Skip to content

Patron Joel Dommett counts down to the London Marathon 

April 15, 2024

With just days left until the London Marathon, comedian and host of the beloved ITV show The Masked Singer and Patron of Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, Joel Dommett, is gearing up for the ultimate test of endurance. 

Not only will he be running the gruelling 26.2-mile journey, but he will also be doing it while wearing the iconic piranha costume made famous by McFly star Danny Jones on The Masked Singer.  

Credit: ITV

For Joel, this marathon isn’t just about crossing the ‘fin’ish line; it’s about making a difference and raising funds for Shooting Star to ensure babies, children, and young people with life-limiting conditions and their families receive vital wrap-around support, as well as families who are recently bereaved. 

“I decided to run for Shooting Star Children’s Hospices because it’s a charity that is very dear to my heart,” Joel Dommett said.

“As a patron of the charity, and I know how much every tiny bit of money matters, and I’m really proud to be running for them—dressed as a fish.” 

Joel is among the 60 strong team running in aid of Shooting Star this year, taking on the traditional course from London’s Greenwich to The Mall. In 2023, the London Marathon was the biggest ever staged anywhere in the world, with 48,599 participants and a further 4,129 people from more than 101 countries completing the challenge virtually across the globe. 

It’s the largest annual one-day fundraising event on the planet, with participants raising more than £1 billion for good causes since the first event was held in 1981. It is a celebration of fun, fundraising, fancy dress and amazing community spirit, and a triumph of positivity, inclusivity and togetherness. 

As excitement builds for the upcoming event, Joel admits he is apprehensive and “quite nervous” about the big day and wishes the weather won’t be too hot. 

“I just hope I don’t get an injury before it!” Joel expressed.  

“My training is going really well. I’ve been preparing by running lots, and I’ve been running with backpacks on, with a little bit of weight in them. I’ve been running laps and laps and laps of Bushy Park which is very close to the Shooting Star House in Hampton. 

“I’ve been trying my best to just do everything I can to make it passable on the day. I’m just looking forward to soaking up the atmosphere. I’m going to open the face of the costume and wave to people, then close it down, and then just cry a little bit, then open it up, and then hide my tears.” 

“Whenever I’m finding it difficult on the day in the costume, I can dig deep and think of the families, the children, and all of the staff at Shooting Star, and that’ll push me through.” 

No one knows what it’s like to wear the costume better than McFly singer and guitarist Danny Jones, who won the most recent season of The Masked Singer, hiding his identity as Piranha.  

“Wearing Piranha on The Masked Singer was the craziest thing I think I’ve ever done!” he reflected. 

“It’s made from a children’s shoulder carrier, and then the Piranha shell sits on it, and the head is quite high. I was quite small in it; my viewpoint was low. It gets pretty heavy. 

“You’ve got straps everywhere, all across your diaphragm; you can’t see anything—I could hardly sing in it—and Joel’s got to run a marathon in it! But when you put Piranha on, something happens to you. You feel like a superhero; Joel will feel like a super fish on the day, I’m telling you now.” 

When asked what the routine was like to get into the costume ahead of filming an episode, Danny said he was lucky with Piranha as it approximately took five minutes to get ready. 

“I had a few underlayers on. I had silk gloves on all the way up to my shoulders and silk-like socks. This was because it’s quite rough inside, so it rubs. I put on these huge trousers first, and then I got into Piranha. You got to slide one arm in, slide your head in, slide your other arm in, then you’re in, and you’re on, and all the team straps you up. The first couple of times wearing it, I got a few different cramps in places that I’d never had cramps before!” 

Danny said he will be at the marathon on Sunday 21 April, to support his friend and witness Piranha achieve another feat.  

“Joel will be the first Piranha to win out of all the Piranha’s. I think there’s only one, but he’ll be the first Piranha off the line!” Danny exclaimed. 

“Please support Joel in running the London Marathon dressed in my precious Piranha.” 

Joel added, “To support me and Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, please donate whatever you can, and you’ll be funding a fish to run 26.2 miles. It’s going to be great.” 

You can support Joel’s incredible Pi-RUN-HA marathon challenge by donating here, with all funds raised helping to make every moment count for families facing the unimaginable.