Bradford pop star Kimberley Walsh was among the nine Comic Relief celebrity climbers who reached the top of Mount Kilimanjaro after an agonising slog today.

The Girls Aloud singer was said to be in "agony" as she reached the summit of the 19,300 foot (5,900m) peak at the end of a six-hour trek described as "hell on earth".

Her band mate Cheryl Cole was among the first of the team to reach the top.

Battling oxygen levels half of those at sea level and temperatures of minus 15 degrees (5F), Cole was joined by presenter Fearne Cotton, performer Denise Van Outen and GMTV host Ben Shephard as dawn broke.

The Comic Relief blog said of the moment: "At the summit, God knows how. Ben, Fearne, Denise and Cheryl make it just as the sun comes up. Amazing."

Kimberley Walsh reached the top of the highest point in Africa alongside singer Ronan Keating and Take That star Gary Barlow.

Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles also made it up, trailed in by pop star Alesha Dixon, who apparently crashed through the pain barrier to reach the summit.

She was said to be in "severe pain" at the back of the group, but refused to stop.

Descriptions of the gruelling trek to the top of the Tanzanian peak ranged from "hell on earth" to "agony" to "horrific".

Team members wrote: "Cheryl for one has already said she's never done anything so mentally and physically demanding and I doubt anyone in the team will disagree.

"A temperature of minus 15 and air so thin your lungs positively burn with disappointment every time you take a breath means you can't stop long."

The celebrities' effort has now raised nearly £1.4 million for charity.

They set off on the summit bid just before midnight from the peak's highest camp.

Several members including Cotton and Cole suffered from altitude sickness during the five-day ascent.

They all had to endure sleepness night and aches and pains as the lack of oxygen caused havoc with normal routines.