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Little Mix stars join Dani Dyer and former MP Ed Balls for mountain challenge

They join a band of other celebrities confirmed to take on the 19,000ft challenge for Comic Relief.

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Dani Dyer will join a band of other celebrities confirmed to take on the 19,000ft challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief (Tom Dymond/PA)

Dani Dyer will join a band of other celebrities confirmed to take on the 19,000ft challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief (Tom Dymond/PA)

Dani Dyer will join a band of other celebrities confirmed to take on the 19,000ft challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief (Tom Dymond/PA)

Labour meets Love Island on Mount Kilimanjaro as former shadow chancellor Ed Balls and Dani Dyer have joined Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall and Leigh-Anne Pinnock for a Red Nose Day expedition.

They will converge with TV hosts Dan Walker, Alexander Armstrong and Anita Rani, NFL sports pundit Osi Umenyiora and Strictly star Shirley Ballas as they seek to conquer the 19,000ft mountain.

The band of nine begin the ascent in February for a special one-hour documentary to air on BBC One, Comic Relief organisers said on Tuesday.

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Ed Balls will take on the 19,000ft challenge (Tom Dymond/PA)

Ed Balls will take on the 19,000ft challenge (Tom Dymond/PA)

Press Association Images

Ed Balls will take on the 19,000ft challenge (Tom Dymond/PA)

Kilimanjaro: The Return takes place 10 years after the original excruciating climb led by Gary Barlow, which raised £1.5 million for Comic Relief.

Ed Balls said: “It’s an amazing group of climbers, I’m especially looking forward to dancing up the mountain with Shirley Ballas. My whole family are beyond excited that Jade and Leigh-Anne of Little Mix will be scaling Africa’s highest mountain, too.”

Dani Dyer added: “I can’t believe I’m really climbing Kilimanjaro. Comic Relief means so much to me and my family, and the money they raise does so much good, so I’m thrilled to be involved. It doesn’t feel real yet, but I’m excited to put my backpack on and get going.”

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Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall, of Little Mix, are excited to be helping out with Comic Relief (PA)

Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall, of Little Mix, are excited to be helping out with Comic Relief (PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall, of Little Mix, are excited to be helping out with Comic Relief (PA)

Following in the footsteps of the likes of Chris Moyles, Fearne Cotton and Cheryl, who took part in the 2009 climb, the newly formed team will face a gruelling eight-day trek battling altitude sickness and freezing night-time temperatures, driving them to their physical and mental limits.

Pinnock said: “It’s so amazing to be part of this challenge for Comic Relief. I can’t wait to get to the top of Kilimanjaro, and knowing that we are doing it for Comic Relief makes it incredibly special.”

Thirlwall added: “Leigh-Anne and I went to Liberia in 2014 for Red Nose Day and we have seen first-hand how much work this incredible charity does and how much it is needed. The nerves are certainly starting to kick in for the climb, but I’m lucky I will have Leigh-Anne up there with me and I can’t wait to get stuck in with everyone!”

The climb will be part of a multitude of shows, sketches, challenges and celebrity fun, all planned for the lead-up to the main event broadcast live on Friday March 15, beginning at 7pm on BBC One.

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Strictly star Shirley Ballas will join Ed Balls and others for Comic Relief’s Kilimanjaro: The Return (Tom Dymond/PA)

Strictly star Shirley Ballas will join Ed Balls and others for Comic Relief’s Kilimanjaro: The Return (Tom Dymond/PA)

Strictly star Shirley Ballas will join Ed Balls and others for Comic Relief’s Kilimanjaro: The Return (Tom Dymond/PA)

A short film will reunite the cast of Four Weddings And A Funeral 25 years on, in a swathe of evening entertainment.

This comes after an exclusive sneak peek picture of the highly anticipated One Red Nose Day And A Wedding has been released ahead of the premiere.

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Rowan Atkinson joins in the Red Nose Day spirit as part of the cast in the Four weddings and a funeral short film

Rowan Atkinson joins in the Red Nose Day spirit as part of the cast in the Four weddings and a funeral short film

Rowan Atkinson joins in the Red Nose Day spirit as part of the cast in the Four weddings and a funeral short film

An illustrious roster of comedians have also announced their plans for a “spectacular” comedy gig held at the SSE Arena, Wembley, on Thursday February 28, the first of its kind.

The comedy troupe includes Russell Howard, Jimmy Carr, John Bishop, Sir Lenny Henry and Alan Carr, with ticket sale profits going to Comic Relief.

Howard said: “Gigs like this are great as they help Comic Relief raise vital funds that enable them to help people here in the UK and around the world.

“Back in 2017, I travelled to Liberia for Red Nose Day where I saw first-hand how Comic Relief cash was making a difference to lives over there - it was such an eye-opener; which is why I’m delighted to be joining forces with them again to take part in the first ever Comic Relief Spectacular. So grab your ticket now, for what promises to be an enormous, life-changing night of fun.”

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Jimmy Carr will join a team of comedians for a gig at the SSE Arena, Wembley.

Jimmy Carr will join a team of comedians for a gig at the SSE Arena, Wembley.

Jimmy Carr will join a team of comedians for a gig at the SSE Arena, Wembley.

In a more competitive atmosphere, Lord Sugar is stepping back into the boardroom alongside his trusted advisers Baroness Brady and Claude Littner to cast his eye over a group of celebrities jostling to avoid the firing line.

Baroness Brady was a contestant in the first edition back in 2007, striding to victory as project manager for the girls’ team, leading to the firing of Piers Morgan, who was accused of winding up his fellow teammates

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