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The tide is high for Mel C and co in Red Nose Day challenge

29 JANUARY 2013

Former Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm is tackling crocodiles, mosquitoes and the world's largest waterfall as part of a Red Nose Day challenge.

The Hell and High Water task will see the singer, Radio One DJ Greg James, comedians Dara O'Briain and Jack Dee, Olympian Phillips Idowu and Waterloo Road actress Chelsee Healey sail 100 km up the Zambian River, which boasts the largest waterfall in the world. Now a day into the challenge, the group will face adrenaline-inducing perils to raise money for the charity.

"This is way out of my comfort zone. I've never found myself in a life-or-death situation, but that could happen on this trip," the Say You'll Be There crooner told HELLO! magazine.

 

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The five-day trip will see the stars navigate the threatening river for eight hours a day. They are sleeping on the inhospitable banks too. Scorpions and snakes litter the grasslands, which is an unwelcome thought for Melanie.

"It's an environment I've never been in. I mean, I've never even camped in the UK. I've never found myself in a life-or-death situation, but this could very well happen on this trip," said the 39-year-old.

Jack Dee has also admitted that he is less than thrilled by the volatile ecosystem. "I don't like wildlife. If I look at a crocodile I'd prefer it was stuffed," quipped the funnyman.

 

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Beginning the challenge with local guides for company, the six-pack have been divided into pairs to navigate the rest of the trip alone. Joking that the vessels will soon be known as "divorce boats", Melanie believes that their common cause will help them to cope.

"In my difficult, desperate hours of need, I'll think about the people we've met and the people we're trying to help. That will get me through," said the star.

The celeb squad hope to raise £1 million for the charity, which will fund primary school education for girls in Zambia.

With a little girl of her own, Melanie is quick to remind her daughter Scarlet of the struggles children experience in other parts of the globe.

"Every morning when she tells me she doesn't want to go to school, I tell her that, actually, Mummy's going to Africa to visit some little girls who actually want to go to school. That soon shuts her up," she said.


The stars will follow John Bishop's impressive Week Of Hell efforts, in which the comedian raised £3 million by cycling, rowing and running from London to France in five days in 2012.