Emma, Oti and Rylan’s Big Red Nose Day Challenge reveals every step and struggle of Emma Willis, Oti Mabuse and Rylan’s turbulent trek to the top of Cairn Gorm Mountain in the wintry Scottish Highlands to raise life changing money for Red Nose Day.
From wild camping and crampons, to punishing winds and terrain, viewers will see the celebrity trio face the toughest physical challenge of their lives. Airing on Tuesday 14 March at 9pm on BBC One and iPlayer, a special one-hour documentary, produced by Twofour, captures every single step of their journey as they battle dangerous weather and freezing temperatures.
To prepare for their extraordinary journey Emma, Oti and Rylan spend two days together in the Scottish Wilderness learning winter survival skills and how to build an emergency shelter. In anticipation of their mountainous climb, the team is given a crash course on how to walk in the snow, making use of their crampons for the very first time, and practice emergency survival techniques.
Setting off in high spirits from the picturesque village of Braemar, the trio are given a rapturous send-off to the beat of the Ballater & District Pipe Band. Leaving civilisation behind, they navigate the foothills of the Southern Cairngorms, and wild camp as they inch closer to the foot of Cairn Gorm.
With dangerous weather conditions fast approaching the Cairngorms, viewers will see the drama unfold as the trio’s summit attempt is put in jeopardy. With the challenge hanging by a thread, crisis talks between the expedition team determine whether the fast-deteriorating conditions, which could pose a danger to life, will stop the devastated trio’s journey in its tracks. Emma, Rylan and Oti wait with bated breath, determined to finish their extraordinary journey to raise life changing money for Red Nose Day.
Emma Willis said: “Without doubt this challenge tested me in so many ways, and I felt pains in places I didn’t know I could feel pain! But there was no way I could say no to such an important cause. Things are so hard for so many people right now and many are living in a time of crisis, making any donation to Red Nose Day even more vitally important.
“Before the challenge I was fortunate enough to be able to visit a project that supports young people who are homeless to learn about the impact of Red Nose Day donations. It’s something I’ll never forget, and the amazing work they do was at the front of my mind on that mountain. I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to achieve together.”
Oti Mabuse said: “When I signed up to the challenge, I don’t think I fully realised just how tough this was going to be. It was exhausting. Without doubt, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever taken on, which I think people will see in the documentary. We knew exactly why we were doing this – to help raise what we can to help so many people right here in the UK and around the world. It made every test the mountain threw at us worth it. Things are incredibly difficult right now, but if you are able to donate when watching the documentary, it really would mean the world to all three of us. Thank you so much.”
Rylan said: “There are still days when I wake up and think we climbed a flipping mountain. It was draining on so many levels. But that feeling once we reached the top, I really wish I could have bottled it up. The feeling was something else. I’ve gone from moaning about walking to put the bins out to climbing a mountain. Would I do it again? Absolutely. Would I do it with a 20kg backpack on me, absolutely not!
“In all seriousness I couldn’t have done this without Oti and Emma either side of me every step of the way. That and knowing what we were doing was helping to raise money for Red Nose Day. It was all we needed whenever the mountain threatened to dampen spirits. Step by step, it kept us going and drove us on to finish what we’d started.”
During the documentary, viewers will also see how money raised by Red Nose Day is helping to support people through the toughest times of their lives. Emma Willis visits Streetlife, an organisation which is funded by Comic Relief and the KFC Foundation and is supporting young homeless people in and around Blackpool. While in Dorset, Rylan and Oti visit the Jolly Good Company to learn about the support they provide to elderly people at risk of developing physical and mental issues caused by loneliness and isolation.
Watch Emma, Oti and Rylan’s Big Red Nose Day Challenge on Tuesday 14 March at 9pm on BBC One and iPlayer.