Joe Wicks has completed his 24-hour charity workout challenge, raising more than £1m for Children in Need.
The celebrity fitness expert was appointed an MBE in the Queen’s delayed birthday honours list last month, for his efforts keeping the nation fit during the first national lockdown.
HIs interactive Joe Wicks 24 Hour PE Challenge culminated on Friday morning.
“I don’t know how I’m still standing,” said Wicks, aka The Body Coach. “I thought I’d be asleep on the mat.
“But I think it’s all your energy, it’s the fact that you’re taking part with me now makes me want to keep going.”
The nation’s new favourite PE teacher encouraged people to join in at home, and to post pictures of their workout on social media.
Speaking before the challenge, he said he thought the epic keep-fit session was a fitting way to end a difficult year.
“2020 has been a challenging year for us all, so what better way to end it than by raising money for BBC Children in Need, a charity very close to my heart,” said Wicks.
Essentially, the challenge – announced last month – saw Wicks work out all day… and all of the night.
He did a range of activities, from cycling to yoga, boxing to rowing, and his signature HIIT [high-intensity] workouts.
Throughout the course of the 24 hours, he was joined virtually by a host of celebrity guests – including Louis Theroux, Sam Smith, Mel C, and a bunch of BBC Radio 2 presenters live on-air.
TV viewers were able to keep across Wicks’ efforts live on the Red Button and iPlayer.
Last year, Rylan Clark-Neal took on the 24 hour Great Ka-RY-oke Challenge. The TV personality and presenter raised over £2m for the same charity, which helps disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.
In 2018, Radio 2’s Good Morning Sunday presenters Rev. Kate Bottley and Jason Mohammad completed a swimming challenge in the cold waters of Salford Quays.
The 34-year-old TV presenter and author led free fitness classes on weekdays throughout the first lockdown for children and parents.
Some people credited him with helping to to turn their life around. “Before lockdown, I basically did no exercise, nothing whatsoever,” said Vanessa Taylor, from Rochdale. “Now, I do it every day apart from Sunday.”
In June though, with some schools now returning, Wicks told viewers he would be moving to a reduced timetable. “I need a little bit of a rest,” he said.
He added he had “loved every minute” of the online classes.
Wicks said his online workouts had attracted almost 70 million views worldwide, which he described as “truly mind blowing”. “I feel very proud that I’ve been able to bring so many people together during lockdown,” he wrote on Instagram.
Appearing on Desert Island Discs this summer, Wicks – who was born and raised in Epsom, Surrey – also spoke about the struggles he had faced growing up and how his life was changed by his father’s heroin addiction.
He stressed that seeing the impact drugs had on his father meant he was never tempted to try them himself.
“I was scared of it and I got into exercise and fitness and so his mistake changed my life,” he told the Radio 4 programme.
This year’s Children in Need programme will be broadcast on BBC One from 19:00 on Friday 13 November.