Comic actress Joanna Lumley this morning launched Bell’s Barrel of Laughs, which will see her and five fellow funnymen roll a whisky barrel 517 miles from Perthshire in Scotland to the H4H Recovery Centre, Tedworth House in Wiltshire to raise money for Help For Heroes.
, Veterans and staff from the distillery and comedian Fred MacAulayJoanna was joined by said: "I feel so proud to have been chosen to start the great Barrel of Laughs journey for Help for Heroes.
"Full marks to Bell's for such a generous and brilliant idea and all praise to everyone concerned with Help for Heroes. We shall never forget the duty of care we owe to those who have been damaged in conflict for our sakes and the sakes of our country.
"If this were Patsy speaking, she would say 'Cheers, sweeties'."
The relay began today at the Blair Athol Distillery and will end in nine days’ time on March 31.
Five of the comics, including Fred MacAulay, Mark Dolan and Rufus Hound, are putting on FIVE FREE STAND-UP GIGS, teaming up with another H4H partner, Marston's pubs along the route where audience members will be invited to donate. Why not go along and show your support - click here for details.
Volunteers with collection buckets will be flanking the stars as they trek through the streets with the barrel. You can pledge your support by texting the word Bells to donate number 70900.
The barrel team is being led by fitness fanatic Rob Edmond – most famous for his stint as personal trainer on ITV’s The Biggest Loser – who is rolling it in between the stars and veterans taking part. The challenge will see the group on the move between 7am and 7pm each day.
Rob said: “It’s going to be a physical and mental challenge rolling the barrel 517 miles across length of the country but we’re all determined to make it happen and I’m sure the banter will keep us all smiling right until the finish line.”
Go along to cheer the team and follow their progress each day:
23 March Stage 1: Blair Athol Distillery, Pitlochry to Edinburgh Castle
24 March Stage 2: Edinburgh to Coldstream
25 March Stage 3: Coldstream to Newcastle
26 March Stage 4: Newcastle to Catterick
27 March Stage 5: Catterick to Leeds
28 March Stage 6: Leeds to Manchester
29 March Stage 7: Manchester to Birmingham
30 March Stage 8: Birmingham to Brize Norton
31 March Stage 9: Brize Norton to Tedworth House