COMEDIAN Bill Bailey has begun a 100-mile cancer fundraising walk along Britain’s “oldest road” in memory of his late nurse mother.
The funnyman, 53, is walking The Ridgeway trail in tribute to “real life-force” mum Madryn, who died of bowel cancer in 2005.
A troupe of comics, including Jo Brand, Lee Mack and Kevin Eldon, will join him on the six-day trek along the ancient southern England pathway.
Bailey, who began walking on Monday, said: “Mum was a great character – a huge personality and a real life-force. She sang and played piano.
“When cancer came calling it was devastating for the whole family. I miss her all the time.”
The comic described the route as a “real hidden gem” and said the group will do the hike back-to-front.
He said: “Most people walk it west to east because the wind is at your back. But I say ‘nah!’… I’m going rogue for Stand Up To Cancer and going the other way.
“Plus if I’m walking into the wind, my hair does that thing like a dog hanging out of the car window… much cooler.”
The walkers will cover some 15 miles a day, traversing the Chiltern Hills and the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The idea follows the walk Bailey did for his 50th birthday, when he raised £12,000 for Cancer Research UK.
Lynn Daly, Cancer Research UK spokeswoman, said: “We’re very grateful to Bill and his mates for their support.
“And we’re urging everyone to follow in their footsteps – not literally, unless they really want to trek 100 miles!”
Stand Up To Cancer, launched in Britain in 2012, is a campaign run by Cancer Research UK and Channel 4 to fund trials and research projects.
To support Bill’s walk, text BILL5 to 70404 to donate £5, BILL10 to donate £10, or donate online.