Rhys Darby
Comedian Rhys Darby on life in New Zealand

Rhys Darby: I'll knock off Everest just for a laugh - and to help save kids

Mt Everest. Photo / Getty Images
Mt Everest. Photo / Getty Images

I'm pleased to announce that this year I'll be attempting Everest. I mean it just seems to make sense doesn't it? Last year I knocked off Kilimanjaro by the skin of my teeth, ill with the flu and well ... you know what they say, mountains are like tattoos. Once you've got one you can't stop. Or is that Pringles?

Anyway look, I'm doing it. My name's down and it's for a good cause.

The project, aptly titled Stand Up on Everest, will see myself along with fellow comedians Stewart Francis, Craig Campbell, Glenn Wool, Terry Alderton and Simon Evans trek for a gruelling nine days high into the Nepal Himalaya.

This gets us to Base Camp and an altitude of 5364m (17,598ft). From there we will no doubt rest for a minute before we perform our routines on a purpose-built stage.

This, of course, begs the question, who will be watching? Well, I'm told there'll be 50 eager fans who will be joining us for the climb.

Sounds interesting doesn't it, plausible yes, but boy these fans are gonna have to be keen ... and fit.

The last time I walked to a gig with 50 eager fans was during my hazy days at the Edinburgh Fringe. It was a bit different though: I finished what was called the "free beer show" and then told the audience to follow me as I marched through town munching on savouries. I literally was the pie'd piper leading my merry band of fools. We eventually arrived at my manager's house. He was hosting a party.

I'm not sure what I was thinking to be honest, but needless to say bringing a party to a party doesn't necessarily make a party ... It's a physics thing.

The nominated charity for Stand Up on Everest is Save The Children who really do save a lot of children.

In 2012 the organisation helped 10 million children and they run world-class programmes in over 120 countries including Nepal. They fight for children's rights and challenge world leaders to keep their promises.

Last year Save The Children put a lot of their efforts into Syria. Today they're continuing to do whatever it takes to keep the Syrian refugee children, and those trapped inside Syria, fed, healthy and safe.

So please lend a hand. You can visit our website: www.standuponeverest.co.uk where you'll notice a handy countdown clock. Last time I checked it said 260 days till we climb, so I suppose I better get training.

Last year when I reached the peak of Kilimanjaro all I could do was cry. This year I'll have a show to do. After nine days of trekking I'm sure these 50 fans will be well and truly ready for a laugh. I hope I don't disappoint.

"Did he die on stage?"

"No he was brilliant. Unfortunately he died on the way back down."

I shouldn't even joke.

- NZ Herald

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