TV presenter Charlie Webster and three up-and-coming actors braved a mid-summer downpour to undertake a grueling training session – from a seven-year-old boy!

The session took place in Soho Square, central London, and was the first official training session for Charlie and the actors in the run-up to the Best Beginnings London to Paris bike ride.

The four were put through their paces by seven-year-old Benjy who ordered them to jump, squat and sprint with the enthusiasm of a bootcamp general.

“Hurry up, just do it!” Benjy commanded. “Put your back into it! You’ve got to get fit for the UK’s babies!”

Sweating despite the heavy rain actor Philip Bulcock commented: “That was pretty hard. He pushed me to my limit and beyond. I hit the wall and went through it, and dissolved on the other side in a complete physical mess. But now I feel mentally and physically strong enough to do the bike ride – thanks to Benjy.”

Philip, who was most recently in Jersey Boys in London’s West End, was joined by actors Joseph Chance and Scott Brooksbank. Joseph was last seen in the Bafta award-winning Wallander, while Scott is an established British theatre actor.

Joseph arrived late but was immediately enlisted to join the training. “Benjy put us through the most astonishing workout,” he said. “I’m breathless. I’m second eldest [of the actors] and I’m beginning to feel it today. The knees are going, I need all the help I can get. So give me money – make me look good!”

The actors are taking part in the bike ride for their friend Leon Ockenden’s stag do. Leon is getting married at the end of October and has made the unusual decision to cycle from London to Paris for his stag do.

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Photos copyright Ben Dome, Simon Gross.