Polar express

I've got to get some Colgate toothpaste – it's the only brand that can survive at minus 40 degrees," says Edinburgh-based film publicist Wendy Kidd. "I also need special 30-day contact lenses that don't freeze solid and some Gore-Tex clothing."

It sounds like an unusual shopping list, especially for someone who, thanks to her high-profile job working on films – Ocean's Eleven, Casino Royale and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, to namecheck only a few – is more used to hanging out on the red carpet with George and Brad than freezing her assets off.

Still, Kidd, who's originally from Belfast, is going to need to think about these practical things when she eventually does her charity hike to the North Pole on 13 April. She'll be raising funds for the National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS), which campaigns to break down the barriers faced by deaf children.

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Aside from making shopping lists, Kidd is in training for the physical trial that lies ahead. Her schedule is designed to transform her from a person who only visited the gym on the "odd occasion" into an adventurer who can trek 70 miles over ten days and sleep under canvas in temperatures of -30C.

Kidd figured it would take military discipline to make that kind of change so she enlisted ex-army corporal Brian Fernie from Try or Die Coaching to put her through her paces six days a week in the run-up. "He shouts at me a lot," says Kidd.

"He's been working on my stamina, as well as the muscles in my legs and arms. I've been doing circuits running around Arthur's Seat. Also, if you were to visit the Meadows today, you'd probably see me pulling a tractor tyre." This humiliating exercise isn't just for the entertainment of passers by. It does have a purpose. To prove she is fit enough to take part in the expedition, she has to be able to pull a tractor tyre 1,000 metres in 26 minutes.

"I'm so determined that I'm doing this trip," says Kidd. "The tyre thing sounds difficult but I just have to put my mind to it."

As well as preparing to prove that she's achieved full fitness, Kidd has to raise 27,000 of sponsorship through corporate and personal donations. It's a tough job. However, thankfully the NDCS have negotiated the tricky business of obtaining insurance. "When you mention polar bears and guns (to insurers] in the same sentence the line tends to go dead."

Once she's proved she's up to the challenge and has raised enough cash, Kidd will fly to Norway to rendezvous with expedition leader Mike Thorwell and the six other participants, all of whom are male. "I've only met the others twice. It's going to be really odd because we're all strangers getting together in conditions that are both basic and extreme.

"It'll be interesting how we all react to it. It has to be a team effort. When Mike was putting the team together he was looking for fitness, but team spirit too."

After gathering in Norway, they'll all transfer to a Russian ice station at the Arctic Circle. "Once we arrive at the ice station, we get started on the walk straight away, there's no hanging around," says Kidd.

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We'll be walking about seven hours a day, pulling our supplies on individual sleds. However, if Thorwell feels we're not at a safe spot to set up our tent, we have to be fit enough to walk a maximum of 14 hours per day to find the right spot to camp."

Kidd says she wants to chart her adventure in her diary – but she fears she won't have the energy to write after tracking through the ice for hours. But that's not her biggest worry, and neither is the cold or the polar bears. "It's the fact that we can't take our clothes off or wash for a whole ten days."

Well, at least she won't have icy contacts and will be able to brush her teeth with unfreezable toothpaste. She'll need fresh breath on the off chance that George and Brad join her in the tent. "To be honest, I wouldn't really want them to come share my tent, " says Kidd. "I'll just be too exhausted, even for them."

For Wendy Kidd's fundraising site, visit www.justgiving.co.uk/wendykidd; National Deaf Children's Society, www.ndcs.org.uk