McFly star Harry Judd, Good Morning Britain’s Alex Beresford, All Saints singer Melanie Blatt and racing driver Billy Monger have been revealed as the first ever Celebrity Race Across The World contestants.
The inaugural celeb series of the hit BBC show will see each of the stars joined by a family member as they race across Africa and Europe, travelling from Marrakech in Morocco to Tromso, Norway.
Alex will race with his dad Noel, while Mel and Harry are joined by their mums, Helene and Emma, respectively. Billy is taking part with his sister, Bonny.
Following the same format as the regular version of the show, Celebrity Race Across The World will see the pairs travel to checkpoints along the route, making their way across 24 countries and covering more than 10,000km.
They won’t be travelling in style either – when it comes to budget, they’ll have the cash equivalent of an airline ticket from the first destination to the last, and phones are banned.
Explaining his decision to sign up, GMB weather presenter Alex said: “I thought it was a fantastic opportunity to do something that we’ve never done before.
“Neither of us have ever backpacked, so it’s a new experience. And, also, just to see some amazing places!
“Across continents and across countries, and you’re getting to see everything at ground level, so it’s completely different to just flying over – getting to immerse yourself in different cultures and communities.”
Harry said: “I never travelled when I was younger. I travelled with the band, but I never properly did backpacking and I always wanted to.
“I think the same applies for my mum – she always wanted to but started a family when she was 22.”
Fellow musician Mel also revealed that she was hoping the experience would push her “out of my comfort zone” as it’s “something that I wouldn’t necessarily choose to do on my own.”
“I’m definitely up for challenges and pushing myself… And this is what Mum does all the time!” she said.
Driver Billy added: “[My sister and I have] spoken about travelling before, but it would probably be a little bit different to what I imagine this is going to be like – in terms of doing everything on such a budget and staying in hostels and being tight on money for food.
“With this opportunity, I spoke to Bon about it, and she said it could be quite cool. So, we sat down and watched the previous series and got more and more into it and then decided why not!”
Billy raced in British F4 in 2016 and 2017 and is now part of the Channel 4 F1 commentary team.
In 2021, he raised £3 million for Comic Relief with ‘Billy’s Big Challenge,’ which saw him undertake a gruelling 140-mile triathlon-inspired course.
A fourth series of Race Across The World featuring members of the public is also in the works and set to be filmed in an undisclosed location later this year.
Filmed before the pandemic, the first series saw six pairs race overland from London to Singapore – which took 50 days.
The third series was filmed amid coronavirus travel restrictions but proved equally exciting nonetheless, as the teams faced the mammoth task of crossing the whole of Canada.
Celebrity Race Across The World will air on BBC and BBC iPlayer later this year.