One Show Chal­lenge earns celebrity treat

While Alex was rid­ing rick­shaw pop­star was at his home

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Lor­can Lovett lor­can.lovett@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

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”

Pho­tos con­trib­uted

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

Con­trib­uted

TRIB­UTE:

(From left) Clive John, Jonathan Moughton, Chris Smith and Mark Yeomans

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