Great North Run 2023: Find out which celebrities are taking part

The event, now in its 42nd year, is estimated to raise around £25million pounds for charity. Credit: PA Images

A host of famous faces will be joining the start line of the AJ Bell Great North Run on Sunday.

From actors to comedians, a number of celebrities will be taking part in the world's biggest half marathon alongside 60,000 runners, including several from the North East.

County Durham entrepreneur Sara Davies, most well-known for appearing on Dragon's Den, is running the 13.1 miles for an organisation close to her heart, the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Charity.

The award-winning business woman said: “I believe deeply in the work done by the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust so I’m really looking forward to taking part in a northern institution like the Great North Run.

“Though I really enjoy running in my spare time, this isn’t just a personal challenge for me, it’s also a great way to raise awareness of the crucial services they provide and to pay tribute to the tireless efforts of their staff for our community."

Lee Ridley is taking part in the event for the first time. Credit: PA

Taking on the Newcastle to South Shields route for the first time is the comedian Lee Ridley, better known as Lost Voice Guy.

The 2018 Britain's Got Talent winner who has celebral palsy, which affects his movement and speech is being pushed in a wheelchair by four friends in aid of the Smile for Life children's charity.

The organisation based in the North East aims to improve the lives of young people with disabilities and learning difficulties.

Lee said: "I’m really looking forward to taking part in my first Great North Run.

"I watch it every year on the television and the atmosphere looks amazing so I can’t wait to experience it myself. I think it’s something that every Geordie has to do at some point in their life."

He continued: “I’m very grateful to Lee, Ollie, Hannah and Paul for volunteering to push me around the course and I promise to lay off the chocolate buttons until after the race! Most of all, I’m looking forward to raising lots of money for Smile For Life, a brilliant charity that I’m proud to be a patron of.” 

The event, now in its 42nd year, is estimated to raise around £25million pounds for charity.

Another local one to benefit this year is Wearside's Red Sky Foundation, as former Sunderland AFC striker Kevin Phillips is running the Newcastle to South Tyneside route for the organisation.

Kevin said: “I’m so excited for my first ever Great North Run. I’ll be doing the run with my good friend Wess Brown who’s youngest son Sol has had three open heart surgeries at the Freeman Hospital.

“It’s our way of giving something back so Red Sky Foundation can help other families needing their support. We recognise the hard work the charity does to make a difference to the lives of so many people within the region’s cardiac wards in hospitals and also in local communities across Sunderland and the wider North East.” 

From the television, soap stars Laura Norton and Isabel Hodgins are participating in the event on 10 September to raise money and awareness of Usher syndrome, a rare genetic condition that causes hearing and sight loss..

The Emmerdale actresses are supporting the charity CureUSHER which Laura, who is from Newcastle is a patron of. It is a cause Laura is passionate about after both of her children were diagnosed with the syndrome. 

The North East's famous faces will be joined on the start line by BBC presenter OJ Borg, DS Chris Oliver from Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins, and former boxer Rendall Munroe among others.

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