Timmy Mallett and Jet from Gladiators to start the Great South Run 2019

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The celebrity starters for this year’s Great South Run have been announced.

Former children’s TV presenter Timmy Mallett and TV personality Diane Youdale – best known as ‘Jet’ from Gladiators – will have the honour of starting the 30th edition of the run in Southsea this weekend.

Mallett was a staple of children’s shows during the 80s and 90s and in 1990, the year the Great South Run was started, he had the number one single across the world with his recording of Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.

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He said: ‘I’m really excited to be a part of the 30th Simplyhealth Great South Run. The amazing runners doing it for charity are amazing, more than £3.5 million is raised for charity by people taking part every year.’

Diane Youdale and Timmy MallettDiane Youdale and Timmy Mallett
Diane Youdale and Timmy Mallett

Starring as the feisty ‘Jet’ from Gladiators during the 90s, Youdale was a favourite of Saturday night family TV viewing.

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The show was started in October 1992 and celebrated its 27th anniversary this year.

Since leaving the show Youdale has worked as a fitness consultant and has also trained to become a psychotherapist.

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Speaking about the run she said: ‘Fitness and sport has always been a big part of my life but I’ve learned now how connected everything is and that staying active is just as important for mental health as it is for physical health, so it’s great to see more than 20,000 people pulling on their running shoes and setting out to achieve their goals.’

About 20,000 people are expected to take on the Great South Run on Sunday.

The event will start on Clarence Esplanade where runners will head towards the naval base, before heading back east towards Winston Churchill Avenue and Canoe Lake, and finishing off with a two-mile run along the seafront.

Start times for the main run will range from 10.15am to 11.17am, depending on which wave you are part of.

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There will also be the Great South 5K, junior and mini as well as canine runs which will take place on Saturday, October 19.

The Great South 5k will start at 10.30am, with the canine run beginning at 9am and the junior & mini runs taking place between noon and 1.45pm.

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