11:20am Sunday 5th January 2014
By Pete Grant
THE man who prepared David Walliams and Eddie Izzard for their epic sporting challenges has hinted at the next major project in his long-running charity role.
Marlow man Professor Greg Whyte, who awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year's Honours for services to sport, sport science and charity, has revealed he is back on board for this year’s BBC Sport Relief.
A former Olympic pentathlete and World Championship medallist, he put Little Britain star Walliams through his paces before his swim along the length of the River Thames.
His work, which has so far helped net £17million for Comic Relief and Sport Relief, also involved preparing comedian Izzard for his quest to run 43 marathons in 52 days.
Prof Whyte said: "2014 is going to be a big year," he said. "I will be training in the big Sport Relief challenge. I can't say what it is yet but it's going to be fantastic.
"We want to go bigger and better every year and that's what we're trying to do, but without killing one of the celebrities in the process!"
The 46 year-old’s list of celebrity projects is a who’s who of the nation’s top TV and music talent.
Stars include Cheryl Cole, Chris Moyles and Gary Barlow, who Prof Whyte primed for the gruelling hike up Mount Kilimanjaro in 2009 for Comic Relief.
The professor in Applied Sport & Exercise Science Professor at Liverpool John Moores University trained comic John Bishop for an epic cycle, row and run from Paris to London and most recently, coached Mel C, Dara O'Briain and others for a raft trip along the Zambezi river.
Prof. Whyte was awarded the OBE in this year’s annual royal list, published on New Year’s Day, and said he is proud of the achievement.
He said: "It's fantastic, I'm absolutely delighted. I found about a month ago because you have to formally accept the award, but I've been sworn to secrecy and it's the hardest secret to keep!
"The award was for services to sports science but it is the charity work I am most proud of because I obviously do all that for free. Sports Relief is just such a fantastic organisation.
"The work I've done with Cardiac Risk in the Young and working with bereaved families, it's tragic but very rewarding."
As well as his university role and lynchpin position for the BBC in its charity work, Prof Whyte has taken to TV, appearing on BBC1 health show How to Beat Pain last year.
The multi-talented sports fanatic is also taking on a key advisory role for the 2014 English Commonwealth Games team.
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