Double Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes heads a field of stars from film, television, radio and sport lining up for the 2016 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 24 April to raise money for their chosen charities.
Holmes won gold in the 800m and 1500m at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and is now turning her attention to the longer distance when she makes her Virgin Money London Marathon debut in April. She is hoping to raise £250,000 for charitable causes including The Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, Myeloma UK, MIND and two local charities in her home county of Kent, The Pickering Cancer Centre and Hospice in the Weald.
Joining Holmes on the Start Line will be British actress Natalie Dormer, star of the hit HBO series Game of Thrones and blockbuster film The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. Dormer is running for Charity of the Year NSPCC, which is celebrating 30 years of the iconic children’s service, ChildLine, and hoping to beat her London Marathon debut time of 3:50:57 from 2014.
Radio 2 presenter and new Top Gear host Chris Evans will also run for the second time, after clocking 4:53:15 last year. He is running with his wife Natasha as part of a team raising money for BBC’s Children in Need.
Charlie Brooks, aka Janine Butcher in BBC’s Eastenders and Queen of the Jungle in the 2012 series of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here, returns for a second run in London (she ran in 2011) to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Former footballers Danny Mills and Clarke Carlisle make their London debut in aid of the Bobby Moore Fund, which supports Cancer Research UK’s work to beat bowel cancer. This year marks the 50th anniversary of England’s World Cup win, triumphantly captained by Moore, and they are raising funds in his memory.
Ashley James, Gary Poulton and Baasit Siddiqui are three of the famous faces from the world of reality television taking on the London Marathon for the first time this year.
James is a former star of Channel 4’s Made in Chelsea and is currently hosting her own show on Hoxton Radio. She is running for the charity Marie Curie.
Semi-finalist in the 2015 edition of BBC’s The Apprentice, Poulton is raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity. He will also be supporting Liam’s Smiles, the charity set up by ex-Birmingham City goalkeeper Colin Doyle and his wife Becky for their son Liam, who was diagnosed with meningitis as a baby.
Siddiqui, along with his dad Sid and brother Umar, has become one of the stars of Channel 4’s BAFTA-award winning Gogglebox. He is also raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity.
London Marathon veteran and long-standing cast member of ITV’s Emmerdale, Chris Chittell, heads up a team of runners from the world of television for the charity Bloodwise, formerly known as Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. Among the stars of the small screen running alongside Chittell will be Gwilym Lee, currently starring in ITV’s long running drama Midsomer Murders, and Richard Harrington, star of Welsh drama Hinterland.
News and sports presenters are well represented with Sophie Raworth (BBC News), Jonathan Pearce (BBC's Match of the Day) and Sean Fletcher (ITV's Good Morning Britain) all taking up the challenge once again. Raworth will be running for the fifth time, while Pearce will run his seventh London Marathon for The Lily Foundation, the charity established in memory of his niece Lily. Fletcher returns for the second time to raise money for Beating Bowel Cancer in memory of his late mother.