit more chatty, like women.
Just want to sort of almost, like, tear it from yourself
and just put it inside someone else, just to say,
-"There you go."
-That's how it feels.
-"It's not that nice, is it?"
Zoe will cycle 355 miles across the country...
Look, in the heart of Liverpool...
..and along the way, she'll meet other people,
to find out what impact suicide and depression have had on their lives.
Did you have any idea?
No idea at all?
-Just didn't know.
-Just didn't know it was coming.
OK, I'll keep going. I can't go...
I want to be challenged.
I want to get some answers, I want to find some hope
and some positivity.
Oh, God, that pain is hideous.
The reason I'm doing this is for Billy.
For people living with what he's gone through, for families,
for loved ones going through this.
From the first time they met,
Zoe felt a deep connection to Billy Yates...
He was the life and soul of a room.
If he was on the crew when you were working on a show,
everyone would be like, "Billy's here! Brilliant."
He was such an intelligent man - he was really well-read.
You know, he read all the philosophers,
he had a real scientific mind, and, I mean, he would wow me.
I would be lost in, you know, the stuff that he knew.
..but only a few months into their relationship,
the depression that Billy had struggled with for years returned.
There were days where he could get up and he could get to work,
he could sort of get through,
but there were days where the only way to stop it
was for him to just get back into bed
and pull the covers over his head
and hope that he could sleep through
and wake up a little bit stronger later,
and I think that's the thing,
when you see the two sides of someone, you know,
someone so strong, someone so clever,
someone so full of love, yet struggling with this disease
that was crippling him and taking him into a darker and darker place.
Tragically... Billy took his own life.
To do something for him, a beautiful, beautiful, loving man,
whose life ended way too soon, you know?
To do something for him, to be able to do something, is...
..is a real special thing,
and I feel really lucky to have that chance,
so, I'm going to do my best -
I think I'm going to have to dig very, very deep,
it's going to be very, very emotional,
but I'm also hoping to find some answers along the way.
Zoe will attempt to cycle from Blackpool, where she was born,
355 miles to her beloved hometown of Brighton.
I have never put my body through any extreme exercise, ever.
It's Olympian and professor of sports science Greg Whyte
who's getting her up to speed.
We've hit day one of training, and it is heavily raining,
but, you know, this is exactly what Zoe has got to expect.
It is going to be tough, the conditions add to the misery
of actually cycling such a long distance,
and, for Zoe, having never been on a road bike before,
it is going to be tough.
I'd love to say loads of technical things about this bike -
-I have no idea. Lights.
-That's a start.
Red for danger.
As in, "Get out of the way,
-"this woman has no clue what she's doing!"
Just before I go, where are the brakes?
I kind of know how huge it is,
but I don't think I can really sort of fathom
how huge a challenge it is yet.
-We're going to push off, push down.
-Push down, push down.
-Give it some speed.
Taking on a cycle challenge to raise awareness for mental health
has a special significance for Zoe, after Billy.
He cycled his bike to and from work every day.
Sometimes he'd do 40 miles -
but I think the real moment that I could see, suddenly,
it was like, "Oh, my goodness, I think I understand,"
was where he said, "Zo, I feel like I've forgotten how to ride my bike."
You know, he couldn't ride his bike, he doubted that he could...
..do something that he'd done his whole life,
since he was a little boy.
Just this, you know,
made him doubt that he could even ride his bike - and that really...
..that really stayed with me.
Definitely waterproof mascara.
-Cos you're cycling into it.
-I hadn't even thought of that.
-How I'm going to look.
I'm going to have helmet hair, it's going to be horrific.
I'm going to be wearing Lycra, and I'm going to have a padded bottom,
so, I think, you know...
Well, welcome to the world of padded bottoms.
I've got my own padding!
I knew, with this experience,
she would want to try and move forward
and help other people who might be facing the same thing,
whether it's families - cos this does have a ripple effect.
So, she's going to be quite determined
that something very positive will come out of this.
It is so tough. When you have little moments of thinking, "OK," you know?
"All right..." You're sort of making improvements
and you're getting a bit stronger, and then you think about how far,
and it all comes crashing down to reality.
There's a lot of emotions in this whole challenge.
Yeah. Sometimes you've just got to take a little moment,
have a little cry, let it out, you know?
That's it for now, I'm back with more in an hour.
-Now, Miss Ball...
-How are you, Sal?
-How is the training going?
Oh... You know what?
You even bringing the subject up, it makes my tummy flip with nerves!
I'm really scared, I'm really scared.
What's the longest that you've cycled so far?
I did 54 miles - I did, like, a 30, then a 37, then a 54,
-and then followed it with a 20.
-But you're a fit girl.
You are a fit girl. You know, you've got a lot of energy and stamina.
-Stop saying you're not - you are.
-I'm really not!
