David Walliams completes Thames charity swim


Comedian reaches Westminster Bridge finish line in aid of Sport Relief.


By Katriona Ormiston

David Walliams completed his 140 mile Thames charity swim yesterday.

The Little Britain star, 40, swam past cheering crowds under the Westminster Bridge finish line.

His journey, which took eight days, started in Lechdale and saw him pass through South West London boroughs including Richmond and Kingston.

He was congratulated by Dutch model wife Lara Stone and rewarded by the impressive fund-raising figure of £1,194,258 for Sport Relief, which is still rising. 

Olympians Sir Steve Redgrave and swimmer Mark Foster, as well as celebrities such as Barbara Windsor, joined the celebrations alongside hundreds of supporters.

Walliams said: “I’ve just swum the length of the Thames. I feel quite tired.”

Gini Chappell was among the crowd and said: “I waited for him to come under Chelsea Bridge. We stood out on top of the houseboat and watched him swim by and then I ran all the way from there beside him.

“He was so fast, he had a really good stroke even towards the end.”

Walliams was plagued with a bout of “Thames Tummy” last week, which put him behind schedule.

It did however raise awareness of the conditions of his swim and he received a huge amount of support from famous faces in the twittersphere.

John Prescott tweeted: “I swam Thames for a mile to protest against nuclear dumping at sea & got sick. HUGE respect for David Walliams.”

The swim was seven times the length of the English Channel, a challenge Walliams already completed in 2006 for Sport Relief. He has succeeded in his aim to beat the £1 million he raised then.

The money will help people such as 12-year-old Philip, an orphan who he met living in a centre in Kenya funded by Sport Relief, and who wants to be a pilot.

“He’s living in the most desperate circumstances, yet he still has great aspirations. I think about him and not wanting to let him down,” he said.

Supporters can sponsor Walliams at

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