All Around Britain: Alex and Ria experience the UK's tallest rollercoaster- but not how you’d expect

All Around Britain is back on Sunday (5 September) and this week Alex Beresford and Ria Hebden experience the UK’s tallest rollercoaster- but not how you’d expect! 

Previously known as The Pepsi Max, The Big One is one of Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s most iconic rides. When it opened in 1994 it was the world’s tallest AND steepest rollercoaster. Today, standing at 235 feet, it’s still the tallest in the UK. 

In fact, the ride is so tall that due to its proximity to Blackpool Airport it had to have warning beacons installed on the peaks of the first two hills, including on the main drop. 

Normally, taking on The Big One involves exhilarating speeds of up to 74 miles per hour and vertical angles of up to 65 degrees. 

As if that wasn’t thrilling enough, Alex and Ria were sent on a nail biting climb to the top - on foot. 

Taking them up is ride manager Claire Birkett, who has been working at the theme park for almost 20 years. 

Claire has taken hundreds of people up the ride over the years, including a 90-year-old man who later bought her flowers because he enjoyed it so much.

“The views are amazing” says Claire, “I could sit at the top all day and just people watch!”

For her, 420 steps to the top is, literally, a walk in the park. For Alex and Ria it was a different story. 

“I want to go down, get us down,” Alex pleads.

And, unfortunately for Alex, The Big One isn’t the only thing the presenters climb up during the first episode of the new series. 

The pair also head to The Blackpool Tower where they help lighting engineer, Paul Boydell, change some of the LED lights in time for the Blackpool illuminations this weekend

As well as all of the fun from Blackpool, the show features some of the best 'feel good' stories from ITV regional newsrooms across the UK.

This week you can see the The Hijabi Boxer who says boxing saved her life after eating disorder, the landlady who is turning Gloucester into the 'rainbow city', and the fascinating history of Belle Tout in Sussex.

All Around Britain returns to screens on ITV this Sunday (5 September) at 11:55am.