'We need everyone on duty:' Look North Sport Relief challenge called off amid coronavirus outbreak

BBC Look North’s charity challenge for Sport Relief has been called off – because staff are needed to cover the coronavirus outbreak.
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Presenters Harry Gration, Amy Garcia, Paul Hudson and Keeley Donovan were due to set off on the Big Summit Sofa Challenge tomorrow, raising cash for charity by pushing their red sofa 100 miles across Yorkshire.

But it was announced on tonight’s show that the event has been postponed so the team can concentrate on news coverage.

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A statement said: “We’ve got some important news to share about our Big Summit Sofa Challenge.

The Look North team have called off their charity challenge. (Photo: BBC).The Look North team have called off their charity challenge. (Photo: BBC).
The Look North team have called off their charity challenge. (Photo: BBC).

“We’ve taken a difficult decision to postpone the event until later in the year.

“Our most important role right now is to deliver the best possible news coverage to you – and to do that we need every member of our team on duty.

“For the schools and businesses who have been preparing for our arrival and to those of you who were planning on greeting us when we headed your way, we are really sorry to disappoint you, but when we do get back on the road you will be the first to know.”

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Following on from the Big 50 Sofa Challenge of 2018, which raised almost £200,000, the four TV hosts were set to visit Doncaster and Sheffield on their challenge.

March 12 and 13 would have seen them in Doncaster and Sheffield, finishing in Stocksbridge on Sport Relief Day.

The challenge was due to set off from Leeds tomorrow and and was set to take them through some of the most gruelling on and off-road climbs in the region.

There have been three previous challenges for Sport Relief - the Tandem Tour de Yorkshire in 2014, Harry and Paul’s three-legged challenge in 2016 and the Big 50 Sofa Challenge in 2018.

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The Doncaster route was due to set off from Conisbrough Castle taking in Conisbrough, Denaby, Old Denaby, Mexborough, Adwick on Dearne, Harlington, Barnburgh, High Melton, Cadeby and finish in Sprotbrough.

The final day was due to set off from Strines and was set to take in Low Bradfield, High Bradfield, Worrall, Oughtibridge, Bolsterstone, Spink Hall and Stocksbridge.