Daring Doris ropes in Fred for a 200ft drop in aid of The Rowans

DAREDEVIL Doris on a previous abseil
DAREDEVIL Doris on a previous abseil
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TV presenter Fred Dinenage is set to take part in a daredevil abseil with Daring Doris.

The Meridian news anchorman has agreed to ignore his fears and abseil 200ft down the side of Millgate House, Portsea, with record-breaking Doris Long.



The 97-year-old from Hayling Island roped Fred into taking part after telling him that the sponsored abseil would be for The Rowans Hospice, Purbrook, a charity close to the television presenter’s heart.

He said: ‘I’m absolutely terrified.

‘I can’t even climb a stepladder without feeling queasy. How I’m going to get down the side of that building I haven’t the faintest idea.

‘But it’s got to be done and if Doris can do it, so can I. I’m relying on her to help me through it.

‘I think so much of The Rowans. I’ve had one or two friends and family who have been so well cared for there.’

Doris challenged Fred to an abseil three years ago when he presented her with The News’ We Can Do It lifetime achievement award.

‘She wanted us to abseil down the Spinnaker Tower and when it became clear we wouldn’t be allowed I hoped she’d forget about it,’ said Fred. ‘Then about three months ago she wrote to me asking if I remembered our conversation. How could I possibly turn her down?’

Fred, who is 69 in June, added: ‘I’m not as old as Doris but I’m still too old to be doing this sort of thing.

‘I’ve managed to avoid doing anything physical my whole career – until now.’

The abseil is open to anyone who wants to take part and is happening on May 21 at 1pm.

Doris is hoping to become the world’s oldest abseiler for the fourth time.

Ali George, events fundraiser for The Rowans, said: ‘This is a thrilling challenge – the atmosphere of pre-abseil anxiety and post-descent elation is electric. No previous experience is necessary as everyone taking part will receive full training on the day..’

Anyone interested in taking part must register in advance. Registration forms are available from the hospice’s website rowanshospice.co.uk or by calling (023) 9225 0001.