The X Factor finalist Olly Murs explains why he took part in the Red Nose Desert Trek for Comic Relief.

Why did you want to team up with the other celebrities for the Red Nose Desert Trek in the Kaisut Desert, Northern Kenya?
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, not only to see a completely different part of the world, but also to make a huge difference and help raise heaps of cash for those in real need.”

How have you been preparing for the trek?
“I did lots of walking and also got my dad to wear my boots when I wasn’t to help break them in. But nothing could have prepared me for the heat of the desert!”

Although it is a tough challenge, what were you most looking forward to about the trek?
“Raising lots of money! I’ve watched Red Nose Day since I was a little kid and it’s fantastic to be part of this incredible challenge.”

And what were your biggest concerns about being in the desert?
“Snakes, lions, scorpions, which we have seen lots of, and the heat. So many things to worry about!”

What should people know about eye diseases in Africa? And why should people sponsor the trek?
“People should know that these conditions are preventable and they cost so little to treat. Just five pounds could pay for a sight-saving operation for someone in Africa who’s suffering from a debilitating eye condition called trachoma. With your help we can help give people the gift of sight again. Please sponsor me and the rest of the team at rednoseday.com/trek.”

When you appeared on the X Factor, could you have predicted you’d be doing something like this?
“Not at all! But I’m so grateful, I just hope we can make a huge difference.”

Watch Olly and the other celebrities on The Big Red Nose Desert Trek on Thursday March 17 at 9pm on BBC1