Going underground

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MADCAP fund-raisers Chris and Karl King hope to break the record for visiting all 270 London Underground stations in one go.

The brothers aim to whizz round the 253 miles of Tube track in under 16 hours 44 minutes and 16 seconds – the present Guinness World Record – while raising £1,000 for Children in Need.

The pair were joined by friend Heather Mawdsley on the warm-up day of their “Pudsey Challenge” yesterday, visiting all 60 Tyne and Wear Metro stations before heading down to London ahead of their hectic journey.

It is the third year Chris and Karl have undertaken an oddball transport challenge for Children in Need.

In 2008 they travelled to London and back only using local public transport, and last year they visited 10 major cities doing the same.

But Chris, 35, from Peasemore Road, Pennywell, said this was their toughest yet.

“It’s definitely a lot more of a challenge this time – it’s the hustle and bustle of the London Underground that will make it difficult more than anything else,” he said.

“It’s something different from what we’ve done the last two years.”

The brothers have already proven they have perfect timing, however, with this year’s Pudsey Challenge falling on Guinness World Records Day.

The organisation is footing the bill for the Kings’ attempt, paying for their hotel expenses.

Nexus provided Chris, Karl and Heather with Metro VIP passes for the Tyne and Wear leg of their journey and Megabus is paying for their travel to London. Tony Clarke funeral services is also sponsoring the event.

The brothers only have to pick up the tab for their £16.20 all-zones, all-day Underground passes.

They are hoping to get a supply of sandwiches to take with them on the underground from the hotel where they are staying, before beginning day two of their challenge.

“We don’t really have time to stop to buy food,” said Chris, who lives with wife Tracy.

Speaking before setting off, he said: “We’re travelling down from Newcastle after the Metro challenge and stopping overnight in Chesham (in Buckinghamshire), which is where we’ll begin our challenge at 6.22am today.

“If everything goes right we should be finished at about 11pm tonight.”

Chris, who has five children – Nicholas, 15, Brett, 11 Brandan, 12, Kieran, 10 and Maddisan, four – and Karl, 25, a support worker from Grindon, have raised more than £2,000 from their previous challenges and hope to make it up to £3,000 this year.

For more information, or to sponsor Chris, Karl and Heather, visit www.pudseychallenge.co.uk