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Graduate Alex in running to win final of BBC TV series

University of Gloucestershire alumnus and TV presenter Alex Beresford will be racing for the finish in the final episode of BBC’s Celebrity Race Across the World tonight.

Alex, who completed a degree in English Studies and Performance Arts, joined forces with his father, Noel, on the show in which celebrities and their family members backpack their way to and from a series of destinations without the aid of bank cards and phones.

In the current series, Alex, Noel and three other pairs of contestants are seen competing against each other to find the quickest way to travel 10,000km across 24 countries, starting at Marrakech in Morocco and ending in Tromsø, Norway, with air travel prohibited.

Viewers will find out in tonight’s episode (BBC 1, 9pm) whether Alex – the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from the University in 2014 – and his father arrived at the final checkpoint ahead of their rivals and won the £20,000 first prize for charity.

Explaining why he decided to take part, Alex said: “Across continents and across countries, and you’re getting to see everything at ground level, so it’s completely different to just flying over – getting to immerse yourself in different cultures and communities.

“There’s also the excitement of not knowing where we’re actually going or how we’re going to get there. Every day is up in the air and can either all fall apart or can all come together.”

Challenges to lifestyle

Alex, guest presenter and weather presenter on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, says coping without a mobile phone and credit cards during the series were among the changes to his usual lifestyle that had proved challenging.

Alex, 43, admitted: “I keep going to put my hand in my pocket because I think my phone is there, and then it’s not. I am hoping that what will come out of the experience is me being able to put down my phone.”

Main image: Alex Beresford and his father Noel during the current series of Celebrity Race Across the World (credit: BBC)