The Comic Relief celebrity trekkers have completed their gruelling walk across the Kenyan desert in aid of this year's Red Nose Day. X Factor presenter Dermot O'Leary, former finalist Olly Murs, actress Kara Tointon and TV presenter Lorraine Kelly were among those who crossed the finish line following the 100km trek through the country's Kaisut Desert. Actress and presenter Nadia Sawalha, Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, R&B star Craig David and impressionist Ronni Ancona also made it to the end. And blind BBC presenter Peter White, who had pulled out earlier in the week with foot problems, rejoined the other celebrities for the walk across the finish line. "I've enjoyed every second of this trek," Dermot said afterwards. "My feet are ruined but that doesn't matter because I've met some amazing people both in the team and those that live in this harsh but beautiful place." "I'm so tired but unbelievably happy we finished as a team," Kara added. "Thank you to all those people who donated, it really did keep us going during the tough times." And Lorraine said, "I've done four marathons in my time but this was harder than all of them by a million miles. "My feet are like a pound of raw mince. I'd love to come back here but I won't be walking." The team suffered a string of hardships along the way including blisters and sunburn, while Olly was struck down with a debilitating stomach upset. They also found themselves walking in temperatures as high as 118 degrees fahrenheit, while facing such dangers as snakes, scorpions and spiders en route. The BT Red Nose Desert Trek is raising money for Comic Relief projects and will help thousands of people in Africa who are suffering from contracting eye conditions or facing possible blindness. A documentary about the trek will be screened on BBC1 in the run-up to Red Nose Day on March 18.
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.