Brand sets off on ‘hell of a walk’

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THe ‘Hell of a Walk’ lived up to its name today as Jo Brand set off on her 150-mile coast-to-coast walking challenge for Sport Relief.

The comedian wisely failed to follow up on her jokey pre-walk promise to swallow-dive from the middle of the structure and indulge in some synchronised swimming in the muddy water below.

Brand, 58, set off from the foreshore at Barton-on-Humber in North Lincolnshire, with plenty of her trademark dry wisecracks.

She said: “I feel the hand of history upon my toenails.” And she added: “I would describe my walking style as ‘fat old woman’.”

As Brand strode off towards the huge bridge, she said: ““I wouldn’t say I was full of energy, because I’m not sure I ever have been.

“But it’s one foot in front of another and see how it goes.”

Brand made it to the north bank of the Humber just before a storm engulfed the bridge with high winds and horizontal, sleety rain. Lorry drivers tooted their approval and the handful of walkers braving the bridge footpath shook her hand and wished her well.

She was aiming to walk about 20 miles a day and reach Liverpool next Thursday. The BT-sponsored challenge will see Brand climb to 1,500ft (457m) across the Pennines and take a total of 60,000 steps as she walks from dawn to dusk. Her journey will be recorded for a BBC documentary to be broadcast in the run-up to Sport Relief Weekend.