Reporter Ross Thomson meets Davina McCall

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HAVE you ever fancied running, swimming and cycling 500 miles from Edinburgh to London? No? Me neither!

However, that was the challenge former Big Brother host Davina McCall took on to raise money for this year’s Sport Relief Challenge.

Pit stop...for Million Pound Drop host Davina McCall, with Gazette reporter Ross Thomson (Pic Andrew Wilson)

Pit stop...for Million Pound Drop host Davina McCall, with Gazette reporter Ross Thomson (Pic Andrew Wilson)

Davina – Beyond Breaking Point was a seven day ordeal for the 46-year-old which began at Edinburgh Castle and ended in London.

But her first stopping point was at the Elphinstone Hotel in Biggar, where Gazette reporter Ross Thomson was able to catch up with her.

Given the howling wind and rain that particular morning, it was a great effort for her to complete the first 30 miles in under three hours.

She said: “I feel a bit tired after the first 30 miles.

“I don’t mind the rain and the cold but I really hate the wind.

“It feels like you are cycling in treacle.

“I have been training very hard, with a schedule devised by Greg Whyte who helped train David Walliams, John Bishop and Eddie Izzard for their Sport Relief challenges.

“I have received a lot of tips from so many people, including former swimming world champion Mark Foster and Anna Wheeler, who swam around the Isle of Wight.”

Davina was amazed by the level of support she received from the public on social media.

She was being cheered along by her husband Matthew Robertson and their children.

“One of the reasons I took on the challenge was that I was able to do the training while continuing to work and see my kids,” said Davina. “They were so supportive. The support from the public was also incredible.

“It gives you a real boost when you hear a honk of a horn as people drive past you.”

Davina finished her 130 mile cycle to Keswick that day but was sent for medical tests after suffering suspected signs of hypothermia.

Trainer Greg Whyte said: “These are the worst weather conditions we’ve seen on any challenge.”

Her ordeal continued as she had to be pulled from Lake Windermere later on in the week but she did manage to complete the seven day challenge, reaching London and amassing £760,000 to date.

To support Davina and Sport Relief donate £5 or £10, txt FIVE or TEN to 70510.

And if her challenge has inspired you to raise funds for Sport Relief, let us know! Call 01555 772226 with your sponsored picture requests or send a video diary of your efforts to