MATT Baker admits he’s taking a trip into the unknown next Friday when he sets off for Hawick on the first leg of The One Show Rickshaw Challenge for Children in Need.
And after pedalling from Edinburgh, the 33-year-old is hoping his accommodation for the night comes equipped with a “bath and Radox”.
Speaking to the Hawick News this week, The One Show presenter said: “Hawick is my first destination and I’ll be absolutely delighted by the time I get there.
“I’ve never been to Hawick, but I’ve spent quite a lot of time in the Borders.
“It’s a beautiful landscape with great countryside, I’m just not really looking forward to finding out about the hills.
“The quicker I get to Hawick the better.”
Matt will embark on his arduous challenge next Friday from Edinburgh Castle Esplanade and will attempt to complete the marathon 484-mile journey to the BBC in London, finishing live on The One Show’s Children in Need special in London the following week.
A co-presenter of Countryfile, Matt, who grew up just south of the border in Durham, is no stranger to the great outdoors.
However, he conceded this was something totally different from anything he has done in the past, cycling his rickshaw for up to ten hours a day and burning around 9,000 calories daily.
He said: “It’s daunting. I’ve been out training this morning and it’s going to be tough, there’s no doubt about that.
“The rickshaw is completely different altogether and it’s not like cycling. It’s so heavy and it doesn’t want to move, even on the flat.
“I think I’ll just have to get my head down and get on with it, so any support would be greatly appreciated.”
More than 500 people are expected to pack into the Heart of Hawick to welcome Matt, with the programme greeting him live on air to a nationwide audience.
There is also expected to be approximately 31 BBC crew staying in the town overnight.
The civic space will be closed off from next Friday at 2pm, although entry is open access, while it is understood there will be 60 crush barriers in place.
Heart of Hawick manager Lindsay Wood said: “We’re expecting lots of visitors, a busy place, and a good noisy Hawick welcome when Matt Baker arrives.”
n Matt starts The One Show Rickshaw Challenge for BBC Children in Need on November 11. To donate, text ‘MATT’ to 70705. Visit www.bbc.co.uk /pudsey for terms and conditions