Famous faces among thousands of people training for first London Marathon

Comedian and presenter Romesh Ranganathan, Golden Globe winning actress Ruth Wilson and Ted Lasso’s Phil Dunster will run their first London Marathon on April 21.

A host of famous faces will be taking part in the 26.2 mile challenge with many raising money for charities which are close to their hearts.

Ranganathan is raising money for mental health charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm) of which he has been a patron since October 2023.

“If you told me a couple years ago that I’d be running a marathon, I’d have told you there was no chance – but Calm’s work is so important that I’m going to break a lifelong promise to myself, invest in some nipple tape and run the London Marathon for them this April,” he said.

Apple TV+ event
Phil Dunster, who played Jamie Tartt in Ted Lasso, will run for Young Lives vs Cancer (Ian West/PA)

Dunster, who played Jamie Tartt in hit comedy-drama Ted Lasso, will run for Young Lives vs Cancer which supported the family when his cousin’s son, Rory, was diagnosed with a brain tumour aged just four months old and later died.

The actor said “I’m equal parts excited and terrified”, adding: “I want to raise as much as I can to help Young Lives vs Cancer social workers be there for more children like Rory and their parents.

“Their amazing social workers are there from the moment of diagnosis to make sure children and young people with cancer and their families get the right care and support at the right time. But they don’t get any government funding, so it’s up to people like us to make sure they can carry on doing what they do.

“So that’s why I’m taking on this absolutely epic (and rather mad) challenge.”

An Audience With Kylie
Ruth Wilson is raising money for Alzheimer’s Research UK (Ian West/PA)

Wilson, who has won two Olivier Awards as well as a Golden Globe for her performance in the TV series The Affair, is running with her three brothers for the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK, which has supported her family following their father’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

Sky Sports F1 presenter and Flackstock festival co-founder Natalie Pinkham is running on behalf of the Samaritans, the event’s charity of the year, in memory of her TV presenter friend Caroline Flack who took her own life in 2020.

Believe in Tomorrow is the Samaritans’ campaign for the event as part of the charity’s work to offer support and guidance to people in their time of need and help them to believe that a future is possible.

Flackstock festival
Natalie Pinkham (left) at the Flackstock festival with Caroline Flack’s twin sister Jody Flack (centre) and friend TV presenter Dawn O’Porter who is the festival’s co-founder (PA)

“I’m so proud to be running the 2024 TCS London Marathon in support of Samaritans, the official charity of the year, and in memory of my beautiful friend, Caroline Flack,” Pinkham said.

“Samaritans is one of the charities we support at Flackstock and I love everything that it stands for.

ITV Palooza 2019 – London
Caroline Flack, pictured arriving for the ITV Palooza at the Royal Festival Hall, London, in 2019 (Ian West/PA)

“I know what a difference the money raised will make and the lives it will save.

“It’s going to be a tough challenge, but any time I have a low moment, I think of Flacky and dig a bit deeper.”

EastEnders actors Emma Barton and Jamie Borthwick will be running the London Marathon for the second time but this time they will be taking part as their characters, Honey and Jay.

Inside Soap Awards 2023 – London
Emma Barton (right) and Jamie Borthwick (second left) will run the London Marathon as their EastEnders characters Honey and Jay in a storyline remembering Lola (Danielle Harold, pictured second right). They are pictured at the Inside Soap Awards with Max Bowden (who plays Ben) in 2023 (Ian West/PA)

Their achievement will feature in a special episode in which the pair run the 2024 TCS London Marathon in memory of Jay’s wife, Lola, who died of a brain tumour in a storyline from 2023.

Other celebrities taking part include former Doctor Who and Emmy-winning actor Christopher Eccleston, who is running to raise awareness for the charity The Big Issue, and The Only Way Is Essex star Chloe Meadows who is raising funds for the charity Crohn’s & Colitis UK.

Meadows was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis six years ago and is now raising awareness of the condition in the hope others will seek medical advice.