Comic Relief climbers reach mountain summit

The nine celebrities climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of Comic Relief have reached the summit of the mountain in Tanzania.

Denise Van Outen, Ben Shephard, Cheryl Cole and Fearne Cotton were the first group of climbers to reach the peak, arriving there as dawn broke.

The remainder of the group, which included Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles, former Strictly Come Dancing champ Alesha Dixon, arrived later.

Cole’s Girls Aloud bandmate Kimberley Walsh, Take That‘s Gary Barlow and former Boyzone frontman Ronan Keating also completed the climb, despite reportedly being in “agony”.

The group said on the Comic Relief blog: “Ben, Fearne, Denise and Cheryl make it just as the sun comes up. Amazing.”

Several members of the group suffered from altitude sickness during the five-day climb up the 19,300ft peak. They also endured sleepless nights and aches and pains due to the lack of oxygen.

Dixon admitted that she “went through the pain barrier” during the climb while others admitted it was a gruelling trek.

“Cheryl for one has already said she’s never done anything so mentally and physically demanding and I doubt anyone in the team will disagree,” the blog reported.

“A temperature of minus 15 and air so thin your lungs positively burn with disappointment every time you take a breath means you can’t stop long.”

However, the effort has been worth it with the team raising nearly £1.4m for Comic Relief.

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