But it's all going to be brilliant - and thank you so much,
people are already sending money to Sport Relief, so, thank you,
and being really supportive, and I might see you along the way,
so, if you're anywhere between Blackpool and Brighton,
-along the route, come and say hello.
-Give her a clap and a wave.
Give us a wave, or throw me some Jelly Babies.
I don't know, anything you fancy.
-Sure you don't fancy it, Sal?
-There's always room for one more.
I'm really busy next week....
She's only had a few weeks to prepare,
but it's now the day before the challenge,
and Zoe is making her way to Blackpool.
I used to love coming to Blackpool when I was a little girl.
Firstly, to see my grandparents, who I completely loved and adored,
and I just thought the place was a wonderland.
My grandparents are gone from this place,
and it's quite close to Billy's family and his home,
and there was sort of no getting away from the fact that I'm here,
the time is now,
and I've actually got to do it now.
This is the start.
She's got a very, very tough challenge ahead of her,
a lot of miles to do in very difficult conditions.
It is no walk in the park.
Oh, my goodness me.
-The sun was out earlier - did you see?
-The sun doesn't exist at this time of year.
-It's gone again!
-She's beautiful, isn't she?
-Well, yes - you say that now!
-Am I really going to fall out with this bike?
-You are, you are.
-This is the best night of the week.
-The night before.
-Cos it's the night before!
Tomorrow will be the best of the days this week,
because it's day number one, lots of energy.
We're going to take it steady, steady, so, it's going to be good.
Ready as I'll ever be!
All right, great, thanks, guys.
I'm really quite scared.
I didn't know I could be this scared.
So, you can have this incredible team around you,
you can have all this support, and all this love coming at you,
but I'm the one who's got to actually live up to this now.
Everyone has a bit of doubt in your own abilities,
and we're quite good at going,
"Yeah, I can do this, I can do that, I can do this."
I'm not an athlete, I'm not a person who runs marathons, you know?
I think that's the thing. Everyone's like, "You can do this.
"You can do this," and they're looking at me, going, "Can't you?
"You can do this, can't you?"
and I'm looking, now, going, "Yeah, yeah, of course...!"
And I'm actually thinking, "Can I do this?"
Oh, God, I hope I can,
cos otherwise I'm going to let a lot of people down, and that's...
..that's quite a big thing at the moment. Can I do it?
God, I hope so.
KNOCK AT DOOR
-Come in, come in.
It has arrived.
-Look, smiley face.
You can tell it's only the first day.
We'll see what Tuesday's like, Wednesday's like.
She was really, really looking forward to this.
I think she's done the hard work,
she's done the training.
This week, she's going to find out whether it's paid off.
Waiting down at the start
are two people who are especially touched by Zoe's challenge.
Billy was one of my best mates.
And losing him was...
..the worst thing that I've ever gone through and the effect was
so profound on all of us
that to support her doing this is a no-brainer.
Of course, we're all going to be here.
We are so proud of her and we're so thankful to her for doing it
because we know it's going to help people.
I hope that what she's doing
and the awareness she can bring to, you know, suicide
and mental health will help people
and if we can save someone like Billy, then, you know, it's good.
It's a good thing.
How are you feeling? Morning, Zoe.
Morning, all the BBC Breakfast viewers.
I'm feeling every kind of emotion you can imagine.
All this talk, all this training, all this eating the right stuff,
all the padded pants...
Now I just want to get on the road and start, you know,
-bringing some money in, hopefully.
-Good luck, Zoe!
-Thank you so much.
-Thank you! Get my cleat in.
With five hard days' cycling ahead of her,
Zoe sets off on the first leg of her journey -
72 miles through Lancashire to Widnes.
Thank you so much for coming out.
It means the world. Take care.
Lovely, looking good there.
Thank you, my love.
Next stop, Liverpool.
Off to the 'Pool.
Hello, my loves. Thank you.
Liverpool, we love you.
Oh, hang on. Oh, hang on, cleats.
Cleat got stuck.
Just got a bit friendly with that van.
First bit. First bit done.
And we had sunshine.
That's amazing, to have sunshine. Do you know what?
It's been really quite pleasant this morning.
People coming out to wave hello, beautiful bit of sunshine,
lovely sea views and, yeah...
All right, desperate for a wee.
As Zoe approaches Widnes, waiting for her are the Widnes Vikings
rugby league team, who are passionate
about men's mental health.
-Good luck, Zoe!
Watching Zoe do something like this, such a big challenge,
will just get people involved,
get people to understand what's going on in men's mental health
and also to contribute and to help people around the country.
-Come on, lads.
It's the cavalry.
Come on, then, boys.
Oh! You've made my day.
Hello, my darlings.
-How are you?
-Oh, my God.
You're a sight for sore eyes.
-I love Greg.
-She's sick of me! She's sick of me.
-I've listened to him all day.
The Vikings rugby team help push Zoe to the finish line
at the end of the first day, at their stadium.
We're part of Runcorn Cycling Group and we're here today just to
show our support to a fellow lady cyclist.
