Emma Willis, Rylan Clark and Oti Mabuse begin Red Nose Day mountain challenge
Emma Willis and Oti Mabuse have said they are “scared and petrified” to be trekking up a mountain in the Scottish Highlands as part of an effort to raise money for Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day.
The trio, which also includes Rylan Clark, were greeted by crowds of well-wishers and the Ballater and District Pipe Band as they set off from the village of Braemar, near Aberdeen, on Wednesday morning.
Over the course of three days, The Circle presenter Willis, Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two host Clark and Dancing On Ice judge Mabuse will attempt to reach the summit of the snow-capped Cairngorm mountain.
This first leg of their journey sees them going through the foothills of the Southern Cairngorms before setting up camp in their tents.
The challenge will then get colder as the trio continue to battle icy winds, slippery paths and snow when temperatures are forecasted to plunge to freezing on the mountain – which sits 1,245m (4,085 ft) above sea level – during the day and night.
Willis, 46, said she is “excited, nervous, anxious and scared” to be self-sufficient for three days with no base camp.
She added: “There are so many parts of this that scare me. It’s going to be so tough.
“We are setting out to do something for a really good cause, so we need the weather gods to smile on us and give us the best possible chance of making it to the summit.
“I’ve got the Sound Of Music in my head already when I look at the mountain. I’ll be euphoric if we make it to the top.”
Former Strictly professional Mabuse, 32, said she was “petrified” and “worried” as her “strong” dancer legs were already “hurting” during their training.
She added: “It’ll be interesting to see how they cope with days of walking, especially carrying a heavy pack.
“I know Comic Relief challenges are meant to push you, but this will be the hardest thing I have ever taken on… I’m going to have to dig deep to make it to the finish line.”
Clark, 34, said this challenge was “probably more dangerous than funny”.
The 2013 winner of Celebrity Big Brother added: “I know this might seem quite strange, I’m actually looking forward to disappearing for a bit and being cut off.
“The last time when that ever happened to me was when I was in the Big Brother house, and I really enjoyed it.
“To be taking this on with Emma and Oti is amazing. Emma is like my first ever TV wife and I’ve been close with Oti ever since Strictly.
“I’ve got two strong women around me that I know will drag me through it when it’s getting hard and hopefully, I can do the same for them.”
The trio’s adventure will be filmed for a documentary, Frozen: Emma, Oti and Rylan’s Red Nose Day Challenge, which will air on BBC One and iPlayer in the run-up to the charity day.
Money raised for Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day will help the cost-of-living crisis and tackle issues such as homelessness, mental health problems, and food poverty in the UK and across the world.
For more see comicrelief.com/frozen.
– Red Nose Day returns to BBC One on Friday March 17 with hosts AJ Odudu, David Tennant, Joel Dommett, Paddy McGuinness and Zoe Ball.