David Walliams to swim the Thames

140-mile challenge for Sport Relief

David Walliams is preparing to swim 140 miles along the Thames to raise money for Sport Relief.

The Little Britain star – who has previously swum the Channel and the Straits of Gibraltar – aims to swim from Lechlade in Gloucestershire to Big Ben in London in eight days.

Risks include cramp, unpredictable currents, boats and the 39 million cubic metres of raw sewage that flows into the Thames every year.

Walliams said: ‘Most people in the UK know the Thames, and most people think the idea of swimming in it is horrifying. And it is. It'll be relentless. It's a huge distance so I'll need all the support I can get.

‘It's really not a safe environment to swim in - people really mustn't try this, I have an incredible team of experts to help keep me safe. If there's a lot of rainfall there'll be a lot of sewage present so I've had to have loads of jabs.’

The swim begins on September 5, and will be filmed for a documentary to be broadcast in March next year.

Published: 29 Aug 2011

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