Hartlepool comedian takes on Hadrian’s Wall trek

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A HARTLEPOOL funnyman is set to lead a fundraising challenge with a bunch of other comedians.

Joker Nick Banks is to tackle an 84-mile trek along Hadrian’s Wall this month (May) for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

The 15-strong collective is preparing for a challenge that will see them walk the length of the landmark in just over a week, stopping to perform free stand-up gigs along the route.

As part of the Ha Ha Hadrian’s Wall Walk, now in its third year, the group aim to raise thousands of pounds for the UK’s leading dementia research charity, spurred on by thoughts of friends and loved ones who have been affected by the condition.

The eight-day challenge starts on May 21 with the group setting off from Newcastle to their first stop at Heddon-on-the-Wall, where they will camp overnight and perform a free comedy gig.

Their route will then take them west along Hadrian’s Wall, walking around 11 miles each day with more shows planned at The George in Chollerton, Twice Brewed in Hexham, the Green Head in Greenhead, The Venue in Carlisle and the Hope and Anchor in Port Carlisle. Each show will be free to attend, with bucket collections being held to help boost the group’s fundraising total.

This year marks the third time the group has taken on the exhausting adventure. Nick will be joined by over a dozen comedians including Seymour Mace – who appeared in BBC Three’s Ideal with Johnny Vegas – Patrick Monahan, John Cooper, Nina Smith, Matthew Fong, Frank Garrity and Tim Strange.

The friends chose to support Alzheimer’s Research UK for this year’s challenge after seeing several loved ones battle dementia.

Nick said: “We’ve done this a few times now, and I first came up with the idea after doing this walk when I was the army.

“It’s a big challenge, and it can be tough, but everyone is always in good spirits when we all get together and with so many comedians in one place it should be a good laugh.”

He added: “We chose to support Alzheimer’s Research UK because so many of us have seen someone affected by dementia.

“Some of the group have seen grandparents die with dementia or have parents battling it now, and I have a friend who’s only in his late 30s who’s affected.

“It’s a cause that’s close to our hearts and we want to raise as much as possible – the first two walks raised £10,000 for charity and if we can beat that, we’ll be very happy.”

To sponsor the group visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/nicholasbanks1.