Walliams completes charity swim

Actor David Walliams has completed his 140-mile charity swim along the River Thames, raising more than £1m.

Actor David Walliams has completed his 140-mile charity swim along the River Thames, raising more than £1m.

The funnyman finished his journey in eight days as thousands of fans gathered at Westminster Bridge to cheer him on.

The Little Britain star's final approach was one of the most gruelling of his journey as he battled the tidal section of the river, dodging debris and strong currents.

Also waiting to greet him on Westminster Bridge were his wife Lara Stone, Lenny Henry, Barbara Windsor, comedian Miranda Hart and Olympic rower Steve Redgrave.

When asked by Henry what he would like to say to his fans who have supported him, he said: "Thank you so much, thank you for your waves, your cheers, but most of all thank you for your donations, because each time this would be completely meaningless unless you all put your hands in your pocket, and I know times are hard so I really, really thank you from the heart, you're really going to make peoples' lives better."

"It was hard work," he then told BBC News. "It was really, really tough and the distance took it out of me. I did a lot of training but I don't know quite how you can prepare for this because it's an endurance event."

He went on: "It wasn't really fun, it was 140 miles swimming in cold water so the fun bit is when you get out.

"You are alone with your thoughts for a really long time. Some days I was in the water for 10-12 hours so you sometimes have delusional thought so you try to think of songs that you love or movies that you love.

"I used to like swimming, it was a lot harder than I thought."

Walliams, 40, set off from Lechlade in Gloucestershire on Monday and had to contend with not only the aches and pains of the swim, but also diarrhoea, vomiting and low energy levels from 'Thames tummy'.

He has also struggled with a painful rash where his wetsuit has rubbed his neck.

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