London Calling: One day to go on Matt Baker's BBC Children In Need Rickshaw Challenge

Just 60 miles of 484-mile journey left, and Matt's on target to raise an amazing £1 million-plus for the charity

by Simon_MacMichael   November 17, 2011  

Matt Baker on his rickshaw outside BBC Television Centre

BBC TV presenter Matt Baker is a shade under 60 miles from completing his 484 mile Children In Need Rickshaw Challenge ride from Edinburgh to London, which has so far raised a whopping £835,000 for the charity.

The former Blue Peter presenter is due to arrive at BBC Television Centre in West London tomorrow during live coverage of the annual charity appeal by the programme he now works on, The One Show. Children In Need looks likely to benefit from a seven-figure sum thanks to his efforts.

With today’s stage of 41 miles from Peterborough to Cambridge the shortest of the week-long ride, Matt arrived in the university city in ample time to check in live with his colleagues on The One Show as he formally completed his trip.

As with all the towns and cities where he’s made an overnight stop, big crowds were on hand in Cambridge to greet him at 7pm, but he’d actually arrived a few hours earlier and had the luxury of taking a bath; a small luxury perhaps, but hugely welcome when you’ve spent the best part of a week on the road.

The last three days had seen Matt rack up in excess of 220 miles, with Wednesday’s journey from York to Lincoln taking 16 hours to complete as he battled with saddle sores and pain in his knees.

On Thursday, he didn’t make it to Peterborough until 10.30pm, where an eager crowd had braved the cold to watch him switch on the Christmas lights.

Leaving Peterborough at 8am this morning, as usual Matt had a passenger in the rickshaw, although this time it wasn’t one of the celebrities who have at times occupied the rear seat, but a local lady whose name was given as June.

Since starting his journey at 6am last Saturday morning at Edinburgh Castle's Esplanade, Matt has been cheered on all the way as he's headed south, including by local schoolkids let out of class to give him encouragement as he rides by.

Tomorrow's route sees him turn off the A10 on the outskirts of Cambridge and head on to the B1368, before crossing the A10 near Puckeridge, Hertfordshire.

He's then due to follow the wester side of the Lea Valley down from Ware and through Waltham Cross and Enfield into London, passing by Finsbuy Park, Holloway, Camden, Regent's Park and along the Bayswater Road before his final destination at White City.

We don't have details of timings, but if you are on the route and can keep up with Matt's progress in real time on the ViewRanger website, we're sure he'd appreciate your support as he goes past. Who knows, you might even get a lift!

You can also follow Matt’s journey tomorrow online via the BBC Children in Need website, which also includes video diaries and pictures, and on Twitter at @BBCCiN, @bakermattbaker and by searching the hashtag #CiNrickshaw.

Donations of £5 can be made by texting "MATT" to 70705, with texts costing £5 plus one standard rate message, with £5 going to BBC Children in Need.