Page last updated at 08:36 GMT, Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Comic Relief climbers return home

Celebrity climbers on what they missed from home

Comic Relief's celebrity climbers have spoken of their delight at being back home after conquering Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.

Nine stars including Girls Aloud's Cheryl Cole and Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles were greeted with cheers after arriving at RAF Northolt in an executive jet.

"It's brilliant to be back - we spent the week in hell," Moyles said.

The climb, which has raised more than 1.5m for Comic Relief, will be shown on Thursday evening on BBC One.

Singer Ronan Keating spoke of the "big buzz" at being able to come home, saying: "It felt like a long, long time when you're slogging up a mountain every day, so we're delighted to be back."

Take That singer Gary Barlow added: "To be in a warm room back in the UK is brilliant."

'Sheer agony'

Fellow climber and GMTV presenter Ben Shephard said: "You will never really know how emotional and how hard it was for all of us to get up there. It's just such a relief to be home."

The climbers reached the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in the early hours of Saturday after a five day ascent.

Several members of the celebrity group suffered from altitude sickness during the climb and they all endured sleepless nights, as well as aches and pains due to the lack of oxygen.

With her feet back on home soil, presenter Fearne Cotton said: "Walking to the toilet on the plane was like absolute sheer agony."

Shephard added: "The fact that we had a toilet on the plane was just such a luxury."

The group spoke of the camaraderie that had developed between them with Shephard saying: "We're leaving as incredibly close friends."

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