THRILL-SEEKING pensioner Christine Smith reached speeds of 121mph as she hurtled head first down the world’s fastest zip wire.

The 81-year-old from Chalgrove, who is the mother of former GMTV presenter Penny Smith, admitted her ‘legs turned to jelly’ after she took on the adrenaline-fuelled challenge for Age Concern.

At two miles, the Big Zipper in Snowdonia is the longest zip wire in Europe and requires being strapped horizontally into a full body harness before being propelled down Penrhyn Quarry.

“I had no breakfast and still felt sick before taking off,” she said, though admitted the ride was ‘exhilarating’.

She added: “Coming in to land, and being helped out of the flat position required by the flight, I found my legs had turned to jelly and I had to be helped up – but I was as high as a kite.”

The grandmother-of-five, who lived for 22 years in Cyprus with her husband Graham, said: “I decided to do it after my family took me to Center Parcs for my 80th birthday. They had a small zip wire across the lake and I decided to give it a go and loved it.”

Adventure seems to run in the Smith family; journalist Penny, best known to television audiences thanks to her 17 years on the GMTV sofa, backpacked around the world in the early 1980s and was once held at gunpoint in Thailand.

And the pensioner’s eldest son Stephen cycled alone from England to Rome when he was just 15.

She added: “I held my breath while they were away. It’s probably a good thing there weren’t mobile phones back then so I didn’t know about any danger until they were safe.”

Despite her own recent brush with adventure, Mrs Smith revealed it has not given her a taste for further daredevil antics.

She said: “If I absolutely needed to I could do it again, and I’d probably be less nervous, but I’ve got nothing planned.”

So far the challenge has helped the retired secretary raise £1,750 for her village’s Age Concern day centre, which is set to lose £18,000 in county council funding.

Judith Bennett, vice chair of Chalgrove Age Concern trustees, said: “We are so grateful to Christine. What she's done is amazing.”

She explained the group is currently trying to fill a funding black hole after it was announced in April grants would be axed for day centres across Oxfordshire.

She added: “The council are providing some transitional funding but it is still a lot of extra money to find. We can’t rely on people continuing to do mad things like Christine.”

Chairman of trustees, John Molloy, said: “Christine is a star and people's generosity has been overwhelming. Of course there is a big funding gap to fill, but what a start.”

A spokesman for the county council said: “There are around 200 voluntary or private sector daytime support facilities in Oxfordshire.

“Around 150 of these do not and have not received any grant funding from Oxfordshire County Council. They thrive regardless.”

He added: “Of the remaining number the vast majority applied for, and will receive, transitional funding when grant funding arrangements change.

“In future years there will still be some grant funding pots available for voluntary sector daytime support providers to bid in to.”

To donate to Mrs Smith’s fund visit justgiving/crowdfunding/chalgrovetuesdayclub.