Text Santa is a charity initiative set up in 2011 by ITV to support UK charities during the Christmas period.The appeal to the public is to donate money mainly via text donation and profits from merchandise. The telethon is hosted by popular ITV presenting duos, these are: long time collaborators Ant & Dec, Phillip Schofield and Christine Bleakley.In 2014 Rope Access Contractors were asked if we would like to join the ITV crew in assisting with a challenge set up for national treasure Phillip Schofield. RAC had no hesitation in pledging its services to support the six UK based charities; Alzheimer’s Society, The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Teenage Cancer Trust, Together for Short Lives and WellChild.
RAC were given the challenge of safely getting Phillip Schofield to the top point of the Shard – 1014 ft high – and back down again using rope access techniques.
On the 14th November 2014 Phillip attending a briefing and training session at our new Keynsham training facility in readiness for his challenge.
On the 8th December 2014 the weather conditions were monitored by RAC and the event was given the green light to commence. Phillip braved the cold and height, completing his challenge, working closely with the RAC site team and becoming the first non-professional abseiler to scale the Shard. At the time he was higher than any other person in Europe on a manmade structure.
Letter from ITV
Hi Si, Just dropping you a line to say a huge thank you from everyone at Text Santa for all your help on the climb.
It was absolutely fantastic and we couldn’t have done it without you and everyone at RAC. From the training, the advice, the technical support, being so reassuring to Phillip and being so quick with answers to all our questions it was great to work with you.
Please also pass on my thanks to Pedro, Jamie, Mark and James.
Senior Producer: ITV Studios