Bishop’s Week of Hell: he’s done it!
Comedian John Bishop has finished what was undoubtedly the most physically gruelling week of his life: cycling, rowing and running over 290 torturous miles from Paris to London in just five days…
He’s done it!
After cycling, rowing and running 290 punishing miles in just five days, John Bishop crossed the finish line of his BT Sport Relief Challenge: Bishop’s Week Of Hell at 5.08pm today (Friday 2nd March). So far John has raised a phenomenal £1,660,198 but it’s not too late for the public to show their support – you can support Sport Relief here.
Fighting against extreme fatigue, sickness, and chafing limbs, John made his final few strides up the Mall and battled his way to a triumphant arrival in Trafalgar Square, where he was greeted by a huge crowd cheering him on to the finish line accompanied by the Liverpool FC anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.
Along with his wife Mel and his three sons John was greeted by comedian Jason Manford and a roaring crowd of supporters.
On hearing the final total John, who was moved to tears, said: I’m absolutely blown away. That money is going to change lives.” He went on to say: “It’s just unbelievable. It’s absolutely staggering. I’ve seen the projects that Sport Relief supports and the great thing is it’s not only going to help people abroad. You can get in your car anywhere in the country and within 15 minutes you will find a Sport Relief funded project. That is amazing.” He added: “Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And on behalf of all those who will benefit from the money, thank you from the bottom of their hearts too.”
John set out on his epic journey on Monday (27th February) from the foot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris and cycled the gruelling 185 miles to Calais in 18 and a half hours. Having had only one hour of sleep he then embarked on his Channel crossing on Tuesday, where he was joined by celebrity rowers Davina McCall, Denise Lewis and Freddie Flintoff.
Starting in Calais, three celebrities helped John through the 26 mile row as he suffered from exhaustion, hallucinations from the lack of sleep, and a severely bruised backside. After an agonising seven hours and 45 minutes, the oar-some foursome landed in Dover, where the next day he would start the third and final leg of his challenge – a mere three marathons, back to back!
On Wednesday John embarked on his first marathon from Dover to Faversham which saw him pounding the pavements with Dermot O’Leary and Radio 1’s Comedy Dave, who each joined John for a seven mile leg. Despite taking an initial tumble, John was spurred on by his running mates, and crowds of waving school children.
Thursday saw John’s wife Mel, Frank Skinner and Radio 1’s Chris Moyles join him on marathon number two, as he ran an astonishing 28 miles from Faversham to Gravesend. John had suffered from sickness the night before as the extreme punishment his body has been subjected to started to take its toll. With regular breaks for food and physio to support his weary muscles, John became the pied piper of Kent as he amassed a following of runners.
Today, his final day, held together by bright blue medical tape John pushed on, despite tremendous agony. In particular, John’s right shin was causing him intense pain, and each rest stop called for more rigorous physio treatment. Whilst on his last legs, John had friends and family running with him including his brother Eddie, Radio 1’s Greg James and footballer Robbie Savage to help him power through the pain. On reaching the finish the medical team immediately strapped him into an air cast boot, encompassing his whole foot and lower leg, to support the damaged shin.
The money John has raised will not only help to pay for a vaccine against five deadly diseases for 250,000 children in Africa, but also help people living incredibly tough lives in the UK.
Every year, almost two million children in Africa die from diseases that can be prevented by simple vaccines. Pentavalent is one such vaccine. It costs just £5 and protects against five deadly diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and haemophilus, which can cause meningitis and pneumonia.
BT has given £66,000 for each day of the challenge and today donated an extra £133,000 to make a total of £463,000 to support John’s challenge. This is part of the £1million BT has committed to raise in support The BT Sport Relief challenges – a series of celebrity challenges sponsored by BT for Sport Relief 2012.
All the ups and downs from John’s challenge will be captured for a BBC documentary, to be broadcast in the build up to the Sport Relief Weekend, which is taking place from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th March.
Well done John!
Burn baby, burn
This afternoon at 5.45pm (Thursday 1st March) John Bishop hobbled into the streets of Gravesend to finish his second punishing marathon as part of The Sport Relief Challenge: Bishop’s Week of Hell. He headed straight off for much-needed rest and medical attention as his battered body struggles to recover enough to complete the final stretch tomorrow.
