Carol Vorderman will attempt to become the ninth woman in history to complete a solo flight around the world as part of her new television show.
The Channel 5 production, titled Carol’s Incredible Solo Flight Around The World, will see her flying her own plane.
The former Countdown star obtained her pilot’s licence two years ago and will be flying a Diamond DA42 twin-engine propeller plane nicknamed Mildred.
Carol Vorderman (Channel 5)
She said: “My life’s dream has been to be a pilot. I fought to get to Cambridge University as a comprehensive-kid on free school meals in the 70s.
“I was the first child from my town to get there. My drive was always because I wanted to be a pilot, BUT the RAF wouldn’t train women as pilots back then and we were a poor family so flying lessons were out of the question and my dream was put on hold. Only when I got into my 50s have I had the proper opportunity as a single parent to put everything else on the back burner.”
The TV presenter said she had ‘given up a lot of TV’ to dedicate the last few years to her passion for flying.
Carol Vorderman at the Tower of London (Jonathan Brady/PA)
She added: “It has been, and will be, a journey with tears and doubts and I still have huge areas of self-doubt and massive inexperience, but I am going to push through it step by step. I WILL DO IT.”
Her journey will see her travel through Europe, across Asia, north to the eastern most point of Russia, across the Pacific Ocean, the United States and then finally she will make her way back through the icy north towards the United Kingdom.
She will undertake rigorous training ahead of her adventure, which will see her prepare to deal with everything from an engine fire to bad weather and emergency landings.
Lucy Willis, Channel 5′s commissioning editor, said: “This series demonstrates a previously unseen side to Carol as she embarks on this incredible and inspiring adventure where she’ll be tested to her absolute limits. It promises to be an exhilarating hybrid of personal journey, extreme challenge and some incredible travel and it shows us that it’s never too late to fulfil your dreams.”
In a previous interview Vorderman explained she named her plane Mildred after her heroine, British aviator Mildred Bruce, who was formally known by her married name as the Honourable Mrs Victor Bruce.
American aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. She disappeared during an attempt to cross the Pacific in 1937.
The show will air on Channel 5, with three shorts filmed exclusively for My5, in the autumn.