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"Sean Has Gone Full Bear Grylls!" - Wales Online, 15th November 2015

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Title: "Sean Has Gone Full Bear Grylls!"
Publication: Wales Online
Date: Sunday 15th November 2015
Writer: David Owens


Manics prepare to tackle Patagonian challenge - Manic Street Preachers’ James Dean Bradfield and Sean Moore will next weekend embark on a gruelling trek to raise money for a Welsh cancer charity

Next Sunday, November 22, James Dean Bradfield will be among a group of 50 fundraisers celebrating the 150th anniversary of Welsh settlers arriving in Patagonia - by undertaking a challenging trek in aid of Velindre .

So far the singer and his fellow Manic Street Preacher, drummer Sean Moore, have raised more than £15,000 for the cancer centre in Cardiff.

The pair have achieved this through fan donations and a series of fundraising initiatives, including James auctioning an 18th birthday present from his parents - the acoustic guitar on which he wrote many of the group’s hits.

Other auction items have included a copy of the band’s super rare first single Suicide Alley and Sean Moore’s drum kit. “We’re aiming to get close to £20,000 by the time we go,” said James. “We’ll be very happy with that.”

Despite the prospect of carrying their own kit, camping and walking up to 11 hours a day, the singer said he’s thrilled at the prospect of visiting Patagonia.

“Although this is a tough challenge, it is nothing compared to the challenge faced by people dealing with cancer, but I’m looking forward to it.

Related: First Manic Street Preachers' single Suicide Alley to be auctioned for Velindre Cancer Centre

“It’s a lot of people’s ambition just to go to Argentina, let alone Patagonia - I’ve never been to either. I thought the only chance I would get to go to Argentina was with the band, or if the Wales rugby team played a summer tour there.”

The frontman said the historical aspect of the trek particularly appealed.

“I love that the story of the Welsh settlers who went there is such an interesting one and I’m going to get to eat lots of steak,” he laughed.

However, the fundraising trek means so much more than a trip to a place he’s never visited previously. The singer has a much more personal reason for wanting to raise as much as possible for the cancer centre.

James’ mum Sue Bradfield was treated at Velindre. She battled cancer for eight years before she died in August 1999, aged 50.

“I love doing stuff for Velindre because it is an amazing institution,” he said. “It’s treated members of my family and is such an incredible place.

“I also love the fact that I will be raising lots of money for Velindre as a thank you to the people who work there who are complete heroes.”

While James is taking the trek seriously, he said his preparation pales next to that of his bandmate.

“I’ve put in some good training, but Sean has gone full Bear Grylls. He’s going to be at the front of the trek with his Pathfinder watch on, and he’ll probably have a million grub recipes on him. He’s gone native.”

To donate to James and Sean’s Velindre fund visit: www.justgiving.com/manicspatagoniatrek