Friday 20 Dec 2013
Six pairs of celebrities are set to race against the clock in Around The World In 80 Days – an ambitious global relay, re-enacting the epic odysseys of Phileas Fogg and Michael Palin for a 21st-century audience.
The 6 x 60-minute series will see the celebrities take part in the 80-day voyage to raise money for this year's BBC Children in Need.
Kicking off the series is multi-award-winning comic Frank Skinner, who is taking on the first leg of the journey alongside comedian Lee Mack.
The other celebrities taking part in this gruelling 80-day challenge are The Apprentice stars Nick Hewer and Saira Khan (leg two); Countryfile presenters Julia Bradbury and Matt Baker (leg three); BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull and BBC News presenter Louise Minchin (leg four); Torchwood and West End star John Barrowman and TV and radio presenter Myleene Klass (leg five); and actor Shane Richie together with actress and comedienne Josie Lawrence (leg six).
With one pair of celebrities per leg, they must pass on the baton in the form of a carpet bag containing the 21st-century requirements for this challenging journey, including a GPS phone and satellite tracker.
Respecting the heritage of Fogg and Palin, the Around The World In 80 Days travellers shouldn't use aeroplanes, although any other means of transport, from camels to Bullet trains, is acceptable as they race against time in this ultimate relay race, undertaken non-stop, in real time.
Each celebrity will be raising money for BBC Children in Need as part of the challenge, including bringing home curiosities picked up along the way, which will be auctioned off in aid of the charity online.
The celebrities will head for the BBC studios to find out just how much they have raised for the cause during this fast, frantic and often frustrating global race against the clock.
Having returned from the first leg of the trip, Frank Skinner said: "It nearly killed me. And our leg was supposed to be the easiest. I'll always treasure my four minutes in Slovakia."
His travel partner Lee Mack added: "Going across Europe overland was a great way to help Children In Need, and by going with Frank Skinner I also felt I was contributing to help the aged."
Jo Ball, BBC Commissioning Editor for Features, BBC One and BBC Two, said: "Around The World In 80 Days is an exciting part of our autumn schedule and we are looking forward to seeing some of TV's best-loved famous faces take part in this 21st-century twist on Fogg and Palin's epic voyage."
Around The World In 80 Days is a BBC Production.
BBC Children in Need is a UK-only grant-maker and the celebrities will not be visiting any overseas projects.
The BBC Children in Need Appeal is a charity registered in England and Wales (802052) and Scotland (SC039557) whose aim is to make a positive change to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.
Every year, thanks to public donations and the amazing efforts of fundraisers, schools, businesses and corporate partners, BBC Children in Need is able to make a difference to thousands of young lives. For every penny donated, a penny will go to a project making a positive difference to disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.
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