Journey's End: Matt Baker's Rickshaw Challenge raises £1.26 million for BBC Children In Need

One Show host's monumental ride from Edinburgh to London gets annual appeal off to a flying start

by Simon_MacMichael   November 18, 2011  

Matt Baker on his rickshaw outside BBC Television Centre

Matt Baker’s BBC Children In Need Rickshaw Challenge from Edinburgh to London has come to an end this evening, with the TV presenter raising an incredible £1,263,272 to get the annual charity appeal off to a flying start.

Matt, getting a no doubt welcome massage from Pudsey Bear as he spoke about his adventure with fellow One Show host Alex Jones, has covered 484 miles since leaving Edinburgh Castle Esplanade last Friday morning.

"Since hopping on the rickshaw outside Edinburgh Castle eight days ago, I've been constantly shocked by what's happened," he revealed.

"To have the opportunity to actually see people's generosity as they run alongside, showing me their support and giving us their money, is overwhelming.

"We havent gone half a mile without hearing cheers and seeing people donate what they can.

"I never had a target amount of money to raise, but I did set out knowing that just a few pounds can make a big difference.

"Now I've parked up the rickshaw and we've hit this enormous amount, I know a staggering number of children's lives can now be different.

"It's been a brilliant thing to be a part of. Thank you for all your generosity," he added.

The former Blue Peter host said that it was the encouragement of the public that kept him going throughout a week in which he was riding for as much as 16 hours, with people even turning out in the middle of the night to cheer him on as he rode by.

For most of that time he was also hauling a passenger, but pedicab operators in London needn’t worry about the prospect of facing some new competition – the former Blue Peter presenter told the audience, “I hope you don’t mind if you never, ever see me on a rickshaw again!”

Full coverage of Matt’s week-long journey can be found on the BBC Children In Need website, while donations of £5 can be still made by texting "MATT" to 70705, with texts costing £5 plus one standard rate message, with £5 going to the charity appeal.