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Children In Need: BBC presenter finishes Pudalo challenge

Matt Bailey
BBC presenter Matt Bailey after finishing The Great North Pudalo Challenge

A BBC presenter has covered the length of the 13.1 mile (21km) Great North Run in a pedalo for Children in Need.

BBC Radio Newcastle's Matt Bailey completed 53 laps of South Marine Park's lake in South Shields in The Great North Pudalo Challenge.

Musician Sting and comedians Rosie and Chris Ramsey were among those cheering him on.

"I've got no interest going on a pedalo ever again, but it's been brilliant," Matt said.

Taking to the water in the Pudsey bear-decorated pedalo, affectionately nicknamed the Pudalo, the unfazed presenter started his challenge at 08:30 GMT.

Dozens of people stopped to watch from the marina as Matt meandered his way around the lake in the vessel.

Pudsey with Tim Davie
BBC Director General Tim Davie joined Pudsey to cheer the presenter on in South Shields

As the challenge got under way, Sting urged him to "keep pedalling", while Rosie and Chris Ramsey warned Matt "not to fall in".

But it was not until he had pedalled for 10 hours and 18 minutes - with the odd "comfort break" - he completed his final lap live on BBC Look North.

"Part of me can't quite believe it is over," he told BBC Radio Newcastle as he praised those who showed their support.

"Half-way through the day I was sitting thinking 'what have I done', but my love for pedalo shone through.

"There's been so many people coming down to support us and it's really been the thing that has got us all through."

Matt Baker, who took part in Children in Need's Great Rickshaw Challenge last year, said Matt's efforts were "absolutely wonderful".

"This year more than ever young people need our support, anything you can spare will go towards making a big difference to young people's lives."

Children in Need returns to BBC One and BBC iPlayer at 19:00 GMT on Friday.

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