Ed Balls joins Dani Dyer, Shirley Ballas and Alexander Armstrong to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief 2019

Former Wakefield MP Ed Balls will join a team of celebrities to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in honour of Comic Relief.
Former Wakefield MP Ed Balls will join a team of celebrities to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in honour of Comic Relief.

Former Wakefield MP Ed Balls will join a team of celebrities to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in honour of Comic Relief.

The former Normanton and Morley and Outwood MP is one of nine celebrities who will undertake the gruelling eight day trek to the top of the 19,000ft mountain.

Alexander Armstrong, host of BBC's Pointless, will also join the Kilimanjaro team on their adventure.

Alexander Armstrong, host of BBC's Pointless, will also join the Kilimanjaro team on their adventure.

He said: “It’s an amazing group of climbers, I’m especially looking forward to dancing up the mountain with Shirley Ballas.

"My whole family are beyond excited that Jade and Leigh-Anne of Little Mix will be scaling Africa’s highest mountain too.”

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Writing on Twitter, Mr Balls revealed he was due to leave for Tanzania on Thursday, but admitted he had not yet broken in his walking boots.

Mr Balls' wife, Yvette Cooper, MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, said the pair had been walking around Pontefract Racecourse to help his feet adapt to the boots, and joked that he might need to do a few more laps.

Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas will also join the climb.

Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas will also join the climb.

The challenge, dubbed Kilimanjaro: The Return, is a recreation of a 2009 fundraiser, which raised more than £3.5m for Comic Relief.

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Mr Balls will be joined by Strictly Come Dancing's Shirley Ballas, Dani Dyer, best known for her appearance on Love Island, BBC Breakfast's Dan Walker, NFL star Osi Umenyiora and Alexander Armstrong, host of BBC One quiz show Pointless.

Little Mix's Jade Thirwall and Leigh-Anne Pinnock will also join the group on their trek.

The team's progress will be tracked each morning on BBC Breakfast, and again on the One Show each evening.

Dani Dyer, daughter of Danny Dyer, shot to fame when she was crowned winner of ITV's Love Island last year. She will join Ed Balls on the climb.

Dani Dyer, daughter of Danny Dyer, shot to fame when she was crowned winner of ITV's Love Island last year. She will join Ed Balls on the climb.

At the end of the climb, a one hour documentary will reveal the team's triumphs and turmoils.

To donate to the fundraiser, visit the Comic Relief website.

The team's fundraising total will be announced during the Red Nose Day show on Friday, March 15, 2019.