Walliams completes Thames swim

David Walliams has completed his epic 140-mile charity swim in the River Thames after battling diarrhoea and vomiting.

The comedy star, who suffered from "Thames tummy" during the journey, swam from Gloucestershire to central London in eight days and managed to raise more than £1m for Sport Relief.

Walliams completed the challenge after reaching Westminster Bridge, cheered on by thousands of fans.

Among those who greeted him at the finish 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."

He added: "I know times are hard so I really, really thank you from the heart, you're really going to make peoples' lives better."

He said of Sport Relief: "I believe myself it's great work the charity does so it just makes me want to do more and more."

His 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.

Walliams had inoculations and was given a precautionary course of antibiotics in order to brave the Thames.

Part of the river has had 500,000 cubic metres of sewage poured into it in the past week.

As well as suffering aches and pains, Walliams, who started his swim in Lechlade in Gloucestershire - has also struggled with a painful rash where his wetsuit has rubbed his neck.

He had initially planned to do the journey in trunks, but the cold water conditions meant he needed further protection.

Walliams' mother, Kathleen, said: "I feel people think they're part of this because they can actually see him doing it.

"He's the, sort of, nation's sweetheart because he's doing this - rescuing dogs along the way and waving to people when all he wants to do is lay down almost. I'm very, very proud of him."

Supporters can sponsor the performer at www.sportrelief.com/walliams

(c) Sky News

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