I just think what she's doing is absolutely brilliant.
She's such an inspiration.
We think what Zoe is doing is amazing.
-We love her, we support everything she does.
-We like her.
We're her number-one fans!
This is now officially the furthest I've ever cycled.
Hiya! How are you? Oh...
Oh, that's amazing. Wow.
Thank you, come here.
Oh! What a brilliant thing to do.
I'm just having a little cry. Brilliant.
Oh, I know, it's just amazing what she's doing.
We jumped in for the home straight, so, you know,
I could feel it just on that little bit there.
Get in, boys. Everyone get in.
There we go. Hey!
As a club, we put ourselves at the centre of the community
and we feel it's really relevant
to help men.
We can help youngsters that need some kind of support
through our community and through our club.
We don't speak a lot in our game and our profession.
It's all about that, throwing that toughness up.
Sometimes they don't need a chat, they just need to listen to
someone else and feel like they've got a friend.
Brilliant. Good work. Thank you.
Cycling into the stadium was...
That's a moment I'll never forget. I'll never forget that moment.
It was incredible and really emotional, I think.
Relieved to have made it to the end of day one,
but also to get that welcome.
Yeah, meant the world.
I liked that.
It's 7am and Zoe's back in the saddle.
Three, two, one and go.
Off we go again!
Thanks, boys. Really lovely to meet you. Thank you, darlings.
Make sure you get that picture with the rugby players.
Nice to meet you all.
-And we're off.
Great work, well done. That's really strong.
But before she leaves the north-west,
there's someone waiting for her
who knows an awful lot about Sport Relief challenges.
When you're in the middle of one of these challenges,
people turning up gives you a boost. I remember myself.
And when I realised Zoe was so close to where I live,
because I'm only half an hour away, I just thought I'd nip down.
Hello. Thanks for having us.
Sorry to interrupt your lovely quiet coffee morning.
Oh, my God, I don't believe it.
Oh, my goodness me. How are you?
-How are you? It's only now...
-How are you?
..that I understand what you all went through.
-Will I make it?
You will because you just... All of this, disappears.
All of this, you lose, just forget all this and then
when it gets to Thursday and Friday, you're just going home.
-Just going home.
-You're just heading home.
-And you just forget everyone and you just focus on you.
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr John Bishop.
See you later. Thank you.
Well, the thing is, when you're doing something like this,
and this is something that I've spoken to a number of people
who have done the challenges - Jo, David, Davina -
sometimes seeing somebody you know has done it as well,
it does give you a little a little boost, I think.
-Here we go.
John, thank you, darling.
Thank you so much. Thank you, bye, Jane.
Oh, look! Look, primary school kids.
Thank you so much! Thank you!
Only about 270 miles.
The route south takes Zoe through the walled city of Chester...
All right, gang?
..and out into the Cheshire countryside.
So, we found out this morning that Zoe Ball will be cycling
through the village this afternoon, so we brought our whole school out
to support Zoe.
Hello! How are you doing?
That is amazing cheerleading! Hello!
Nice to see you all.
The support is overwhelming.
And the reason she set out on this journey is never far from her mind.
I think the whole situation of what happened to Billy
is quite unbelievable.
There are times when I think...
..where I can't really believe he's gone.
..how much pain he was in.
He couldn't make sense of what was happening to him.
I could almost see... It's sort of like a change in the lights,
you could see the pain almost come into his eyes.
You'd want to say, "Come on, stay with me, stay with me.
"Let's find something positive, something joyous,
"let's get you out of this headspace."
And it was harder and harder to do that.
Two months ago,
Zoe went to talk to someone who had suffered a similar loss.
In 2012, Jamie Johnson took his own life when he was only 19.
We went out to Turkey and we were having a lovely holiday.
You know, Jamie was having a great time with his brothers.
In fact, my husband and I did say to each other,
"It's the happiest he's ever been."
-Zoe. Come on in.
-Give us a hug.
-So, this is Jamie here.
-Oh, bless him.
-There's my boy.
-There's your boy.
-He's lovely, isn't he?
-He is a gorgeous one.
-That was just a couple of days before.
Happy behind the bar, working away.
-Hadn't a clue.
-I was going to say, did you have any idea?
No idea at all.
Just didn't know. Just didn't know it was coming.
On the actual day, we were three days into our holiday
and I said to my brother, "Do you know where Jamie is?"
He said, "Oh, he's gone up to the room."
I thought, "Yeah, another afternoon sleeping it off."
Anyway, we all spent the afternoon by the pool,
really enjoying ourselves,
and about four o'clock, my brother,
who was sharing the room with Jamie, went up to get changed,
took his son up to get changed... My nephew was with us.
..and he opened the door and found him.
It was just pure shock and pure disbelief for a few months.
Tell me more about Jamie.
He made me laugh, he made... He was bright.
You know, he was the life and soul of school,
not always to his...
-..his teachers' delight.
