Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Video: Charity paddler calls in

A REALITY TV show star stopped in Henley during a 200-mile charity paddle along the Thames.

A REALITY TV show star stopped in Henley during a 200-mile charity paddle along the Thames.

Watch our exclusive video of Andy's visit here.

Andy Jordan, who appears in Made in Chelsea on Channel 4, greeted fans in Singers Park and posed for photographs in exchange for donations.

The 23-year-old former City broker and keen surfer is raising money for the Prince’s Trust by propelling himself downstream on a 14ft carbon fibre paddleboard using a single oar.

His support crew includes his family and family friend Peter Cutts, from Hurley, whose boat Esprit de Louis is transporting them.

Jordan started at the source of the Thames near Cirencester on Sunday and was aiming to reach Putney Bridge this morning (Friday).

On Wednesday, he arrived in Henley in the early afternoon and stopped for lunch at the Angel on the Bridge.

Outside the pub, he was stopped by several groups of fans who recognised him and took photographs on their mobile phones.

Jordan, who lives in London, said: “I first had the idea around Christmas when I was out paddleboarding and thought it would be fun to go on an expedition for charity. Most people think I’m absolutely crazy but I think that’s a good thing because you’ve got to do something to shock people.

“I’m starting to enjoy it more and more so if it goes to plan I will probably do another challenge that’s bigger and harder.

“I started thinking perhaps I was a bit bonkers because it was so much hard work but then I met this girl who is swimming the Thames, running the south coast and then cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

“That’s when I realised that I was perfectly sane — and that I just needed to man up.”

Jordan said he had difficulty with the boat traffic on the stretch of the river from Marsh lock to Henley. “It’s quite difficult to stay on board and you lose your rhythm,” he said. “It’s lovely to look at, though.

“I haven’t fallen in the water so far but I did have a couple of scares coming in this morning.”

Mr Cutts agreed to provide the support boat because he has been friends with Jordan’s mother Lynne for more than 30 years.

The team could not accompany him in the early stages because the river was too shallow and they joined him at Abingdon on Tuesday.

Jordan said: “The support crew have been absolutely amazing. I wouldn’t be able to do it without them. Every hour or so I stop for some food or water, which they’re carrying, and they’re also keeping a watchful eye.

“They also tell me how fast I’m going and how far I’ve got, which stops me from burning myself out too quickly. It has been seriously good fun and a lot more so since the support boat joined me.”

Mr Cutts, 50, said: “When you shadow Andy, at first you think it’s really easy as he’s a young lad. However, you soon realise just how fast he goes.

“I’ve been travelling up and down this river for a long time and I don’t know how he does it. He must be such a fit guy.”

After finishing the paddle, Jordan will go back to filming the next series of Made In Chelsea, which will be broadcast next month.

He said: “They film seven days a week so I’ve been given time off to do this. The cast are all behind me, which is really nice.”

So far, he has raised more than £2,500 for the trust, which provides training, education and mentoring to young people.

To sponsor him, visit www.just giving.com/andrewpaddles

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