Comedian to walk the entire London Tube network | Ben Van der Velde's fundraiser for refugees

Comedian to walk the entire London Tube network

Ben Van der Velde's fundraiser for refugees

Comedian Ben Van Der Velde is to walk the 350 miles of the London Underground network within a month, to raise money for the Refugee Council.

The 33-year-old comic says the quest – which will include the DLR, but not the Overground – is the  equivalent of a half-marathon a day.

He will start on June 8, with the 13.5 miles from Morden to Kennington on the Northern Line, visiting every station en route.

It is not the first marathon effort attempted by Van der Velde. Last year, as part of Mark Watson’s 27-hour show for Red Nose Day, he and fellow comic Chris Purchase attempted to visit every London Embassy on foot.

‘In traditional British spirit, we ended with glorious failure. This time round I’m determined to bag every single station, from Amersham in Buckinghamshire, all the way down to Woolwich Arsenal. 

‘I’m so excited to be viewing my city in this unique way. It’s going to be fascinating and uplifting and probably going to hurt a lot.’

Van der Velde, a Jewish Geordie comedian, now living in North London, said he wanted to do something  to help the refugee crisis.

He said: ‘Like so many people, I have watched the news open-mouthed and dumbfounded at the horrors so many people from Syria, Eritrea, Iraq and beyond have had to escape from, as well as the pain, suffering and discomfort of their journey to Europe."

‘World War Two taught us that we could open our doors to refugees and help them build a new life, away from persecution. I feel this particularly strongly as both of my maternal grandparents had to get out of Berlin and Warsaw pretty sharpish in the late 1930s thanks to the actions of a very angry little Austrian. 

‘They were remarkably lucky that they could make a safe, quick passage and were able to make a new life for themselves here in Britain and I’d like to help those who are finding it much more difficult today.’

Lisa Doyle, from the Refugee Council said: ;We’re absolutely delighted that Ben has decided to raise money for the Refugee Council by setting himself this incredible challenge and we wish him the best of luck.’

Here is his planned schedule:

Day 1: Northern Line (Morden – Kennington) 13.5 miles
Day 2: Northern Line (Kennington – Euston – Kennington) 13 miles
Day 3: Northern Line (Edgware – High Barnet, via Camden Town) 30 miles
Day 4: Hammersmith and City Line (Hammersmith – Paddington) 5 Miles
Day 5: Circle Line (Kings Cross- Kings Cross) 22 miles
Day 6: Bakerloo Line 21 miles
Day 7: Rest
Day 8: Victoria Line (Walthamstow – Brixton) 19 miles
Day 9: District Line (Richmond- West Kensington) 9 miles
Day 10: District Line (Upminster – Algate East) 21.5 miles
Day 11: District Line (Wimbledon – Earl’s Court) 8 miles
Day 12: Central Line (Wanstead – Rodding Valley) 7.4 Miles
Day 13: Central Line (West Ruislip – Liverpool Street) 29 Miles
Day 14: Central Line (Bethnal Green – Epping) 26 miles
Day 15: Rest
Day 16: Jubilee Line (Stanmore – Baker Street) 16 miles
Day 17: Jubilee Line (Southwark -North Greenwich) 17 Miles
Day 18: DLR (Poplar – Blackwell via Stratford High Street) 9 Miles
Day 19: Metropolitan Line (Harrow-on-the-Hill – Wembley Park) 5 Miles
Day 20: Metropolitan Line (Amersham – West Harrow) 20 Miles
Day 21: Piccadilly Line (Heathrow All Terminals – South Ealing) 20 Miles
Day 22: Rest
Day 23: Piccadilly Line (Uxbridge – Acton Town) 21 Miles
Day 24: DLR (Tower Gateway – Lewisham) 8 miles
Day 25: Waterloo and City Line (Waterloo and Bank) 2 Miles
Day 26: Piccadilly Line (Knightsbridge – Cockfosters) 23 Miles
Day 27: Sweet release of death

Click here to donate.

Published: 17 May 2016

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