He just went from this happy-go-lucky lad to...
I don't know. He was just sad.
His self-esteem was nowhere.
"Oh, what does it matter? What does it matter?"
He was just, like, giving up.
Suicide is really cruel
You feel like there's so much you should have been able to do.
How can this wonderful person get to a point where
they would feel that everybody would be better off with them not here
or that they were a burden?
I remember turning up at his funeral and thinking,
-"Jamie would love this."
-He would love this.
Yeah. All those people. All that love in the room there.
Yeah. And we need to let people know that while they're still here.
And, you know, just a little text message, a little anything,
-just to make people know that they're loved.
How...how are your two boys?
The little one, he struggled the most. He was ten when it happened.
My husband goes upstairs
four or five times a night and checks on them.
They're 16 and 21 now.
-Just to check they're OK because just that shock of finding...
Making sure that they're OK every minute. It's really hard.
-You're amazing. You're amazing.
-Oh, goodness me.
After Jamie's death, Penny struggled to find support,
so she helped found The Tomorrow Project
as part of Harmless,
an organisation funded by Sport Relief donations,
offering help to bereaved families and those at risk of suicide.
I think if it hadn't been for the project, The Tomorrow Project,
at the beginning, that gave me a real purpose in life,
and the team giving me my counselling
and supporting me emotionally,
without those two, I don't think I'd be here.
I just feel that the project saved me
and it needs to be able to help others.
There are around 6,000 suicides across the UK every year
and people right now who are experiencing mental health problems.
Money raised by Sport Relief is helping to fund
projects across the country that can offer hope.
Thank you very much. Hello!
Look, cyclists! Cyclists!
Thank you, my love. Oh!
And at today's finish just outside Shrewsbury...
..the whole village of Upton Magna have turned out to welcome Zoe.
Men are suffering a lot more with emotional health, mental health
and they do need a lot more support
and men need to get that out there and talk about it.
A bit like prostate cancer.
They need to be supportive and stick together.
They need to be a bit more chatty, like women.
We look after our heart, our lungs.
We need to be looking after our minds as well.
Say, "Well done, Zoe."
Well done, Zoe.
I think it's been an amazing thing for the village for people to
gather together and to realise that even though some people may
feel that that community spirit has gone from some of our villages
that actually it is really prevalent and is thriving.
Come on, Zoe!
-Zoe! Zoe! Zoe!
There's a pub. Brilliant.
Hello! Hi! How are you?
Hello, sir. How are you?
Hello. How are you? What's your name? Oh!
See you later. Thank you.
Oh! Thank you. Oh, brilliant.
OK. One, two...
Just get it in.
-Do it. Just do it, yeah?
Takes your breath away.
I had a really lovely point in the day with Greg
where we were actually quite quiet
and we had a really big sort of think
as we went through this beautiful, beautiful countryside in Shropshire
and it was so peaceful,
and just thinking about Billy and Penny and all the people
that we're hoping we're going to help by doing this challenge,
and it was really good to spend some time with those thoughts.
To think, that's why we're doing it. Remember why we're doing it.
Still three days to go and we've got the hilliest sections.
I mean, the really tough riding is still yet to come.
Look who we ran in to.
-Biked in to.
-I know. I biked in to Harry Judd.
Pop star and Strictly Come Dancing winner Harry Judd
is joining Zoe for the first stage of today's ride.
Fingers crossed I won't fall
and I'll hopefully just add a bit of support for Zoe today,
who's doing an amazing thing.
Lead the way. All right, guys.
Off we go.
Isn't it amazing to see all these people wishing you well?
I've done about 100 metres and I'm taking all the praise.
Yeah, thank you! "Keep going, Harry!"
But only two miles out of town
is one of the toughest hills they'll face.
Remember, don't attack it. Nice and steady.
Look at Harry.
He's not even breaking a sweat.
The hills, I knew they were coming
but you're already fatigued and quite tired.
But I have to say, Harry, on the hills, he is the man.
He's brilliant and he fired ahead and I think that's the thing,
I was like, "Yeah, come on, I can do this."
Really dig in now. Really focus.
But a hill on a bend, that's my nemesis.
Push, push, push, push, push.
All the strength you've got. You get to recover in 100 metres.
You're going well, you're going well, you're going well, Zoe.
-Stop, stop, stop.
-You're doing properly...
-It's good. It's a tough hill, properly tough hill.
I think pride's hurt a bit
but I'm OK.
It does put a bit of fear in you, though, that thing, I think once
you've fallen it's like, "Oh, no, please don't let that happen again."
-Three, two, one, go.
-Oi, oi, oi!
That was tough. That was hideous.
Harry's actually in Stratford.
When she finally catches up with him, Zoe's curious about
Harry's past struggles with his own mental health.
What helped you the most in your most troubling time?
For me, just that kind of support system of, you know,
close friends and family.
I feel lucky in that I've always been comfortable
-being open about it...
