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One Show's Christine Bleakley sets water-ski record for Sport Relief

Northern Ireland's Christine Bleakley has made history by becoming the first person to water-ski across the English Channel.

The Ulster-born presenter (31) completed the gruelling 22-mile challenge for Sport Relief in just over 90 minutes after setting off from Dover at 7.46am in miserable temperatures of 5C with wind chill below freezing.

Her progress was followed live on Chris Evans’ breakfast show on Radio 2 and at one point it looked like the Newtownards woman may not complete the daunting task.

“They don’t know if she is going to make it. This is proving much tougher than anyone thought,” Evans told his listeners this morning.

But it was not all plain sailing for Christine who fell in several times in conditions Evans called “very cold and very choppy” .

After two days of weather delays, Bleakley, footballer Frank Lampard's girlfriend, embarked on her challenge clad in a black head-to-toe wetsuit and red life jacket.

The challenge required Christine to hang on at approximately 20mph across the world's busiest shipping lane.

She was moved to undertake the challenge following a trip to Uganda with Sport Relief in 2008, where she met young people who are living tough lives.

Speaking before the challenge she said: “It's so easy to come home from a trip like that and forget about what you've seen and keep going about your everyday life.

“I didn't want to do that. I'll never forget the people that I met and I want to do something to help them. Please support me by making a donation as it really will help change lives.”

Footage of her challenge can be seen on The One Show tonight on BBC One at 7pm.

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