Ryan Thomas has admitted he is already feeling "awful" after his first day of walking from London to Manchester as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.
The 36-year-old star of Coronation Street and Celebrity Big Brother is raising money for suicide prevention charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Misery) by walking 10 marathons in 10 days and sleeping in the back of a converted van at night.
Thomas admitted on Instagram after his first day: "Felt great this morning at the start line feel awful this evening no point trying to sugar coat it this is going to be tougher than I imagined. Thank you to everyone for all the donations genuinely can’t believe it. We go again tomorrow only nine to go."
He added: "Had terrible night's sleep. All my joints, back of the neck are sore. Feel run down with a heavy head and it's only day two. Not the best start. Going to slowly put my walking gear on and try again."
The actor began his first day outside Buckingham Palace and has walked out of London along the extensive network of canal paths.
Thomas was joined for some of his first marathon by former Corrie co-star Chris Fountain, who cycled alongside him, observing: "He's struggling a bit. I brought him some painkillers and protein ball. Can you manage a wave?"
Thomas groaned and gave the Hollyoaks actor a thumbs up.
Fountain, 33, joined Thomas for his first night sleeping beside the canal in the van he is calling "home" for the next 10 days.
He has been cheered along by fans who have come to meet him along the route so far, and will be joined by other celebrity friends, including This Morning's Dr Sara Kayat.
Every week 125 people in the UK take their own lives, and 75% of all UK suicides are male. CALM offers webchat and phoneline support to help those struggling with their mental health, particularly men.
Thomas – who has already raised over £35k towards his £40k target in aid of CALM – is expected to end his journey at Manchester Cathedral on Wednesday 19 May.
They joined him at Buckingham Palace to wish him good luck on his journey and wave him goodbye.
Thomas is also father to 12-year-old daughter Scarlett with his ex Tina O’Brien, who he met when they starred together as on-screen sweethearts Jason Grimshaw and Sarah Platt in Corrie. They split in 2009.
Mental Health Awareness Week continues in the UK until Sunday 16 May.
For confidential emotional support at times of distress, contact The Samaritans at any time by calling 116 123 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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