TV’s Davina to start and take part in annual charity bike ride

TV Star Davina McCall will start the annual fund raising bike ride at the East Sussex National on Sunday June 16.

Back for its tenth year, ‘Davina’s Big Sussex Bike Ride’ is once again raising funds for Horsham-based children’s charity Action Medical Research.


The annual fundraiser will take cyclists through or near a number of local towns and villages including: Uckfield, Laughton, Golden Cross, Horam, Woods Corner and Battle (routes available here


Davina McCall will be there to officially start the cyclists on their way and will then take on one of the three routes.


“I absolutely LOVE this event” says the TV star. “Everyone’s always in such a good mood, and why not? You get to ride around the gorgeous Sussex countryside and know you’re doing your bit to help a truly brilliant cause. I can’t wait!”


Davina has supported Action since she was first introduced to the charity by her late ‘Pippy’ when she was just nine!


This year her annual fundraiser – which starts and finishes at the East Sussex National Golf Club – has caught the attention of a few familiar faces.


Martin Fry is the co-founder and lead singer of eighties sensation ABC. A long-time supporter of Action, he has taken part in four treks for the charity alongside music pals Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet and Richard Drummie of Go West.


“I’m really looking forward to the challenge” admits the ‘Lexicon of Love’ hit maker. “I took part in another bike ride for Action in Kent a few years ago and loved it.


“I’ll be taking on the 68 mile route and have been doing a bit of training over in Santa Barbara. I think Action is a fantastic charity and it’s always a pleasure to show my support and help raise funds whenever I can.”


Another familiar name taking on the challenge this year will be the former Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth champion – and Sussex resident – Sally Gunnell OBE. The athlete turned motivational speaker and Wellbeing Advocate first came across Action last year.


“I went along to Action’s ‘Champions of Cyclesport’ gala in London last November – it attracts some of the biggest names in the world of cycling and I was just blown away.

“I think it’s great to have a charity here in Sussex that does so much to help babies and families across the UK. I’m very proud to show my support.”


Davina’s Big Sussex Bike Ride – which is kindly supported this year by Benenden Hospital – takes place on Sunday 16 June.


There are three routes to choose from: 21, 40 or 68 miles and a team of hospital staff will be among the riders taking part.


Benenden Hospital Medical Director John Giles said: “As an independent hospital which prides itself on health and wellbeing, we are very much looking forward to taking part in this exciting event and helping to raise funds for such a worthy cause.”


People can register online ( until midnight on Wednesday 12th June. There will also be an opportunity to register on the day.


Action Medical Research is a UK-wide children’s charity which funds desperately needed research to tackle the diseases that devastate the lives of so many of our children. It has been funding medical breakthroughs since it began in 1952 including helping to introduce the first polio vaccines in the UK, developing the use of ultrasound in pregnancy and testing the rubella vaccine.


Action is currently funding research into areas including premature birth, epilepsy, asthma, scarlet fever, cerebral palsy, brain cancer and some rare and distressing conditions.


Jean ‘Pippy’ McCall – who sadly passed away in June 2018 aged 98 – was a chairwoman of a local committee for Action Medical Research in the 1960s. Davina would have been nine- years- old when she was brought along to her first fundraising event for the charity.


Davina will ride the 40 mile route.

Davina McCall with Uckfield FM’s Mike Skinner. (Mike has interviewed Davina every year since the rides inception!)

Uckfield FM Stock images