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United Kingdom

Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman host 'Long Way Down' benefit

UNICEF Image: Ewan and Charley Long Way Down
© Long Way Down/2004-07
Charley Boorman (left) and Ewan McGregor at the gala fundraising event in London on 8 November in celebration of their 'Long Way Down' motorcycle trip through Europe and Africa.

LONDON, United Kingdom, 13 November 2007 – After spending three months travelling the 'Long Way Down' through Europe and Africa, Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman concluded their 15,000 mile adventure in Cape Town, South Africa in August this year.

A 'Long Way Down' television series based on their adventure is currently being broadcast on BBC2 on Sundays. The 'Long Way Down' book is on shelves now and the DVD will be released on 3 December.

A star-studded gala

On 8 November, 'Long Way Down' hosted the party of the year in an effort to raise money for lead charity partner UNICEF, as well as the Children’s Hospice Association of Scotland and Riders For Health, whom they also supported on their journey.

Held at the Battersea Evolution – an events arena in Battersea Park, London – and generously sponsored by companies such as Belstaff, Nissan, Nokia and TOTAL, the star-studded event was an opportunity to raise valuable funds for UNICEF’s projects in Africa. 

UNICEF Image: Ewan and Charley Long Way Down
© UNICEF UK/2007/Sarah Epstein
Ewan and Charley deliver a school-in-a-box and a sport-in-a-box to St. Martin's school in Uganda.

Hosted by Ewan and Charley, guests including model Elle Macpherson, English funk musician Jason Kay, 1996 Formula One World Champion Damon Hill, Scottish singer Sharleen Spiteri and actor James Nesbitt sat down to a meal before participating in an auction  which helped the total raised on the evening top £300,000 (over $621,000). 

Highlights from the auction included a replica of the BMW bike that Ewan and Charley rode on their trip, which fetched £50,000 (over $103,000) and a 'Long Way Down' limited edition Nissan Navara that sold for £42,000 (about $87,000).  At the end of the evening, guests were able to enjoy exclusive live sets from musical artists The Magic Numbers and Beth Orton. 

A commitment to children

Ewan and Charley, continuously supported by producers/directors Russ Malkin and David Alexanian, visited three sites over the course of their journey in an effort to raise awareness for 'Long Way Down’s' charity partners, and particularly for UNICEF’s projects in Africa.

The 'Long Way Down' team are committed to raising as much money as possible for children affected by HIV, poverty and conflict in Africa and hope that last week’s fundraising event will go a long way towards achieving that goal.

After beginning their trip in May 2007 in John O’Groats, Scotland, Ewan and Charley rode their motorcycles through 18 countries, including Libya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Rwanda. They encountered some of the most inhospitable terrain on earth and negotiated blinding sandstorms, searing temperatures, dodgy border crossings and extreme riding conditions.




UNICEF correspondent Amy Bennett speaks with Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman about their recent motorcycle journey called ‘Long Way Down’ and the UNICEF projects they visited during the trip.
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