Rickshaw Finale!

As the Children in Need Rickshaw Challenge climaxes this evening, we catch up with PrettyGreeners Claire and Bea, who’ve been on the the road with Team Rickshaw as they pedal the length of the UK…

Day 3 – Dumfries to Kendal

It’s jolly cold up here so we’re wrapped up warm, Southern fairies that we are; this means leather jackets and bobble hats, (err Claire – you’re Scottish?!) to greet the lovely people who have come to support us along the way. Our favourite discovery of today is that the lovely Matt Baker has a group of die hard followers – The Bakerettes. They are a gaggle of women with one simple aim – to get as close to Matt as frequently as possible. They follow him around as he does his outdoorsy thing, lending their support in the hope of a kind word and a kiss on the cheek. We like them because they bring cake.

Our driver Sid (who we have just learnt used to be in an 80s rock band!) has been a champion at getting us around and we’ve managed to stop at plenty of schools along the way, where the kids go totally loopy over Pudsey (he now does autographs) and we make sure there are plenty of snappers there to help us shout about it.

Team Rickshaw are still in great spirits, despite the fact that we’ve run into bad weather up here, we reckon a lot of this is down to the local support, which has been incredible, our convoy picked up a local woman who’d been busy fundraising for us and we were thrilled to hear that she’d collected over £500! She came back to have a bite to eat and a chat with the group, she ended up grabbing her guitar and singing us a few songs!

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Day 4 – Kendal to Bolton

When we think of Bolton, we think of Peter Kay shouting “Gaaaaaaaaa-lic bread?” – not that we’re guilty of stereotyping or anything…

Anyway, it turns out that there’s a lot more to Bolton than that. We set off on the way to our first live broadcast destination for The One Show and it was a pretty jazzy affair as we were also turning on the Christmas lights with boxing legend Amir Khan at the Town Hall.

Over 5,000 people turned up to cheer the Rickshaw on as it arrived, Alfie Boe performed live and the event was marked with a spectacular fireworks display (which Bethany danced along to) – all in all it was a real success and we can’t believe that we’re half way through now.

Day 5 – Bolton to Birmingham

It’s getting a bit warmer as we creep further down south. Hardy scot Martin is now wearing t-shirts and telling everyone not to be so soft all the time, we’re still in 5 or 6 layers (err, Claire – why are you still forgetting you’re Scottish too?!).

The group have made amazing progress, Geoff is pretty bloody speedy and we’ve had to do some last minute shuffling as his speed has impacted on our media timings for the day! Luckily the press and snappers were patient (and we bribed them with cake) so they were happy to stick around.

We arrive in Birmingham after a school stop (and a bit of a play on the swings). On hearing Martin loves his Nando’s, we made a quick trip there for lunch before getting things set up for our second live broadcast, taking place just outside the Bullring.

Crowds aren’t as busy today but after a quick shout out on the tannoy (thanks lads!) we soon drummed up some more support.

Now, we deal with talent a lot at PrettyGreen and like to think we can be professional and collected at all times. That was before Jason Donovan arrived.

Claire came over all unnecessary, having flashbacks of her 8 year old self wishing she was: a) Charlene to Jason’s Scott and b) The narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat so they could sing together. Too shy to actually say hello, she hovered behind him throughout the broadcast, smiling inanely and trying not to be in view of the camera. Cool.

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Day 6 – Birmingham to Abergavenny

Bit of a bumpy start today as we learn that Bethany had hit a pothole during the night and was a bit shaken up, but being the trooper she is, was full of smiles at breakfast, delighted at the fact that she’s earned the nickname “Brave Bethany’.

Sid’s taking us on the scenic route today as we kick off the welsh leg of our trip. On route we arrange to visit one of the sweetest schools we’ve ever seen – Bronylls County Primary – a school with only 43 pupils!

Bea falls in love with all the children (especially the tiny, curly one) and we quickly decide that Wales is one of the favourite destinations of the whole trip. Sid likes it because some curious passers by took him under their wing and brought him some cake. Lot of cake action on this trip.

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Abergavenny put on a real show for us to mark the Rickshaw’s arrival, with a brass band, a gang of army cadets, the mayor and a rather unusual couple who dressed up as ‘authentic’ rickshaw riders…

The team are equally excited and sad to be nearing the end of the challenge now – it’s been an amazing time for everyone. As a side note, we’re looking forward to the telethon on Friday and have been wondering what the riders will look like when they wear normal clothes, will they just wear lycra forever?!

Whilst the girls were busy on their scenic cake-eating, media hounding road trip through Wales, the PrettyGreen office was a hive of activity with our very own Children in Need fundraising day. With Strings auctioning off his office and his PA (sorry Zoe!), the lovely Faye raffling a uber posh manicure and a PrettyGreen shop selling various delights everyone got stuck in by showing their support for Team Rickshaw and texting TEAM to 70705.

The PrettyGreen office is surrounded by a warm, golden glow at the moment. Giving is good!

Keep an eye out for Team Rickshaw on tonight’s Children in Need Appeal show live on BBC1 – they’re due to arrive in London this evening so bound to pop up at some point!