Vernon Kay’s ULTRA Ultramarathon Challenge for BBC Children In Need 2023 for Radio 2

Vernon will be taking on marathons and ultramarathons across four days to get him from Victoria Park in Leicester to Bolton Wanderers’ football stadium in his hometown


BBC Radio 2

Vernon Kay joined Zoe Ball on her BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show to reveal to the nation that for BBC Children in Need’s 2023 Appeal on Radio 2, he will be taking on marathons and ultramarathons across four days to get him from Victoria Park in Leicester, recent home of Radio 2 in the Park, to Bolton Wanderers’ football stadium in his hometown in Vernon Kay’s ULTRA Ultramarathon Challenge!

Vernon will start his challenge on Tuesday 14 November and aim to finish around 9am on Friday 17 November (BBC Children in Need Appeal day), covering approximately 115 miles on foot. It will be broadcast live on Radio 2 and BBC Sounds across that time, with video highlights and further coverage on Radio 2’s social channels.

During the challenge, Radio 2 presenters will be broadcasting their regular shows offering Vernon lots of support and keeping him motivated and spurred on with messages from the listeners. Vernon will also be broadcasting his own weekday morning show live whilst undertaking the challenge! He’ll be joined on his journey by a variety of special guests to keep him going.

Vernon says: "I was just settling into my new mid-morning routine and now this! Everyone who has previously undertaken a BBC Children in Need challenge has raised so much money for this brilliant charity, so the pressure is on, but I’m up for it... so come on, let’s do this!"

Helen Thomas, Head of BBC Radio 2, says: "Who better than to take on this year’s Radio 2 challenge for BBC Children in Need than the newest member of our family and Bolton’s very own, Mr Vernon Kay. Run, Vernon run, we’re all super proud of you!"

Audiences can send their own messages of support to Vernon and donate via text and online (details to be given nearer the time). The money raised will go towards supporting children and young people across the UK facing a range of disadvantages.

In the lead up to Vernon’s challenge, listeners will be able to listen to supporting content on BBC Sounds (more detail to follow).

Simon Antrobus, BBC Children in Need Chief Executive, says: "In recent years, the wellbeing of children and young people across the UK has been hugely challenged, sadly making the lives of children and young people facing disadvantage that much harder, so we are thrilled that Vernon is taking on such an enormous challenge to help make a difference when it is needed most. We will be cheering him on every step of the way!"

Vernon’s challenge follows on from Radio 2’s previous 24 Hour challenges for BBC Children In Need including last year’s The Great Scott TreadMills Challenge when Scott walked, jogged and ran for 24 hours on a treadmill raising over £1.3 million; Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Kitchen Disco Danceathon in 2021 which also raised over £1.3 million; Joe Wicks 24 Hour PE Challenge in 2020 which raised over £2.5 million in 2020; in 2019, Rylan undertook his 24 hour Great Ka-RY-oke Challenge which helped Radio 2 raise over £2m for the charity.

In 2020, the station brought together some of the most iconic global artists for the official BBC Children in Need single, a reimagined cover of Oasis’ Stop Crying Your Heart Out (BBC Radio 2 Allstars). Performers included Cher, Clean Bandit, Mel C, Jamie Cullum, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Lenny Kravitz, Kylie Minogue, Nile Rodgers and Robbie Williams and more. The single, created by Radio 2’s Head of Music, Jeff Smith, was recorded and filmed by artists across the world and produced by Grammy award winning producers Mark Taylor and Brian Rawling.

Radio 2 Gala performance of Back to the Future The Musical

This year’s Radio 2 Gala performance in aid of BBC Children In Need is Back to the Future The Musical. It takes place at 3pm on Sunday 12 November at London’s Adelphi Theatre. Radio 2’s Sounds of the 80s presenter, Gary Davies, will host the performance and join his fellow Radio 2 presenters to watch the show in the audience. This multi-award winning musical is adapted for the stage by the blockbuster movie’s original creators Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis and features original music by multi-Grammy winners Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard alongside hit songs from the movie, including The Power of Love, Johnny B. Goode, Earth Angel and Back in Time.

For further information and to book tickets, visit Ticket sale proceeds from the show will be donated to BBC Children in Need.

Sir Terry Wogan Young Fundraiser of the Year Award

On Sunday 24 September, on his Radio 2 show (Sundays, 11am-1pm), Michael Ball launched the search for nominations for this year’s Sir Terry Wogan Young Fundraiser of the Year Award. The Award recognises Children in Need fundraisers, under the age of 18, who have shown creativity, commitment and inspiration while raising money for the charity. It was created as a tribute to the charity’s Life President, Sir Terry Wogan.

You can find details on how to nominate someone at including the full terms and privacy notice. The closing date is Sunday 15 October at 11pm.

The Young Fundraiser of the Year will be revealed on the BBC Children in Need Appeal show on BBC One on Friday 17 November, with the recipient receiving their award during the programme that night.

Additionally on that day, all the music played on Radio 2 between 7am and 4pm will be chosen by various BBC Children in Need projects from around the UK – a different project each hour.

BBC Children in Need believe every child and young person deserves the opportunity to thrive and be the best they can be. BBC Children in Need’s ambition is to create lasting, positive change across the UK for the children and young people who need it most. Together with the BBC and partners, BBC Children in Need aim to inspire the nation in support of their work. BBC Children in Need’s 1,700 local charities and projects work tirelessly in every corner of the UK to help children & young people overcome the additional challenges they currently face, including supporting children and young people living in poverty, providing emergency support to families in crisis, providing comfort to children feeling sad, lost and alone, helping children overcome social injustice and supporting children to feel safe and secure again.

BBC Radio 2 is the UK’s most listened to radio station, with a weekly audience of 13.5 million (RAJAR Q2, 2023). The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show is most listened to breakfast show in the UK with an audience of 6.7 million (RAJAR Q2, 2023). The network’s presenters include Michael Ball, Zoe Ball, Rob Beckett, Tony Blackburn, OJ Borg, Rev. Kate Bottley, Rylan, Fearne Cotton, Sara Cox, Jamie Cullum, Gary Davies, Paul Gambaccini, Angela Griffin, Bob Harris, Vernon Kay, Cerys Matthews, Scott Mills, Jason Mohammad, Trevor Nelson, Dermot O’Leary, Elaine Paige, Mark Radcliffe, Romesh Ranganathan, DJ Spoony, Liza Tarbuck, Jeremy Vine, Michelle Visage, Johnnie Walker, Jo Whiley, Phil Williams, Claudia Winkleman, Steve Wright and Owain Wyn Evans.

Source BBC Radio 2

September 26, 2023 3:00am ET by BBC Radio 2  

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