When I first went to see a doctor, I was very frightened,
I didn't know what was going on and he just explained it, he said,
"Look, Harry, it's very similar to someone who has a broken leg.
"You know, it's broken and it takes time to heal."
And that made me realise it's OK, and actually it's completely normal.
It's not nice but it's normal.
You know, the thing with mental health is it's a very isolating
experience and you kind of feel like, when you're going through it,
that no-one understands and you're the only person going through it.
Particularly for men, we sometimes find it hard to open up
but I think it's actually braver to be able to speak out and be honest
than it is to hide and not say something, to be truthful, so...
Whilst Billy was battling with depression,
Zoe had struggled to find the right place to seek help.
During her time in Nottingham,
she visited the project that Penny had helped to set up.
Supported by Sport Relief, it offers a safe place to talk.
She'll be asking, "Has Daddy been sick, has he...?"
And it's just, it's a hard thing to...
Then trying to explain that, it was quite difficult
putting it into a way that a child would understand.
Since losing Billy, so many people have talked to me
through social media or friends or friends of friends,
and it seems that everybody you meet has been touched by mental illness.
How do you help a loved one?
I'd love to think that there is something that you can do
to help someone you love, in that situation.
Run by Caroline Harroe at Harmless, The Tomorrow Project offers
support and hope to those at risk of suicide, and their families.
If we can create another tomorrow.
That's why The Tomorrow Project is called what it is.
If we can get somebody through that extra night, then we've created
hope, we've created another day in which we can do something with that.
We can provide support,
we can challenge some of the difficulties people face.
Men are three times more likely than women to take their own lives,
with men in their early 40s at the highest risk.
So sessions like these can be a crucial lifeline.
There'll be some days where getting out of bed, you know,
is just an absolute nightmare.
You only have to do it because you need to get to the toilet.
The depression and anxiety's still there but it's a lot more,
much more manageable, thanks to these guys, so...
For Zoe, it was hard to really understand
what Billy was going through.
-Will, you come here, you live with depression.
How does depression feel in your head, for you?
For anyone who doesn't live with it, it's so difficult
-for other people to understand.
-Yeah, I mean...
It's so crippling sometimes.
You know, obviously you've good days, bad days, things like that.
But when you're talking to people that have never experienced it,
never experienced depression, never experienced that sort of anxiety,
and kind of think, "What are you talking about?" You know, "Just get on with it",
You just want to almost tear it from yourself
and put it inside someone else, just to say, "There you go."
-That's how it feels.
-"It's not that nice, is it?"
-Just so they know what I'm talking about. So, yeah,
but then, you know, gradually you do come out of it,
you do come out the other end,
because there are services out there, like The Tomorrow Project,
which is just brilliant. Yeah.
It's thanks to projects like these that people living with depression
are able to access the help they need.
So, Colin, you're looking after a lot of men, specifically,
and they've got to be quite brave to take that first step.
Oh, it's massive. That first conversation
is one of the most important things, then we can go on from there.
So that might be in their home,
-it could be in a pub, a park.
-It could be pub, park -
it's about giving that opportunity to say,
"It's fine, I can meet you there, we don't have to rush into things,
"there's going to be no spotlight on you. We're just going to have a conversation"
and I think it's so important.
I think that's great for people watching this to hear as well,
that it's not necessarily going to be in that first meeting.
-It might take a few meetings for someone to feel safe,
to feel they can trust you, to feel that it's OK to start opening up.
They've got the opportunity to take their time
and move things forward for themselves, that space.
To see first-hand the people they're helping and the difference
it has made to their lives, it's just quite incredible.
We need there to be more places like that,
and then everybody can get the help and support that they need.
Wouldn't that be wonderful if that could happen?
-Is that hail? Hail or rain?
-No, that's rain.
-It is rain?
Back on the road, the weather is starting to close in.
Actually, that is hail.
I might not need an ice bath now.
Just let the hail do it.
But not far from the finish in Stratford-upon-Avon,
the dancers from Strictly have arrived.
Ooh, the dresses are here!
-They're so sparkly.
-Every colour you can imagine in that.
-Zoe's not going to miss us.
No, the Zoe all-in-one outfit!
I think she's going to be surprised that we're all here
but she adores Strictly, so I think that when she sees all the dresses
and we're all there
shouting her on, she's going to be so, so happy,
so I can't wait to see her face!
-Toot from the fire engine.
-Toot from the firemen.
That goes a long way.
After a gruelling 68-mile cycle,
Zoe has completed day three of the challenge.
-Guys, I don't know but I think we're going to be late.
And there's a sequinned surprise waiting for her in reception.
Where's the door? It's an automatic door.
MUSIC: Strictly Come Dancing theme
Oh, my goodness! Aah!
Oh, my God! Yes! Aah!
Oh, I don't believe it.
This is the best. This is the best day ever!
I love you all. Oh, my God!
It's been a really tough day
and did you see my whole body just, like, I could walk again!