John had a real movie moment today when a crowd of people began running behind him, reminiscent of the film ‘Forrest Gump’. One person who ran up and cheekily asked him how he was doing was Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles, who joined John as a surprise, to provide some much needed motivation. Frank Skinner also kept John company this afternoon, as well as John’s wife Mel who’ joined him at the start.
Every step has been agony for John during the last few miles today as he is suffering from intimate chafing around his thighs and nether regions, but with medical tape strapping up his feet and Achilles and the promise of an ice bath, John soldiered on.
His trainer, Professor Greg Whyte, said: “Today is the furthest distance John has ever run in his life, and for half of that distance he was in total agony. Tomorrow John has got to repeat that feat all over again – having already done over 37 hours of strenuous physical exertion over the last four days. No doubt he’ll be questioning himself as to whether he’s got another marathon left in him and if he will make it to Trafalgar Square in one piece.”
Day four of his Week of Hell and John is still going
Today (Thursday 1st March) John Bishop is putting in a heroic effort by taking on the second of three marathons.
To help keep John going BT is encouraging the nation to Buzz for Bishop today when it will make a donation to Sport Relief for every call made from a BT home or business landline, payphone or to BT 118 500*.
John did well yesterday to complete his first marathon of the challenge but revealed this morning that he’d spent the last 10 miles worrying about his son – who had been in hospital for an X-ray after an accident on his bike. Seeing the school children come out to support and cheer him on really brought home why it’s so vital that he raises enough money for vaccinations that could help save the lives of 250,000 children in Africa.
The extreme pressure John’s body is under is really starting to take its toll on him physically. He suffered sickness in the night and had to wear compression tights on his legs and ice boots to reduce the swelling in his feet. John is being treated on route by a medic and even stopped for some acupuncture this morning after the first leg of his journey.
John said: “The back of my legs need a lot of support and my Achilles is still really sore but I’m taking pain killers and I’ve just got to keep going. We had some tough hills yesterday and there are one or two bigger hills today but generally it’s flatter after that.”
“I started running the first few miles with my wife who’s come down to support me and Frank Skinner is joining later. It’s tough because I’ve not eaten much; when you do this much exercise your body starts saying enough is enough and rejects what you try to put into it.”
The crowds have been out in force again, cheering John on. He even received a banana wrapped in a twenty pound note, with a message of support scrawled across it.
Show your support for John and make a phone call on Buzz for Bishop day!
One down, two to go
John Bishop has completed his first marathon today (Wednesday 29th February) as part of The BT Sport Relief Challenge: Bishop’s Week of Hell. He arrived in Faversham Market Place at 3.50pm and was greeted by cheering crowds of people who turned out to show their support and admiration.
John will have to run a further two marathons over the next two days in order to reach his final destination of London’s Trafalgar square on Friday afternoon.
The comedian is cycling, rowing and running over 290 miles from Paris to London, in order to raise some serious cash for Sport Relief.
On arriving in Faversham John said: “It was such a lift, I had tears in my eyes when I saw all the crowds of people with placards cheering me. It’s so great that people are getting behind me, I even had people thrusting money in my hands for Sport Relief. Every penny helps bring us closer to our target of 250,000 vaccines”.
Tomorrow will see John run from Faversham to Gravesend which is a staggering 28 miles. His body is already suffering from his cycle and row and with all his muscles working against each other, John is now having problems with his Achilles. Tonight John will have a long ice bath to help ease the pain.
His trainer, Professor Greg Whyte said “Overnight we will work on combating John’s muscular pain, especially his Achilles which are giving him a problem and his feet are very sore. He had a good day today but he showed a lot of pain on his face during the last five or six miles. Most people who run a marathon, don’t get up and run another marathon the next day which is exactly what John has got to do”.
John hits the road…
Today (Wednesday 29th February) at 9am John Bishop began the first of three days of back to back marathons as part of The BT Sport Relief Challenge: Bishop’s Week of Hell.
The comedian is cycling, rowing and running over 290 miles from Paris to London in just five days, in order to raise some serious cash for Sport Relief.
John has already cycled an arduous 185 miles from Paris to Calais on day one which saw him finish in the early hours of the morning. Surviving on only one hour of sleep, an exhausted John then teamed up with Davina McCall, Denise Lewis and Freddie Flintoff on day two, and rowed a painful 26 miles across the English Channel to the shores of Dover, arriving late yesterday afternoon.
