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A team including comedian Dara O’Briain and Spice Girl Mel C has successfully completed its Zambezi challenge in aid of Comic Relief – despite running into trouble after their support team capsized in rapids.

The celebrity team – which also included Jack Dee, Phillips Idowu, Chelsee Healey and Greg James – spent five days padding down the African river as part of the BT Red Nose Challenge: Hell and High Water, before finishing on Friday afternoon.

And the quest saw them battling rapids daily, as well as encounters with crocodiles, snakes and hippos.

The final stages of the challenge saw them tackling ‘the steps of doom’ – a climb down a 200ft gorge on a ladder – as well as facing some of the biggest rapids of the week – which proved too much for their back-up team.

Radio 1 presenter Greg James said the challenge had been “really tough”, but added: “We’re here, we’ve been doing this challenge and we all look like idiots, but the point is to raise a lot of money for the people we’ve been meeting out here.”

The team have been aiming to raise £1m for the Comic Relief fund to provide educational facilities for children in Zambia.

Their challenge is just one of a number which celebrities have undertaken this year in the run-up to Red Nose Day on March 15th.

Others have included The Great Comic Relief Bake-Off, with the likes of Jo Brand, Warwick Davis, Duncan Bannatyne and Claudia Winkleman taking part, as well as the forthcoming  series of Let’s Dance For Comic Relief, which begins on February 16th.