Comic Relief celebrities in Kilimanjaro bid
Comic Relief’s celebrity climbers have set off on their bid to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.
The intrepid stars were began their trek in the early hours of yesterday morning, a spokeswoman for the expedition, Kristina Kyriacou, said.
The BT Red Nose Climb is expected to take eight days.
All the climbers arrived in Africa safely, Ms Kyriacou said.
Boyzone frontman Ronan Keating nearly missed the outbound flight on Friday night after his connection from Dublin was delayed by an hour-and-a-half.
The star had to be driven across the Heathrow tarmac in order to catch the waiting flight.
The group, including Cheryl Cole, Chris Moyles and Gary Barlow, are undertaking the climb of a lifetime to raise cash for this year’s Red Nose Day Campaign.
On Friday the Radio 1 audience raised a whopping £180,000 via text donations and the overall total as of 4.30pm yesterday stood at more than £515,000.
Other celebrities taking part include Denise Van Outen, Fearne Cotton and Kimberley Walsh.
The stars flew out from Heathrow on a Kenya Airways plane with its nose painted red for the occasion.
Ms Kyriacou said: "They’ve had a briefing from Jeremy Gane, a tour operator who is leading the climb - it will be the 21st time he has climbed the mountain.
"They’ve also had briefings from two doctors who will go with them.
"They will trek through the rainforest, where it will be very hot and humid - they won’t go any faster than the slowest person. It should take three days to get to base camp."
Mount Kilimanjaro stands at 19,340ft above sea level, is the tallest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world.