For the eight long days it took to climb Mount Kilimanjaro all that mattered was making it to the next camp. Used to living life in the lap of luxury, the nine celebrities in the Comic Relief team had to put aside their complex beauty routines and get back to basics.
But as they triumphantly stepped onto British soil this afternoon it was clear that the females in the team had raided their suitcases, and make-up bags, in preparation.
Cheryl Cole, her Girls Aloud bandmate Kimberley Walsh, popstar Alesha Dixon and presenter Denise Van Outen had all replaced their walking boots with high heels.
And after a week of being photographed devoid of make-up they had made an effort to prepare for their final photoshoot. However Cheryl’s return has been marred by the behaviour of her husband Ashley while she has been away.
The exhausted star is said to be preparing for a showdown with the England footballer, who was arrested outside a nightclub for drunk and disorderly conduct in the early hours of Thursday morning. Cheryl is said to have burst into tears upon being told of Cole’s arrest. An expedition member said: ‘She was very worried – really low.’
She has now reportedly asked aides to send her newspaper headlines about the incident, which saw Ashley fined £80 and locked up in a police cell for the night. One likely topic of conversation will be the threat of legal action which Ashley made against a newspaper if it prints pictures of him chatting to a beautiful blonde on the night he was arrested.
Ashley claims he and the woman were having an ‘intellectual conversation’ and has threatened to sue The Sun for aggravated damages if it publishes the picture. However today the team were concentrating on celebrating their success in Africa – and the one and a half million pounds raised in aid of Comic Relief.
The celebrities landed at RAF Northolt at approximately 5:15 pm, after Gary Barlow surprised them by arranging a private charter to the airbase. After the gruelling days on the mountain the exhausted team had spent Sunday relaxing and enjoying numerous hot showers.
The climbers will now enjoy a few days at home to recuperate before meeting Prime Minister Gordon Brown at Number Ten Downing Street on Thursday.
The Kilimanjaro celebrities will then reunite on Comic Relief – Funny For Money on BBC One from 7pm, where they will find out the updated total amount of money that their efforts have raised.
A documentary crew captured every punishing moment of the celebrities time on the mountain and Kilimanjaro – The Big Red Nose Climb will be broadcast on Thursday 12th March, the evening before Red Nose Day.
For more pictures of Cheryl Cole, checkout the Cheryl Tweedy Photos Gallery.