It was, like, the miracle of dance.
These faces, they're really... Oh, it's just totally lifted me.
I think Zoe is a person
who brings to everyone joy.
She wants to give love to everyone, happiness, and she always,
when I used to do the show with her,
she always tried to make you feel comfortable, happy
and create a good atmosphere.
We chose it.
It means so much, it really, really does,
and they are like family, they're like family,
so what an amazing treat.
The most surreal end to an extraordinary day.
-The challenge is in absolutely pushing her to the edge
because of her level of fitness
and what we're asking from her is something above and beyond,
for someone who's only cycled 50 miles,
and then every day to do 70, is absolute hell to her.
At the first early-morning stop, Zoe checks in with Chris Evans.
Zoe Ball is here. Where is she at the moment? What's she up to?
-Come in, Zoe, live from...
-Talton Mill, Chris.
I'm in Talton Mill,
where a very nice man called Mark has just made me the best
bacon, sausage and egg bap I think I've ever had in my life.
-Perfect for a cyclist.
Do you know what, I really needed it today, Chris.
-It's getting really hard.
So, listen, here's what you've raised so far, Zoe, get ready
-for this, total raised so far...
-DRUM ROLL PLAYS
£192,542, Zoe Ball!
Oh, my goodness me, that's amazing.
-How good is that?
-That is amazing.
-Oh, tears, tears.
-Tears on the crossbar.
Just having a little cry. It's a happy cry, though.
I hope it's carbon fibre, otherwise it will rust.
-All right, now...
-Off with you! I'll talk with you tomorrow. Ta-ra!
Doing some squats. That's amazing. Thank you so much.
I can't believe that. That's absolutely incredible.
Thank you, Chris. Thank you to everyone who's donated.
That is just something else.
And all that money's going to help so many people. It's brilliant.
I think that's the thing, it's getting really tough
and then to hear that the money's gone up so much is amazing.
And they are kind of happy tears.
But I think you kind of dig in deep... Getting a bit weak and fatigued...
And then you hear that, and you think, "Oh, my goodness!
"It's so worth it and that's why we're doing it."
And there's so much generosity from people, it's amazing.
But I think it's encouraging,
because it obviously is touching people, that they want to help
other people and that's fantastic.
I mean, the generosity of people blows my mind sometimes.
You know, to be sort of directly involved with that is amazing.
And just when you're thinking, "How am I going to get through today?
"That's how I'm going to get through today!"
It's... You know...
-Good stuff, mate.
Whoo! Oh, I nearly fell off.
Hello, kids. Hi! How are you?
Thank you for coming out in the rain. Thank you.
Thank you, teachers.
This is definitely something that's very close to my heart.
I've talked quite openly previously about my own
experiences of depression and anxiety,
and I think, anyone spreading the word, opening up that conversation,
encouraging people to talk more,
is a brilliant and very worthwhile thing.
Thank you. Go, girls. That's you as well, Greg.
Fearne is joining Zoe for support.
Hi, guys. Thank you. Very wobbly!
The next few miles will take them
through one of the most historic cities on the route.
Oh, we like flat Oxford.
-Nice and flat.
-This is lovely and a bit of traffic.
A bit of traffic, nice, slow pace.
How do you sit on this bike for so long?
Already, my lady bits have gone a bit numb.
-Yeah, I know.
Well, it's just so brilliant you're doing it, Zoe, honestly. It's just amazing.
Already, though, it's helped so many people,
-just from people knowing that you're doing this.
And, you know, especially, men, you know,
feeling like they can talk out more.
It is such a shame and, you know, we've both got sons and you
want to kind of bring them up to know that it's OK to talk about anything.
-Anything at all, yeah.
-Anything at all.
So, tell me a bit about Jason.
Finding the courage to speak out was life-changing for one of the men
Zoe met in Nottingham two months ago.
-So he's gone back to what he loves, back to the gym.
Back to doing competitions and moving himself forward.
Jason has been struggling with his mental health
since he was a teenager.
Oh, my goodness me.
-How you doing?
-Nice to meet you.
-Oh, no. Go on, give me a sweaty hug.
My goodness me. So I've come to see you and you're going to make me look like that, yeah, this afternoon?
-We'll give it a go, know what I mean?
-Stopping for a workout?
-No, no, no. I'll leave you guys.
During Jason's battle with depression,
he sometimes felt that life wasn't worth living.
I was doing a lot of, you know, just sinking into a pit,
self-harm, everything else that goes with it.
And I just had, probably the lowest point of my life, and...
..I woke up in hospital knowing full well what I'd done,
and it was just, like, really no, no way out of it.
Still experiencing suicidal thoughts, 12 months ago,
Jason contacted The Tomorrow Project.
I went to see Colin and I was more scared about this bloke
sat in front of me, saying - you know, what's he going to say?
