THE veteran marine star of The People’s Strictly will mark the start of an incredible yomp in memory of a fallen fellow marine.
Eighty brave hikers will attempt to trek 103 miles in 36 hours as part of the South Downs Yomp 2015 next month.
The annual event is organised by Robin and Jenny Hollington, from Petersfield, whose son Richard became the 300th serviceman killed in Afghanistan in 2010.
Marine Hollington was caught in a blast in Helmand province, in Afghanistan.
Lance Corporal Cassidy Little, the winner of the Comic Relief dance special and who lost a leg in Afghanistan, will start the yompers off.
Mr Hollington, a former Royal Marine himself, said: ‘We’re really pleased to have Cassidy on board. It’s great stuff.
‘I was at British Forces Broadcasting Network when I met him and asked if he’d start us off.
‘Straight away he said, “why not”.
‘I thought he was hoofing on Strictly – which is Royal Marines slang for really good.’ The filmmaker Chris Terrill, famous for documentaries made while embedded with troops in Afghanistan, will also take part in the yomp.
It begins at 5am on May 23 in Winchester and ends in Eastbourne, roughly 36 hours later. Mr Hollington describes the challenge as ‘mentally exceedingly tough-going. Physically, not so bad.’
It is actually 166.4km long – which represents the year the Royal Marines was founded.
A range of forces’ charities will benefit including the Royal Marines Charitable Trust, Help for Heroes and Houses for Heroes.
‘The training is awesome,’ said Mr Hollington.
‘We had a nice little yomp from Butser to The Shoe pub last weekend.
‘All the training weekends have gone very well.
‘Even those who can’t join in with the yomp can still help us.
‘They can sponsor us overall or go to the fundraising pages and sponsor an individual.
‘And we still need sponsors for various points throughout the day – the start, the evening meal and breakfast on the second day.’
Go to since1664.com.