A CELEBRITY doctor is hoping he won't end up needing medical help himself after setting off on a 300-mile charity bike ride this week.
Rob Hicks, of Tudor Drive, Kingston, is one of the country's best-known GPs, appearing regularly on ITV's This Morning and as the resident health expert on British Forces TV news.
He also works at Kingston Hospital's Wolverton Centre for Sexual Health and as an NHS GP in London.
Dr Hicks set off on Wednesday (July 21) on the four-day London to Paris bike ride in aid of Action Medical Research. It is the second year in a row he is attempting the mammoth trip, having raised more than £12,500 for the children's health charity last year as part of the Team GP.
This year, the team has more than doubled its numbers to 18 and are collectively aiming to raise more than £20,000. Members include fellow media doctor Dawn Harper, one of the presenters of Channel 4's Embarrassing Bodies series, eight other GPs and a group of friends.
They hope to arrive at the Champs Elysees in Paris, along with 700 fellow charity fundraisers, the day before the Tour de France competitors roll in at the end of the gruelling competition.
Action Medical Research carries out research into premature birth and helping sick babies. It is a mission close to Dr Harper's heart after two of her children were born prematurely, one at just 32 weeks.
Dr Hicks said: "Get fit, have fun and raise money for a very important cause - what more could anyone want? I feel ready for this challenge and am looking forward to the incredible moment when we all cycle down the Champs Elysees.
"A huge thank you to all our sponsors; you really are helping to make a difference for some of the UK's most vulnerable babies."