Vernon Kay broke down in tears after hearing support from an avid listener who previously wrote a 'heartfelt' letter to him when he first took over Ken Bruce's show.

Barbara sent her message to Richie Anderson - who is covering Vernon's Radio 2 show during his epic ultramarathon challenge for Children in Need.

The Bolton born radio presenter is on a 115 mile trek to his beloved Bolton Wanderers Stadium.

And just before 5.30pm Vernon still had 12 miles still to do before he could stop for the night.

Barbara said: "Hello, Vernon.

"It's Barbara.

"Now I just wanted to send you lots and lots of encouragement, on running your ultra ultramarathon.



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"But I know you can do it.

"Now if it gets tough, just think of all the smiling faces of the children you’re helping.

"I’m so proud of you.

"Now I wish I could be there to cheer you on, but I shall be there in spirit.

"So, just lift up those feet and keep going.

"And I’m sending you lots of hugs, take care."

As soon as Vernon heard that it was Barbara he was overwhelmed with emotion and burst into tears.

When Ritchie asked if Vernon was okay, Vernon took a moment to compose himself.

He said: "That’s Barbara who wrote me a letter after I’d been on air for a month.

"And she said thank you for bringing an old lady into the light.

"And it’s had a massive effect on me that letter.

"It’s probably one of the most heartfelt letters anyone could ever write.

"Oh that’s done me that.

"I didn’t want to cry until Friday."

Vernon continued: We’ve got so many special people associated with this show.

"And Barbara, I think, Barbara represents so many people in Great Britain who feel like they’re, you know, either homebound or just a little bit trapped.

"But when she wrote that letter - all we do on the radio is just talk and we try and relate to people and, oh man, you’ve done me there, proper done me.

"But yeah, God bless you Barbara, thank you very much for your message it means a lot."

His wife, Tess Daly, left a message for Radio 2 listeners saying, “Hey, you might have heard that Vernon is doing an Ultra Ultra Marathon for Children In Need, which is basically 115 miles in 4 days.

"He's on day two, he's doing 40 miles today and I just want to say thank you so much for your support.

"It honestly means so much.

"He needs it to keep him going, he didn't sleep much last night, his knee's hurting and he's never run more than 8 miles before, so this is epic.

£Thanks for all your lovely messages of support to me as well.

"I'm in bits.

"I just want him to do it and complete this challenge.

"I know he will.

"Go Vernon.”

By 4pm today Radio 2 listeners helped Vernon raise a whopping £684,262.

To stay up to date with Vernon’s progress:

  • Listen to his regular updates on Radio 2 shows across the week live on Radio 2 and listen back on BBC Sounds 
  • To make a donation click here (

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