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Comic Relief climbers return home from Kilimanjaro

Comic Relief climbers come home.

Story by Jack Foley

CELEBRITY climbers including Chris Moyles and Cheryl Cole have returned home to the UK after conquering Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa as part of the 2009 Comic Relief fundraising challenge.

Nine stars, including Ronan Keating and Take That singer Gary Barlow, raised more than £1.5m for Comic Relief as they took on Africa’s highest mountain.

And arriving back at RAF Northolt on Monday, March 9, 2009, the team spoke of their delight at completing the challenge and returning home safely, with much-needed funds in the bag.

Radio 1 DJ Moyles told the BBC: “It’s brilliant to be back – we spent the week in hell.”

He was backed by singer Keating, who added: “It felt like a long, long time when you’re slogging up a mountain every day, so we’re delighted to be back.”

The climb, which will be shown on Thursday evening on BBC1 as part of the channel’s Comic Relief coverage, proved a gruelling experience as several members of the group suffered from altitude sickness during the climb and all endured sleepless nights.

They also suffered aches and pains caused by the lack of oxygen but, after five days of the ascent, successfully reached the top of Kilimanjaro in the early hours of Saturday.

Speaking at Northolt, the team members also spoke of the camaraderie that had developed between them during their efforts, which had been a real team challenge.

The celebrity climbing team comprised of Gary Barlow, Ronan Keating, Fearne Cotton, Chris Moyles, Cheryl Cole, Kimberley Walsh, Alesha Dixon, Ben Shephard and Denise Van Outen.

View photos of the team’s UK return