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Reporter bags free trip to Brighton

A South London reporter became hit TV character Jack Bauer for the day when he was set a 24-hour challenge.

But sadly for Dan Keel, from the News Shopper Series, he wasn’t protecting senators from assassination plots.

The 27-year-old was merely completing the latest in his Dan Dares series of challenges for the Newsquest weekly.

His sixth epic adventure saw him attempt ‘Shopper to Shore’ – a one-day bid to get from the paper’s office in Petts Wood, south east London, to Brighton without shelling out a single penny on food, transport or accommodation.

The journey, which takes around 90 minutes by car, started at 8.15am with a two-hour walk to the M25.

Here, Dan and his photographer were picked up by a young family in a van and taken to Caterham, in Surrey.

Shortly after being threatened with charges by the Highways Agency, the intrepid pair hitched a ride to Redhill and embarked on a two-and-a-half walk to Salfords.

Their luck continued though as they managed to secure another lift to the outskirts of Brighton for the home stretch on foot to Brighton beach where they arrived just over eight hours after leaving the office.

Dan told HTFP: “I definitely thought I wouldn’t make it. Realistically, if it had got dark we would have given up.

“We just met some very nice people along the way and I have to admit I wouldn’t have picked someone up but that’s changed now.

“It’s nice to know there are some generous people out there because they were not getting anything in return.”

This is the sixth Dan Dares challenge – a feature series launched last autumn as a way getting more video and interaction on – and the strike rate now sits at four successes and two failures.

In his first two challenges he failed to break the world record for cream cracker eating and couldn’t find five other Dan Keels in London.

Success soon followed though as he completed a half marathon with just three weeks of training, finished off a local chef’s hottest ever curry and completed a wing walk in the skies over Gloucestershire.

He added: “Each time it gets more difficult to think of something new. I’m open to suggestions for the next one.”

  • Fancy making Dan do something he really doesn’t want to? E-mail him at [email protected].
  • Comments

    Dave (11/03/2009 09:14:29)

    simone (11/03/2009 10:29:43)
    Headline is a tad misleading, he didn’t get a press trip, he just used his thumb and there was lots of walking too. Maybe his next dare would be how to convince his boss not to make him redundant.

    JohnDoe (30/03/2009 22:46:41)
    Perhaps if journalists could spell that might save a few. Really holdthefrontpage who wrote this article. Was it a filler or was it a work ex.
    And this is not journalism it is vagrancy. Why in an age where families are being thrown onto the breadline because of the errors of big businesses are these people paying Dan to go out on what is basically a jolly. What is the point in this story.

    Jane Doe (31/03/2009 10:27:19)
    I’m not sure what the problem is JohnDoe. This is a light-hearted story about one reporter’s quest to write a light-hearted series of features. And if we’re being hyper-critical, you left four question marks out of your comment!!