Gemma takes to the skies with Towie star

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A reality TV star who shot to fame in The Only Way is Essex took to the skies over Cambridgeshire with one lucky passenger from Reach.

Mark Wright, who also appeared in I’m a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here! last year, won a flying lesson with the Cambridge Aero Club after bidding for the prize at a charity auction held last month.

He decided to auction off the passenger seat, which was won by Gemma Manchett, of Burwell Road, whose dad, Sean, donated £625 for the top prize.

The pair took off from Cambridge Airport in a Cessna 172 Skyhawk S on Friday, following an air safety briefing from Cambridge Aero Club’s chief flying officer, Luke Hall.

“It was a really good afternoon,” said Gemma, 21. “I have always wanted to learn to fly so it was a great opportunity to go up with the Cambridge Aero Club, and all the money will go to a really good cause.”

She said that despite being nervous before the lesson, the TV star was hooked by the time he landed and was keen to take to the skies again.

“It was really great to meet Mark. He was a really great guy. He was a little bit nervous but after a while he was just really excited, so he really enjoyed it.”

During their 40-minute flight, Mark and Gemma were able to view the city of Cambridge from the air and even flew over Gemma’s house.

Mr Hall, head of general aviation at Cambridge Airport, said “We were delighted to host Mark and Gemma at the airport and give them a taster lesson.

“They seemed to love their time in the air and we hope to welcome them back soon. Clearly, the only way is Cambridge.”

The flight was donated by Cambridge Airport to the White Tie and Diamonds Ball, held at Dullingham Polo Club last month, where Mark helped to judge the finals of the Miss Cambridgeshire 2013 beauty contest.

The event raised more that £10,000 for Beauty With a Purpose, a charity which supports disadvantanged children across the UK.

For more information on Cambridge Airport or flying lessons from Cambridge Aero Club, visit www.cambridgeair