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Bishop begins charity triathlon

Just an hour into a gruelling charity triathlon, comedian John Bishop has already taken a tumble - falling off his bike in the outskirts of Paris.

The stand-up comic, who is attempting to cycle, row and run 290 miles (467km) from the French capital to London in five days, set off from the Eiffel Tower during rush-hour on Monday morning.

Bishop started his BT Sport Relief Challenge at the Eiffel Tower at 9.26am local time, heading up the Champs Elysees and negotiating cobbles around the Arc de Triomphe. However just an hour into the challenge, the comedian fell off his bike whilst passing through the outskirts of Paris.

According to organisers, as he approached a busy set of traffic lights, he struggled to get his feet out of the cleats in time and fell off. Despite the tumble, Bishop is continuing in the first leg of his challenge - to cycle 185 miles (298km) to the coast in less than 24 hours, the equivalent of 60,000 pedal strokes, aiming to finish in the early hours of Tuesday.

He said: "It's lunchtime and I've done 55 miles - which on any other day in my life would be amazing, but today there's still 130 odd miles left to do. I'm trying not to think about the row tomorrow - and as for the marathons, it's probably best not to worry about them at all at this stage."

For the second leg, Bishop - who suffers from bad seasickness - will row from mainland Europe to the UK. On Sunday, he was granted last-minute permission to row the English Channel after the French authorities initially refused to allow him to row from Calais to Dover. He will be joined by a team of celebrity rowers including Flintoff, McCall and Denise Lewis.

The final stage of his epic journey will see him take on three marathons in three days, finishing in London's Trafalgar Square on Friday. Celebrity friends including Dermot O'Leary, Frank Skinner and Robbie Savage will provide motivation when they run alongside him.

Bishop is said to already be suffering a sore neck, a bad shoulder, and painful left hamstring. His trainer, Greg Whyte, said: "The cycle alone is an extremely long distance to cover in less than 24 hours, even for an experienced ultra-endurance athlete."

The comedian is hoping to raise enough money to pay for a vaccine against five deadly diseases for 250,000 children in Africa, and also to help people living tough lives in the UK. Bishop's Week Of Hell will be shown in a BBC documentary to be broadcast in the build-up to Sport Relief Weekend, which takes place from March 23-25.

Bishop can be sponsored at sportrelief.com/bishop

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