Sunday People

I’ll put breast foot forward for charity


I am really excited for the return of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! later this year. I had a great time on the show when I won it in 2020 and have a lot of magical memories.

My favourite type of camp is a happy one. I’m not so keen on

Nwatching when there’s arguing or controvers­ial characters.

I love watching comedians in the camp but I imagine that’s got to be a tough gig, as everyone is looking for them to be funny all the time.

That’s not always easy to do when emotions are high and ext month, I am heading to Mont Blanc in the French Alps to complete a 100km, fiveday trek for breast cancer charity Coppafeel!.

It will be my eighth trek and while I know how to train for them, it never gets any easier for me emotionall­y.

I am captaining the trek, which 100 men and women will be joining.

Many have experience­d breast cancer in some way and while it’s always incredibly moving to hear their stories, it reminds me why I’m doing it.

This year’s trek will be especially poignant for me as my friend Amy Dowden – who was partnered with my husband Tom on Strictly Come Dancing in 2021 – has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

She came on our Pembrokesh­ire trek in Wales last year and it was listening to the stories from her team that made her check her breasts more regularly and see her doctor when she found a lump.

I know she’s remaining positive and upbeat, and that the thought of returning to the dance floor is what’s keeping her going through her treatment.

Right now, life isn’t what she thought it would be but we’re all hoping she will be joining us for one of the treks next year.

I have met some amazing women over people are hungry. The show is great for allowing us to see sides of people’s personalit­ies we’ve not managed to see before. For instance, there have been a lot of sporting heroes go in who we’re used to seeing on the pitch or on a running track.

I would love to see more Lionesses, such as last year’s winner, Jill Scott, going into the jungle. the last six years as captain of these treks – they’ve taken us from Hadrian’s Wall to the Sahara Desert!

I remember on the last day of my first trek, in Oman in 2017, we were just around the corner from the summit of the mountain we were climbing and I was talking to a woman called Jo, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer the year before.

She just turned to me and said: “A year ago, I didn’t think I would be alive. And now I’m about to reach the top of this mountain.”

As we crossed that finish line, I can remember Jo taking in the views from the top of the mountain and her shoulders shaking with emotion – the euphoria, the relief, the sense of pride and also the letting go of everything she’d been through.

That image will always stay with me.

It’s a privilege to hear those stories and to know that people trust you with their experience­s. And it’s amazing how quickly these treks become a safe space for people to open up and share.

The bonds that have been created on them are incredible – people have gone to each other’s weddings and baby showers – and it’s been wonderful to see how strong all of those friendship­s still are.

I am sure more will be formed again this year.

Trek will help people like my pal Amy

 ?? ??
 ?? ?? PEAK PERFORMANC­E Rock climber Alex Honnold
PEAK PERFORMANC­E Rock climber Alex Honnold
 ?? ?? CLOSE With Tom & Amy. Above, dressed as boobs
CLOSE With Tom & Amy. Above, dressed as boobs
 ?? ?? CHAMP Jill Scott
CHAMP Jill Scott
 ?? ?? TOUGH On trek
TOUGH On trek

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