He’s the cheeky chappy who always leaves fans in stitches thanks to his hilarious videos with pal Sam Thompson, but 2022 was a tough year for Pete Wicks.

The reality favourite lost his "best friend" and beloved nan, and on Celebs Go Dating, choked up as he told experts Paul C Brunson and Anna Williamson that he’d "felt sad for years".

But at the end of last year, the ex-TOWIE star, 34, and a group of fellow celebrities braved the elements as they took on a challenge like no other – walking 100 kilometres across the Sahara Desert.

Joined by podcaster and TV presenter Giovanna Fletcher, former reality star Vicky Pattison, influencer Kelsey Parker, 2016 Bake Off winner Candice Brown and Dr Emeka Okorocha, Pete embarked on the epic journey as a team captain of more than 100 other trekkers, all in the hope of raising vital funds for breast cancer charity CoppaFeel!.

And boy did they smash it!

Pete and his fellow stars walked for up to 10 hours a day, before sleeping under the stars and then waking up to do it all again.

Catching up with OK! following his huge achievement, Pete says losing someone so close to him has given him a new perspective on life, and that fans will see a different side to "Party Pete" going forward.

Here, he reveals how this trek has helped him see things in a different light.

Hi, Pete! Was this harder than doing Celebrity SAS?

SAS is a real sore subject for me – I’m still unbelievably gutted about it. Physically, SAS was harder, but this was highly emotional and it was tough. It was a humbling and beautiful experience with the most amazing people.

You lost your nan recently. How are you doing?

It’s been a tough year for me. I can’t talk about it too much because I still struggle, but she was my best friend. It changes the way you look at things. I’m getting older and she was my safety net, and I don’t have that any more. Me and my nan always had this thing about butterflies – I have loads of butterflies tattooed on me and for her funeral I had a butterfly wreath. During the trek, one of the girls on my team was really struggling to get to the top of one of the big sand dunes. We had to scream and shout to get her to the top. Then when we got to the top a little butterfly landed on her shoulder. That set me off.

You said we would see a different side to you on Celebs Go Dating…

I’ve been the same person for a long time – played the fool, that “love rat” thing. Once you get tarnished with a brush, it’s hard to shake that off. But people evolve as they get older. You start looking for different things in life. The one thing I want is peace of mind. I’m not “Party Pete”.

To register your interest for CoppaFeel!’s CoppaTrek! with Gi 2023, visit coppafeel.org

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