Despite a tortuous start to the week, John was in high spirits this morning when he was surprised by Comedy Dave Vitty from The Chris Moyles Show, Radio 1, who turned up in Dover to give his support and run the first leg of the marathon with John.
The duo set off to a speedy start but John’s tired legs buckled in the first few miles and he took a tumble. Thankfully with no injuries sustained, John dusted himself off and did his best to push on. Dave then handed over to Dermot O’Leary who joined John to continue the run until lunch.
Stopping for lunch in Bridge, John said “I’ve done around 14 miles so far and I am chaffing! I should become a spokesperson for udder cream. I’m using a whole different muscle group today from the cycle and the row but I am already feeling it. The only problem with running from the coast is that you have to go uphill!”
“Kids from schools have been coming out in fancy dress and people are waving, it’s wonderful. It’s nice to do something different from rowing this morning but I’m sure the novelty will soon wear off when I have to do it again and again. I keep thinking about the money pouring in and how many vaccinations it will buy and it’s keeping me going.”
The team arrive in Dover after cross Channel row
Today (Tuesday 28th February) at 5.38pm John Bishop and his team of celebrity rowers, Davina McCall, Denise Lewis and Freddie Flintoff, finally made it to dry land and touched down on the sandy beaches of Dover. Watch the latest video now:
The foursome took an agonising seven hours and 45 minutes to row 26 miles across the English Channel as part of The BT Sport Relief Challenge: Bishop’s Week of Hell – a gruelling triathlon which sees comedian John Bishop cycle, row and run over 290 punishing miles from Paris to London in just five days.
Whilst in the boat John was suffering from extreme sleep deprivation and struggled to keep going.
John said: “Yesterday’s cycle was so difficult and long that it made the row today even harder than it already was. I was so tired out there that I actually fell asleep while I was rowing. I’d nod off for a split second, wake up and see two oars in the water. I was delirious after just having a single hour of sleep the night before – but that’s why it’s called the ‘Week of Hell’. I couldn’t have picked a better trio to help me do it, they were amazing and never ever looked like stopping.”
Davina said: “That seemed to just go on and on. Our cox told us at the start that we’d be doing something like 10,000 strokes and it really felt like it. I’ve absolutely no idea how John did it, to row the channel after cycling almost 200 miles and only having one hour of sleep in between is astonishing.”
Bishop fighting exhaustion during cross Channel row
John Bishop and a team of celebrity rowers (Davina McCall, Denise Lewis and Freddie Flintoff) are still battling the choppy waters of the English Channel as they attempt to row 26 miles from Calais to Dover as part of The BT Sport Relief Challenge: Bishop’s Week of Hell.
It was a slow start, with the team only managing a difficult five miles within the first two hours. The four struggled to get into a solid rhythm whilst battling against the changing tides and lapping waves, but are now over half way across the English Channel.
A pale and drawn John is very sleep deprived and starting to feel delirious. He only managed to snatch one hour of sleep after his punishing 185 mile cycle ride from Paris which saw him finish at 3am this morning (UK time). As a result of such a long time in the saddle John is already suffering from bad muscle damage and severe bruising on his backside.
Tiredness was starting to take its toll as John attempted an interview on Radio 1 during the crossing but struggled to speak and remain coherent. He was rescued by Davina McCall who spoke to Greg James and championed John’s heroic efforts for Sport Relief.
The team are now scheduled to finish around 6.30pm, three hours later than originally anticipated.
The three celebrity rowers can see the pain and struggle that John is going through and are pulling together to keep him motivated and make every stroke count. In particular Freddie Flintoff is keeping strong and encouraging the team to keep going.
The water in the Channel is a chilly 10 degrees Celsius and it will take just 15 minutes for incapacity and unconsciousness to occur with a risk of hyperthermia, so the team will be using all of their muscle power and determination to avoid capsizing.
John channels his efforts to get to dry land…
Today (Tuesday 28th February) at 9.42am UK time, John Bishop and a team of celebrity rowers (Davina McCall, Denise Lewis and Freddie Flintoff) began the second leg of The BT Sport Relief Challenge: Bishop’s Week Of Hell – a punishing 26 mile row across the choppy English Channel from Calais to Dover.
John arrived in Calais at 3am this morning after completing the first leg of his challenge; a gruelling 18 and a half hour cycle ride, 185 miles from the heart of Paris. John is already suffering from intense sleep deprivation after only one hour’s sleep, and has bad muscle damage and severe bruising on his bottom as a result of such a long time in the saddle.
