How a Snickers bar every 20 minutes helped Northumbrian Alexander Armstrong climb Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief

Alexander Armstrong's video message from Kilimanjaro, shown on BBC's The One Show.
Alexander Armstrong's video message from Kilimanjaro, shown on BBC's The One Show.

The wife of Rothbury-born entertainer Alexander Armstrong has revealed how eating a chocolate bar every 20 minutes helped him complete the challenge of climbing Africa's highest mountain for Comic Relief.

The team of nine celebrities, including Northumbrian Alexander, all reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro at around 5.30 yesterday (Friday) morning.

Alexander Armstrong's wife Hannah, speaking on BBC's The One Show during her husband's Kilimanjaro climb.

Alexander Armstrong's wife Hannah, speaking on BBC's The One Show during her husband's Kilimanjaro climb.

But speaking on BBC's The One Show on Thursday (February 28) evening, before the final push for the top, Alexander's wife Hannah said he was having to eat a Snickers Bar every 20 minutes in order to make the climb. She said their four sons were 'quite jealous and they would quite like to go up there too!'

The show also revealed that Alexander, who, as a bass baritone singer, has recorded three albums of his own, had been singing Britney songs to lift spirits in the camp. Hannah said he did sing around the house, but not usually Britney songs, and put it down to the younger element among the climbers.

"I'm worried about his feet," said Hannah. "He's got slightly tricky feet." She said the presenter of Pointless had done some training around Port Meadow, Oxford, where they live, which is completely flat, so may not have been prepared for the climb.

Alexander, who is celebrating his 49th birthday on the mountain today (Saturday), sent her a video message from base camp, some 4,700ft up Kilimanjaro after a 'huge ascent' on Thursday.

An outpouring of emotion as the Kilimanjaro nine reach the summit. Picture by Chris Jackson / Getty for Comic Relief.

An outpouring of emotion as the Kilimanjaro nine reach the summit. Picture by Chris Jackson / Getty for Comic Relief.

"This is our last camp before we make our summit attempt at midnight tonight," he said. "You can see the clouds rolling in, which they have every right to do, we are very much in their realm, after all. But at midnight tonight, we have to start the ascent - we have to go up a mile - we are going to make it. Sending you lots and lots of love."

Alexander and the rest of the heroic team - Countryfile host Anita Rani, BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker, Love Island winner Dani Dyer, former MP Ed Balls, who celebrated his birthday on Monday, Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall, from South Shields, and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, NFL sports pundit Osi Umenyiora and Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas - completed the climb in seven days to raise life-changing funds for Red Nose Day, which is on Friday, March 15. They are now making their way back down the mountain.

Kilimanjaro: The Return is taking place 10 years after the original epic climb led by Gary Barlow and featuring Alesha Dixon, Fearne Cotton, Cheryl, Kimberley Walsh, Ben Shepherd, Ronan Keating, Denise Van Outen and Chris Moyles.

The drama is being followed on camera by Shine TV, who are recruiting in the Alnwick area for a new series of The Heist. A one-hour special documentary, Kilimanjaro: The Bigger Red Nose Climb, is being shown on BBC One, on Wednesday, March 13, at 9pm.

All money raised will help Comic Relief fund projects both here in the UK and internationally to help change lives. To support the team, you can make a donation online at comicrelief.com/Kilimanjaro

Alexander Armstrong, middle left, with some of his Comic Relief climbing team-mates. Picture by Chris Jackson / Getty for Comic Relief

Alexander Armstrong, middle left, with some of his Comic Relief climbing team-mates. Picture by Chris Jackson / Getty for Comic Relief

Follow the hashtags #ReturnToKili and #RedNoseDay and the official Comic Relief accounts @comicrelief, to keep up with the latest developments.