FILM star Jodie Whittaker and school pal Victoria Wells are bound for the Big Apple for what could be an epic thriller.
The Huddersfield-born actress and her former Shelley High School friend are heading to the USA to take part in this weekend’s New York Marathon.
Jodie, 25, who starred in the film Venus alongside Peter O’Toole earlier this year, agreed to join trainee solicitor Victoria to raise money for the Stroke Association.
Victoria’s father Chris, who lives at Arkenley Lane, Almondbury, had a stroke in February last year.
Victoria, also 25, said: “Jodie is very close to dad, so I asked her if she wanted to come and watch me – I wasn’t expecting her to say she would do it with me.
“It’s very touching when one of your best mates wants to do something for a cause that’s so close to your heart.
“We were both quite sporty at school, and both quite competitive, so it could be interesting.”
Mr Wells, 60, was managing director of engineering firm Nooter Eriksen, based in Denby Dale, before his stroke.
Victoria said it had a profound impact on him.
She said: “He was the most charismatic, humorous, opinionated man and a fantastic storyteller before the stroke.
“He was in hospital for three or four months.
“He couldn’t walk to start off with and he still can’t speak at all.
“I thought strokes happened to old people. It was awful to see how it affected him. It’s like an athlete being unable to walk.
“We want to raise awareness about the effects of strokes, as well as raising money.”
Victoria’s brother Nick, 28, who works in New York, is also taking part.
It will be Victoria’s second marathon after she ran the London Marathon last year.
She said: “After London I swore I would never do another one.
“But I’m a sucker for a challenge
“I did that one in four and a half hours. Anyone with a bit of a competitive edge would want to beat their time.
“I’ll be glad when it’s over.”
To sponsor Victoria visit www.justgiving.com/victoriamayjanewells.