“I massively underestimated how tough the cycle would be,” said an exhausted John. “There were 10 hours yesterday when I didn’t say a word to anyone, it was that fierce. If I had come across a phone box, I would have got in it and just called my mum.”
And it won’t be getting any easier as John starts the part of his ‘Week Of Hell’ that he has been dreading the most – rowing the English Channel. If the row goes well the team are expected to take an estimated six hours to manage the crossing, but changing weather conditions could mean an agonising nine hours for the already queasy team. The skipper of the pilot boat is expecting 80% of the team to experience sea sickness.
As the team set off from Calais in their rocky four man rowing boat the weather conditions were overcast and cloudy.
Equipped with a ‘she-wee’ for on board the boat, Davina said: “John Bishop needs your love and support..he’s a broken man..but still positive..it’s amazing!”
It will be a white-knuckle ride as the ‘oar-some foursome’ navigate the choppy waters of the world’s busiest shipping lane to row 26 miles to the safety of dry land in Dover.
Keep the team afloat by sponsoring them now.
Previously: Bishop bounces back from fall
Just one day into his epic challenge and John Bishop is already feeling the pain. An hour in to the challenge, John fell off his bike whilst passing through the outskirts of Paris. Approaching a busy set of traffic lights, John struggled to get his feet out of the cleats in time and hit the deck.
Not one to dwell on difficulties, John soon bounced back and continued to pedal his way through what will be a punishing 185 mile journey to Calais.
“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,” he gasped. “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.”
Hoping to finish in the early hours of tomorrow morning, John is already suffering a sore neck, a bad shoulder, a painful left hamstring, and that’s not the worst of it! The comedian is bracing himself for extreme saddle sore tonight…
Previously: John Bishop sets off on his Week of Hell
At 8.26 am this morning (Monday 27th February) comedian John Bishop officially started his Week of Hell.
The BT Sport Relief Challenge: Bishop’s Week Of Hell is the second in a series of celebrity challenges sponsored by BT for Sport Relief 2012.
Ooh la la
John set off on his bike from the Eiffel Tower in Paris before heading up the Champs Elysees and negotiating the cobbles around the Arc de Triomphe in Parisian rush hour traffic. John is taking on the most physically gruelling test of his life as he attempts to cycle, row and run over 290 punishing miles from Paris to London in just five days.
“I’m not sure how I’m feeling really right now – it feels a bit like I’m in a Mission Impossible movie with the Eiffel Tower behind me. I just need to get my head down and get a few miles under my belt,” said John as he pedalled off.
It will be an incredibly tough first day as John has to cover more than 185 torturous miles on his bike in less than 24 hours – the equivalent of 60,000 pedal strokes. Hoping to finish in the early hours of tomorrow morning, John faces possible saddle sore from such a long cycle ride – in fact it could result in abrasions and open wounds on his bottom. Poor John!
For the first hour John was joined by Olympic cycling champion and world record holder Chris Boardman MBE who offered some tips and advice.
John hopes to raise enough money not only to pay for a vaccine against five deadly diseases for 250,000 children in Africa, but also to help people living incredibly tough lives in the UK.
John is hoping to row the channel from Calais to Dover for the second leg of his challenge – an ambitious task for anyone let alone someone who suffers with bad seasickness. To help John navigate the choppy waters and battle the waves he will be joined by a team of celebrity rowers including Freddie Flintoff, Davina McCall and Denise Lewis.
John is one ordinary bloke on one extraordinary mission and he needs all the support he can get.
Sponsor John now.
Buzz for Bishop
In addition BT will be donating money from phone calls made on ‘Buzz for Bishop Day’ on Thursday 1st March.
* BT will donate 1p for every phone call made from a BT residential or business landline, every call made from a BT payphone and 25p for every call to BT’s Directory Enquiry Service 118500 from any landline or mobile between 00.01 and 24.00 on the 01/03/12. In support of Sport Relief, an initiative of Comic Relief, registered charity 326568 (England/Wales); SC039730 (Scotland)
**Calls to 118500 cost 29p per call plus £1.69 per minute (or part) from a BT line. Mobiles and other networks vary.
Bishop’s week of hell…
Stand up comedian John Bishop is facing the toughest week of his life as he takes on a new BT Sport Relief Challenge in Bishop’s Week Of Hell.
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