Sunday 25 February 2018

Stormy start for Jo Brand in Hell Of A Walk charity challenge

Comedian Jo Brand sets off across the Humber Bridge on the first day of her Hell Of A Walk challenge for Sport Relief
Comedian Jo Brand sets off across the Humber Bridge on the first day of her Hell Of A Walk challenge for Sport Relief
Jo Brand in Hull as she sets off on the first day of her BT Sport Relief Challenge

Jo Brand set off on her 150-mile (241km) coast-to-coast walking challenge for Sport Relief with a trek across a wind-lashed Humber Bridge.

But the comedian wisely failed to follow up on her jokey pre-walk promise to swallow-dive from the middle of the structure and indulge in some synchronised swimming in the muddy water below.

Brand, 58, set off on the Hell Of A Walk challenge from the foreshore at Barton-on-Humber in North Lincolnshire on Friday, with plenty of her trademark dry wisecracks.

She said: "I feel the hand of history upon my toenails."

And added: "I would describe my walking style as 'fat old woman'."

As Brand strode off towards the huge bridge, she said: "I 'm feeling fine. It's bit windy. It's a bit chilly. But that's all right.

" I wouldn't say I was full of energy, because I'm not sure I ever have been.

"But it's one foot in front of another and see how it goes."

Brand made it to the north bank of the Humber just before a storm engulfed the bridge with high winds and horizontal, sleety rain.

Lorry drivers tooted their approval as they drove by and the handful of walkers braving the bridge footpath shook her hand and wished her well.

She is aiming to walk about 20 miles (32km) on Friday and reach Liverpool.

The BT-sponsored challenge will see Brand climb to 1,500ft (457m) across the Pennines and take a total of 60,000 steps as she walks from dawn to dusk, burning around 6,000 calories each day.

As she set off she said it was the hills she feared the most.

Sport Relief said she will be joined by famous friends and people helped by Sport Relief funding along the route to spur her on. On Friday, Great British Bake Off 2014 winner Nancy Birtwhistle was the first famous face to wish her well.

Brand's journey will be recorded for a BBC documentary to be broadcast in the run-up to Sport Relief Weekend, which is taking place from March 18 to 20.

Press Association

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