Was he going to... Is he going to think I'm mental, is he going to shove me
in the back of a van and cart me off to somewhere,
or is he going to sit there and laugh at me? And he didn't.
That fear is so huge, isn't it?
-And it does stop so many people reaching out.
He didn't judge.
He didn't say, "Right, this is what you need to do."
He just listened.
You know, and it starts working.
I started talking and I started... coming out of my shell.
That... As much as men need to talk, somebody else needs to listen.
And that's what they're there for.
It's so hard to comprehend what depression or a mental illness
feels like if you haven't suffered, and it's that thing, you know,
maybe sometimes I think I was
so busy trying to find a solution or find a therapist,
or look for help here, or let's do this, or let's do that,
that perhaps, maybe the most powerful thing
I could have done is to sit and listen.
HE BREATHES HEAVILY
You're looking very strong and you're looking really well.
How do you keep... Have you keep your head strong?
If I, for whatever reason, wake up one day
and all of a sudden the weight of the world's on my shoulders
again, I now have no problem picking up that phone.
So, yeah, there are good days, there are bad days.
There's, you know, points where you think to yourself,
"I really just can't be doing with today,"
then you think to yourself, "Well, tomorrow's a different day."
Before she leaves,
Zoe's keen to get some tips for her challenge from Jason.
So what should I be eating for endurance?
-Bag of pizza down you the night before.
That sounds all right. I'm OK with that!
And mentally, how do you keep yourself going?
Just think about why you're doing it.
You're right. Jason, you're right.
I may be screaming and cursing
and shouting your name somewhere along that ride!
If, like Zoe, you've been inspired by Jason's story, you can donate to
Sport Relief to help mental health charities across the country.
Oh, God. Oh, God...
-That's it. Just squeeze it out now.
-Oh, good grief!
Remember, this pain is short-lived.
There is no doubt about it. She's at her breaking point
in the sense that this is really, really difficult,
and we've still got a day and a half to go over some of the biggest
hills in the entire challenge.
-OK, here we go.
-Squeeze down another gear when they keep spinning, all right?
That's it, good.
-You've got one more left.
-But only take it if you need it, OK?
-Sugar, oh, sugar!
But only a few miles away,
in Marlow, her friends and family are gathering.
I think she found it very daunting at the beginning.
I think she finds it more daunting now!
But she's done four days
and there's only one to go,
so I'm sure she's going to make it.
Here we go.
Spin it up, girl. Spin it up!
Oh, my Lord.
Just think about Jason.
Telling me to think about why I'm doing this.
Ah, that's wonderful.
-Put it really high up.
-You've got it really high up.
-These are my grandchildren.
So I've got to say hello to them.
They've made these signs, look. Aren't they wonderful?
"Go, Zo! Go, we love you!"
-"Zoe, you're a machine! Keep going!" Look at that.
-Here we go.
Here you are, mate. Well done. Well done, mate.
There's my dad!
Juno! Juno, Roddy! Hi!
Hi! It's wonderful.
Oh. Zoe, why didn't they give you a tandem?
-I'd have come with you.
How are you?
Thanks, Dad. How are you?
How are your legs?
The left shoulder, it's all a bit creaky.
I want to give her the biggest hug ever.
Squeeze the breath out of her.
That's all I want to do.
And then she'll be no good for tomorrow!
This is Michael Litchard, who I bit at school.
It's all right, you're forgiven for that! Well done.
Today, that last hill was enormous
and you saw, particularly with the fall, that could break
someone's confidence, but it didn't. She got back on.
She absolutely nailed it.
That was impressive cycling, really impressive,
particularly at the end of a tough day.
Are you all right with your knees bent, Zo?
No, not for long.
It's almost the end of Zoe's journey
and her thoughts turn to the last time she saw Billy.
He called me, and as I turned round,
his little face was there and that moment,
my heart sort of exploded with all this love and I just thought
to myself, "Whatever it is that we have to do, I love him so much.
"We will get through this, somehow." And it was just that moment,
that feeling of, "Oh, my God, I love him so much, we'll find some help,
"it will all be OK."
And I wish I'd told him that.
He hopped on his bike and he cycled off
and he turned round and sort of, you know, blew me a kiss goodbye.
And that was the last time I saw him
and I feel really grateful
that I got my goodbye, in a way.
And I think that was my one, you know.
If one family was saved from going through that terrible loss,
it would be worth it, you know.
It would be worth, you know, all of it.
And I really hope that that's the case.
-Last day, Dot.
-Last day, mate.
-Last day, Dot. I'm going to make it.
-It's going to be a bit of a circus later, so enjoy it.
Thank you, Dot, brilliant. Thank you.
I think Zoe is a true champion, because she's gone through it.
She has come out of the other side of it.
She's doing something really, really positive now, trying to help others.
I think that's what makes her so very, very special.
And I just hope that it does help many other people
in the way it's helped her.
We've actually got a huge distance to cover today.
-Legs are tired. We can get through this though, can't we?
