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Olly Murs excited by 'amazing' Comic Relief desert trek
Olly Murs
Murs will be swapping the stage for the sand for Comic Relief

Witham pop star Olly Murs says the chance to be part of the Red Nose Desert Trek was too good to turn down.

The 26-year-old singer will join fellow Essex celebrities Dermot O'Leary and Kara Tointon for the Comic Relief challenge later this month.

They will spend five days in the Kaisut desert in north Kenya, covering 100km (63 miles) in temperatures up to 40°C.

"I thought 'what an amazing opportunity to do it' and it's a great way of raising money," he told BBC Essex.

"It's probably going to be the toughest challenge of my life, and not just for myself but for all of us.

"It's something that comes up once in a lifetime to do and I couldn't refuse the opportunity to make such a massive difference to people's lives," he added.

The Essex star, who reached number one in 2010 with his debut single 'Please Don't Let Me Go', admitted it was going to be a real physical and mental challenge.

"It doesn't matter how fit you are, the fact is we'll be walking in 40°C heat for seven or eight hours a day," he said.

We're over there to stress the issue of sight and make people aware of the problems that people in Kenya, and in the UK as well, are having
Olly Murs

"But the people in Kenya do it everyday day and we've only got to do it for five.

"As well as the heat, there's snakes and lions and scorpions, all these different things .

"But you know what? What's meant to be is meant to be. If I come across a snake and it bites me that's the way it is, I'll have to deal with it and hopefully I'll be around to tell the tale afterwards.

"But we're going into the wild and that's one of the toughest challenges of it."

The former X Factor star, who found fame as runner-up to Joe McElderry in the 2009 contest, said the prospect of using up 8000 calories each day was ultimately worth it.

"We're over there to stress the issue of sight and make people aware of the problems that people in Kenya, and in the UK as well, are having," he said.

"Trachoma and cataracts are quite common, so really it's a chance to show people what's happening over there."

"They think its quite common to lose their sight.

"There's a hospital out there that's been built by Comic Relief and the donations we make that can help prevent them losing their sight.

"But they don't know that's actually possible, which is quite bizarre. So I can't wait to get over there to help these people out."

The trek will be broadcast on BBC One in the lead-up to Comic Relief night on Friday, 18 March.

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