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Blue Peter's Lindsey Russell to cross Irish Sea in inflatable ball

By Allan Preston

A Blue Peter presenter will today set off from a Northern Ireland beach in a bid to cross the Irish Sea in an inflatable bubble.

Lindsey Russell (25) will attempt to cross more than 20 miles of open water between Donaghadee and Portpatrick in Scotland for Sport Relief.

Using a specially constructed inflatable zorb ball, attached to a structure of paddles on the outside, Lindsey will move across the water by rolling the ball from the inside with her hands and feet.

For training she completed the London and the Swiss Army's Mountain Marathon and has been running on the treadmill for up to seven hours every day.

The challenge, which has never been tried before, could take up to 14 hours, meaning Lindsey will have to work well into the night.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, the TV presenter joked the episode would turn her into a "little hamster" on the sea.

"I guess the sea has been crossed in so many ways - jet skiing or swimming - but this just felt different and silly and a bit mad," she said.

Lindsey, who practised at an RNLI centre, added: "It was really good to put it in huge waves, to put it in basically the worst conditions possible so when I get do out to sea it will seem doable."

Lindsey's Wave Runner challenge is aimed at inspiring children to sign up to Sports Relief's games in Belfast on March 20.

To sign up for the games, visit

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