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Stars return 'humbled' from mountain climb

By Nesta McGregor
Newsbeat reporter

The nine intrepid celebrities who scaled Africa's highest peak in aid of Comic Relief have made a jubilant return to the UK, having raised more than 1 million for the charity. But what did Chris Moyles, Cheryl Cole and their fellow explorers make of it?


Celebrities reach Kilimanjaro peak

The padded leather chairs of the private jet surely had to be a welcome change to what the nine celebs had endured over the last seven days.

Staff at RAF Northolt left their offices to cheer the stars as their chartered plane touched down.

"It's an amazing reception. We were a bit humbled by it really. We've been away and we haven't realised the impact it's had," Alesha Dixon said.

"It's brilliant to be back. We spent a week in hell, living in tents at minus 10 degrees and to be in a warm room in the UK is brilliant," said Chris Moyles.

Inspired by charity

After a five-day-long trek, the nine celebs, including Gary Barlow, Denise Van Outen and Alesha Dixon reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro on Saturday morning.

One of the first people to reach the highest peak in Africa was Cheryl Cole.
Cheryl Cole, Kimberley Walsh and Alesha Dixon
Cheryl, Kimberley and Alesha are back to their old glamour

She said: "Getting the overall estimation of what we were earning is what kept us going.

"It was hard at times but then Gary would come in and say: 'So far we're raised such such...' and it just gave you that little surge of energy that kept us going."

Looking visibly drained and exhausted the crew said the public support is what kept them going.

Denise Van Outen said: "We are just really grateful to the people who donated. Most days were very long and really hard but we'd get news from back home about the public support and it just spurred us on."

Never again

As well as aches and pains the gang had to deal with altitude sickness and temperatures of minus 15.

So far the crew have raised over 1.3m pounds for Comic Relief. So same against next year? "Noooo!" was the response from all nine members.

"Getting to the top is an incredible feeling," said Fearne Cotton. "I've never been through so much hell. It's so tiring and painful."

Chris said a big thank you to Radio 1 listeners who had raised the bulk of the money for charity.

"We guarantee, we absolutely promise because you've given us so much money that we will never ever do this again!"

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