One Show Challenge earns celebrity treat
While Alex was riding rickshaw popstar was at his home
A YOUNG man who took part in the BBC One Show Rickshaw Challenge was delighted to find popstar Pixie Lott had made a special visit to his home.
Alex Webb, 20, of Strawberry Close, Prestwood, joined a team of five young people, each supported by projects funded by BBC Children in Need, who powered the rickshaw for more than 450 miles across England last week.
Alex, who suffers from Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP), a life-threatening condition that is rare and causes hypersensitivity to ultra-violet light, was cheered on by about 100 people who lined the streets of his village on Thursday, November 13, but an even bigger surprise came when his favourite singer Pixie Lott secretly visited his house two days before and recorded a video message for him.
Alex said: “I couldn’t wait to tell my friends. I was speechless and can’t believe my family kept it a secret this whole time.
“Cycling through my hometown was great and arriving home to see my family greet me felt like I was really on the home straight to the finish line.
“The support from local people out on the streets throughout the challenge has been amazing and really helped spur us all on.”
Alex must wear protective clothing including a custom-made visor to go out during the day. Because of his condition, Alex had not learnt to ride a bike until this year.
Since the age of six, the former pupil of Prestwood Junior School has attended Owl Patrol, a camp in Buckinghamshire for young people with XP funded by money raised from BBC Children in Need. This year the rickshaw has been pedaled solely by the young riders, although The One Show presenters have offered their support and advice – Matt Baker live from the road as he cycles alongside the team, and Alex Jones from The One Show studios.
Beginning at the BBC’s Media City near Manchester, the rickshaw followed a ‘Salford to Walford’ journey across England, finishing live at the iconic EastEnders set during the BBC Children in Need appeal last Friday.
I couldn’t wait
to tell my friends. I was speechless and can’t believe my family kept it a secret
this whole time”
SURPRISE CALL: One Show presenter Matt Baker, Alex Webb (and inset left) from Prestwood who took part in the One Show Rickshaw Challenge and presenter Alex Jones
(From left) Clive John, Jonathan Moughton, Chris Smith and Mark Yeomans