Anna Smith – Rallying to the cause

The Daily Record’s former chief reporter Anna Smith has never been one to shirk a tight spot.

But I’d say her latest adventure might test even her famous spirit.

Because she’s teamed up with former Eldorado star Franco Rey ahead of a charity car rally that will take them from the UK through France, Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Mongolia.

They’ll be living out of the Old-Batmobile for the best part of a month raising money for two charities along the way, and need as many friends and former colleagues as possible to not only chip in, but have their clients and contacts do the same.

Else she’ll be after them when she comes back.

Full details are available here on The Odd Couple website complete with profiles, aims and how people can help.

Better still, there’s going to be space for all the sponsors.

Suffice to say the idea of taking part in the Mongol Rally came out the bottom of an empty red wine bottle or five.

But having dreamed up the idea Franco, a tender 61 years old, and Anna (I wouldn’t dare), are readying themselves to head off on their epic adventure from London this July.


The easy bit is that people can donate here right now, safely and securely.

Some of the cash will be going to cancer charities.

The rest to Mercy Corps, specifically for projects helping orphans of the war in Kosovo which Anna witnessed first hand while still with the Record.

And a more worthy cause many would struggle to find.

As a multi-award winning reporter and best-selling novelist, the blog she plans to keep along the way should make compelling reading.

Of course, you’d hope that a national newspaper editor would be bright enough to sign her up for a series of dispatches along the way too, in return for some sponsorship on the car donated by Joe O’Donnell and all those lovely people at Shields Auto in Glasgow.

In fact, they’d do well to take their company cheque-books out now before someone beats them to the punch.

Surely £1 a mile would be well within the gift of Scotland’s best selling papers – after all, the trip will only take 10,000 miles?

I met Franco for the first time just before Christmas at the Sunday Mirror festive bash, and he was both charming and entertaining company and you can see the fantastic rapport he shares with Scotland’s flame haired wonder hack whenever they are let loose together.

If only a TV company was going along for the ride, like The Long Way Down, it would make compulsive viewing.

Anyone wanting to contact Anna direct with pledges of cash, services or simply messages of good luck should email her on

And any fellow bloggers out there should feel encouraged to write their own posts about the forthcoming adventure, especially if they know either half of the Odd Couple.

Because the updates to come should be hilarious.

Facebook members can also send their messages of support to The Odd Couple Mongol Rally group page.

Categories: Blogs

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