Formula 1 star Jenson Button heads a list of stars from television, film, music, radio and sport lining up for the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 26 April to raise funds for their chosen charities. The 35-year-old former world champion and keen runner will be making his Virgin Money London Marathon debut in April and is hoping to beat his marathon personal best time of 2:58. Button is running for Charity of the Year Cancer Research UK and has set a fundraising target of £5,000.
Joining Button in the Cancer Research UK team is British fashion designer Henry Holland, who is raising money for the charity after several of his close family and friends were affected by cancer. Scottish television presenter and radio DJ Jenni Falconer will also be raising money for Cancer Research UK in her fourth London Marathon. Several sports stars and presenters will compete with Button to be the quickest celebrity of 2015, all attempting to beat the current celebrity best times set by former professional cyclist Chris Newton (2:45:10) and model Nell McAndrew (2:54:39).
1968 Olympic 400m hurdles gold medallist David Hemery CBE, now 70, has been persuaded to run his first marathon for 39 years by former race director Dave Bedford. Hemery will be running with his son Peter and weightlifter Michaela Breeze to raise funds for his charity 21st Century Legacy. Breeze represented Great Britain at the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and won six medals for Wales over four Commonwealth Games. Olympic champion rowers James Cracknell (running for Headway, the brain injury association) and Zac Purchase (running for SportsAid) line up alongside Welsh rugby union star Shane Williams (running for the World Wide Fund for Nature). Sky Sports’ Sarah-Jane Mee will make her London Marathon debut, raising money for the children’s charity Sparks, whilst veteran marathon runner and fellow presenter Charlie Webster will run for the fourth time to raise funds for Centre Point. Juliet Aubrey, Helen George and Dervla Kirwan are three of the famous faces from the world of television drama taking on the London Marathon for the first time this year. Aubrey, ambassador for the charity Women for Women International, is most famous for her roles in ITV’s Primeval, and the BBC’s The White Queen and The Village. George meanwhile is best-known for her role as Trixie in the hugely successful BBC series Call the Midwife and is running for Macmillan.
Star of stage and screen, Kirwan found fame playing Assumpta Fitzgerald in household favourite Ballykissangel. She is running for the charity ActionAid.
Reality television stars Hugo Taylor and Oliver Proudlock will put aside the dramas of Channel 4’s Made in Chelsea to run in aid of Malaria No More and The Rainbow Trust, and the British Heart Foundation respectively. Whilst April will be Proudlock’s first experience of the London Marathon, Taylor completed the 2014 race in a time of 4:17:51. Greg James, BBC Radio One DJ and television presenter, will make his marathon debut in London, raising funds for The Lords Taverner’s.
Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research will have a strong representation from the world of television including stars of Welsh drama Hinterland Hannah Daniel and Richard Harrington, Doc Martin’s Jessica Ransom, Casualty’s George Rainsford and Emmerdale’s Jeff Hordley and Tony Audenshaw.
The full list of celebrities running the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon is available here.