A Bolton-born celebrity has been met with cheering crowds as he completes an epic trek in support of Children in Need.

Radio presenter and TV broadcaster Vernon Kay was met by supportive fans after he began the first leg of a 115-mile trek back to his hometown from Victoria Park in Leicester to the Bolton Wanderers stadium in Horwich.

The former St Joseph's RC High School pupil passed through towns and villages including Kings Newton, Shelton Lock, Chellaston and more.

He arrived in Derbyshire this afternoon for an overnight stop, read for a big day tomorrow with over 40 miles to cover.

This evening the star caught up with BBC Radio 2’s Sara Cox who revealed he had helped raise £193,400 so far.

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Vernon said: “Get in there! Oh my goodness me, I’m speechless, I’m absolutely speechless. Thank you, thank you, thank you - on Day 1, the marathon day. That’s unbelievable, wow. that’s put a smile on my face.”

Speaking to Sara after the first part of his journey, Vernon told the DJ how he was feeling after completing the first part of the challenge. 

He said: “In a word sore, in two words very sore...I guess it's the knees, the last five miles the tors starting to cause an issue, but today’s been all about my left hip.

“I said it would come to play and it has, but not only has it come to play I think it’s done every done every single schoolyard game that it could possibly play.

“It’s been naughty today....we’re going to try and push it out with massage... Everyone [here, the team] looks like, it looks like we’ve had a good day.

“I think I’m the only one who looks a bit down in the dumps, but it’s understandable as I’ve never done more than 18 miles before so whoop whooped when we got to 19 miles, we whoop whooped when we did a marathon and then we whoop whooped when we finished.”

When Sara asked Vernon how he felt when he reached his target for the day, the BBC Radio 2 mid-morning show host said he became “quite emotional.”

He said: “ “I was elated, but quite emotional ‘cause I’m not gonna cry until Friday morning. I promised myself that. We’ve got 40 miles plus tomorrow which is going to be really hard.

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“Today we’ve run all the way, we’ve jogged all the way, we’ve done a little bit of power walking to stretch out our quad muscles and bit of hamstring, but tomorrow is a different gameplan, its going to be walk, jog, walk, jog – we’ve got a long way to go and I can’t sustain jogging for 40 miles, I can’t do that... Tomorrow is steep, it’s a steep climb.”

He added: “A lot of people have been joining us and that’s been the most uplifting thing today is having people just say ‘do you mind if I join you’ and it doesn’t matter if its 2 miles, 200 yards, 20 miles... it really lifts our spirits.”

Vernon is now off for an ice bath, massage, food and early to bed before he completes the next leg of his journey, before reaching the Bolton Wanderers stadium on Friday.