Tuesday 11 Mar 2014
Six pairs of celebrities race against the clock in an ambitious global relay, re-enacting the epic odysseys of Phileas Fogg and Michael Palin for a 21st Century audience.
Around The World In 80 Days is a new six-part series narrated by multi-award-winning comic Frank Skinner, who also takes the first leg of the journey with fellow comedian Lee Mack.
It will follow the celebrities as they circumnavigate the globe in 80 days to raise money for this year's BBC Children in Need Appeal. All money raised by the programme will go towards helping disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.
Other celebrities picking up the baton in the six-leg relay race against the clock 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).
Beginning and ending at The Reform Club in London – the starting point for the real Michael Palin and the fictional Phileas Fogg's Around The World In 80 Days – each duo must complete the required part of their voyage and then 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 fly, although any other means of transport, from camels to bullet trains, is acceptable to make their relay deadline.
Each celebrity will be raising money for BBC Children in Need as part of the challenge through private fundraising, sponsorship and by collecting souvenirs and curiosities along the way, which will be auctioned off online after each episode in aid of the charity.
The original Around The World In 80 Days voyager, Michael Palin, said: "I'm delighted that this time someone else is doing all the work – and for such a great cause."
Frank Skinner, who travelled through Europe, 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 BBC Children in Need and by going with Frank Skinner I also felt I was contributing to help the aged."
Around the World In 80 Days is a BBC Bristol Production.
For more details on BBC Children in Need or the charity auction please go to bbc.co.uk/pudsey.
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 and last year thanks to the generosity of the great British public we managed to raise £37.8 million to go towards making a positive difference to disadvantaged children in the UK.
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