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Christopher Eccleston to run London Marathon for Big Issue: 'I'll be happy just to get round'

Actor Christopher Eccleston, 60, is running the London Marathon to raise money for the Big Issue. Find out how to support him here…

Christopher Eccleston

Christopher Eccleston and Big Issue vendor Easton Christian. Image: Andy Parsons

Christopher Eccleston is running this year’s London Marathon to raise money for the Big Issue. The actor has just celebrated a big birthday – and wants to use the occasion to raise vital funds for our work, as well as raising awareness for our mission. You can sponsor him here.

“I’ve just turned 60 and my plan is to run the London Marathon for the Big Issue,” Eccleston said.

“The last one I ran was when I was 50. So my plan is to run at 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100. And then I’ll retire!”

Eccleston, who recently starred opposite Jodie Foster in True Detective, has been a fixture on screen and stage for more than three decades, with major roles in Our Friends in the North, Hillsborough, Lennon Naked, The Leftovers and The A Word.

The actor has been a Big Issue brand ambassador since 2020. When he joined, he said: “I’m the Big Issue generation, aren’t I? I remember when it was launched. And to see something like Big Issue born makes you proud. Because you feel like the social conscience of the nation is active.”

Now, he’s putting his best foot forward to support the Big Issue and our ongoing mission to eradicate homelessness and help people to work their way out of poverty. 

“To be wearing the Big Issue colours is incredible,” continued Eccleston.

“I’ll be happy just to get round the course. I think I’ll be OK at 20 miles, but I don’t know where I’m going to find that next six miles.

“The training has been going OK. I really stepped it up at the end of last year. I played Scrooge at [London’s] the Old Vic before Christmas and that really helped because it was so physical. But 26 miles is 26 miles.”

For Christopher Eccleston, running has been an important part of his life for many years.

“When I was hospitalised and on a lot of medication and a lot of restrictions, I think one of the things that deepened my depression, was not being able to go for my run,” he said.

“And as soon as I was out of hospital, that is what I did. Fitness is so important. That’s what I say to anybody who asks me about mental health. Physical exercise – whatever works for you – just do it. I’ve never made a bad plan during a run…”

When is the London Marathon 2024?

This year’s London Marathon takes place on Sunday 21 April 2024, and Christopher Eccleston will be one of approximately 50,000 runners taking part in the race

The London Marathon will start at 8.30am with a staggered start for both the elite and wheelchair races, before the mass participation event begins at 9.30am, which the actor will be running in.

Eccleston won’t be the only celebrity on the course. Award-winning actors and musicians including McFly drummer Harry Judd, TV presenter Romesh Ranganathan and star of Emmy award-winning show Ted Lasso, Phil Dunster, will all be making their London Marathon debuts.

Christopher Eccleston, however, is no stranger to the course, having run the gruelling marathon a whopping five times.

The 26.2 miles course weaves through some of London’s most notable landmarks, including running across Tower Bridge, alongside the North Bank of the Thames and finishing off outside the gates of Buckingham Palace.

You can watch Eccleston and the 49,999 other runners on BBC One from 8.30 am to 2.15 pm and on BBC Two from 2.15 pm until 3.pm. Or you can cheer on our Big Issue ambassador from the sidelines of the race in person at various milestones throughout central London.

Sponsor Christopher Eccleston in the London Marathon HERE.

Support your local Big Issue vendor

If you can’t get to your local vendor every week, subscribing directly to them online is the best way to support your vendor. Your chosen vendor will receive 50% of the profit from each copy and the rest is invested back into our work to create opportunities for people affected by poverty.
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