If anyone can get me through it, it's this man.
-Look at this.
There are 76 tough miles left before Zoe reaches home.
Whoo! Thank you! Thank you so much.
Halfway to Brighton, Zoe takes a moment to
think about those her challenge has touched along the way.
This note was left on one of our crew vehicles this morning.
It says, "Dear Zoe, fantastic effort, well done.
"It's a cause close to my heart.
"It's been seven years since I lost my best friend.
"See you on the telly at the end, go for it. Lots of love."
You know, it's been so moving, as we go along the road,
that so many people have come up and taken a quiet moment with me
and shared their own stories.
That's what we wanted this challenge to do,
is make people feel that they could share.
I think that's the thing - the more people feel that they can talk to me
about it, the more they feel they can talk to other people about it.
That's what we need to do, we just all need to be able to talk
to each other about these things, don't we?
Look, Brighton. This is our first sign.
Zoe is tantalisingly close to home.
Hey, Brighton, we're coming for you.
But there's one more hurdle she needs to overcome.
Devil's Dyke, at the top of the South Downs.
It's getting tough now.
It's the longest climb she's faced on her challenge so far.
SHE BREATHES HEAVILY
Oh, God, Greg.
But after over a mile of climbing,
there's still another mile to go.
Just a little dig around this corner.
-And then we've got a little...
..look, little bit of plateau, lovely. Right?
Push it round, push it round.
You're good, mate, you're good. You're all right.
You're on this, mate. You are on this, all over it.
-All over this, yeah?
The five days of constant cycling
has pushed Zoe to the limits of her endurance.
I just feel like I've got no power.
You have got loads of power, mate.
Squeeze it out, there's always something left in there.
There's more in there.
You're on it, you're on it, Zoe.
Good, good, good. Very, very strong.
Oh, Greg, how am I going to get up this bit?
You are, you are.
Because you've got up everything else. OK?
God, that pain is hideous.
Finally, Zoe has made it over Devil's Dyke.
The golf club.
It's the golf club!
Oh, it's an amazing sight, thank you so much!
Well done, mate. Well done.
Oh, Greg, thank you so much for getting me up there.
I am so proud of you.
I think just coming to the end of the journey, when we met everyone...
..involved, and all the reasons,
I didn't think I was going to be able to do that.
-And now look, Brighton's ahead of us.
-Somewhere over there.
-Not sure if we can see it, but, yeah.
In just five miles, Zoe's journey will be over.
Billy will always be in my heart, always.
I want him to be remembered for more than how he died.
I want him to be remembered for how he was when he was living his life.
And how he brought so much love into people's lives and laughter.
And I think he's there, he's with me.
-It's only a mile down here, so...
-Only a mile.
-It's that last, long mile.
-That last one!
-The last mile, Greg.
-This one, we can actually see the finish line.
And waiting to welcome her home is her mum, Julia.
I would never have expected her to take on a challenge like this.
I am so thrilled and so proud of her.
I just think she's been incredible.
-There it is.
-We're nearly there!
We are nearly home.
I love her so much,
and she's gone a very, very, very, very, very long way,
and I'm really excited to see her.
Thank you, thank you so much!
It's just so incredible, she's achieved so much
and it's awe-inspiring.
I hope one day I can do something that's as massive as this.
And two people who've been thinking about Zoe throughout her
challenge, Penny and Caroline from The Tomorrow Project.
I wouldn't be anywhere else right now.
Although we're rather wet, I imagine Zoe's much wetter.
I think the woman is phenomenal.
She's shown great courage and strength.
It's started people talking about mental health and she's amazing.
She's my hero, can't wait to see her.
Just the fact that she's doing this
and I know exactly what she's feeling.
And to put her heart on her sleeve and go out there.
And it's just really, really touched me that she's doing this for us.
After cycling over 350 miles,
Zoe has finally reached her hometown, Brighton.
Hello, my darling!
Oh, I love you!
I love you so much!
-You did it!
-We did it! We did it!
We did it!
There she is - Zoe Ball, everybody!
I'm so happy to be here.
I can't really believe it, it's all quite surreal.
I'd just like to mention, there's an amazing lady called Penny,
who's here, who's come tonight, who lost her son, Jamie.
And I'm thinking about her and Jamie,
and she did something really amazing.
She met with Caroline here, who's also an incredible woman.
They run a fantastic project called The Tomorrow Project,
so please, can you give them a huge round of applause?
They're so brave, really incredible and very inspiring.
She's cycled 352 miles from Blackpool to Brighton.
But Zoe's done so much more than that.
She's going to make a difference to people's lives into the future.
We did it, I can't believe we did it.
We did it.
I've never been so happy to come home.
There's still time to donate to mental health projects
across the UK, supported with Sport Relief donations.
Documenting an incredibly inspiring charity challenge, popular TV presenter Zoe Ball attempts to cycle over 300 miles, all to raise awareness about mental health and raise money for Sport Relief.