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John Bishop To Undertake Charity Triathlon For Sport Relief 2012

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Comedian John Bishop will be able to undertake a gruelling triathlon for charity after he was granted last-minute permission to row the English Channel.

The stand-up will attempt to cycle, row and run 290 miles from Paris to London in five days, starting tomorrow.

He was previously refused permission from the French authorities to row from Calais to Dover but today the Admiral of Cherbourg gave him the go-ahead after a Twitter campaign from fellow charity rowers Andrew Flintoff and Davina McCall.

Bishop will start his BT Sport Relief Challenge by the Eiffel Tower in the French capital, and cycle 185 miles to the coast in less than 24 hours.

For the second leg, he will row from mainland Europe to the UK - an ambitious task for anyone, let alone someone who suffers with bad seasickness.

He will be joined by a team of celebrity rowers including Flintoff, McCall and Denise Lewis.

The final stage of his epic journey will see him take on three marathons in three days, finishing in Trafalgar Square in London on Friday March 2.

Celebrity friends including Dermot O'Leary, Frank Skinner and Robbie Savage will provide motivation when they run alongside him.

He is hoping to raise enough money to pay for a vaccine against five deadly diseases for 250,000 children in Africa, and also help people living tough lives in the UK.

He previously said: "I must be mad. I'm a man in my mid-40s, a bit thicker round the middle than I'd like to be and I'm about to take on the biggest physical challenge of my life.

"Up until a few weeks ago I'd never even sat in a rowing boat and now I've got miles of water to cover, then there's the cycle and don't even mention the word marathon to me.

"I know there will be times during the challenge when I'll be freezing cold and fed up but when I'm down I will think back to the people I met in Sierra Leone earlier this year and I'll know every penny I raise really will make a massive difference to people's lives."
Bishop's Week Of Hell will be shown in a BBC documentary to be broadcast in the build up to Sport Relief Weekend, which takes place from March 23 to March 25.

For Sport Relief 2012, BT has pledged £1 million and is sponsoring The BT Sport Relief Challenges - a series of tough endurance feats.

In September last year, David Walliams kicked these off when he completed The BT Sport Relief Challenge: Walliams vs The Thames.

Bishop can be sponsored at sportrelief.com/bishop.

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