Belfast Telegraph

Walliams poised to end Thames swim

David Walliams is nearing the end of his epic 140-mile Thames swim - as his mother hailed him "the nation's sweetheart".

The Little Britain star made an early start in order to beat the tide and is due to complete the swim at around 6pm in central London.

Thousands of cheering fans greeted him last night as he made it to Teddington Lock after a 21-mile stint - his longest day so far.

As well as the aches and pains of carving through the water from Lechlade in Gloucestershire to the edge of London, he has battled "Thames tummy" and struggled with a painful rash where his wetsuit has rubbed his neck.

His 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."

Walliams said the monotony was getting to his mind. "Every part of my body aches," he told Radio 1 presenter Chris Moyles.

"I'm going a little bit loopy because I've just been looking down at the dark water for about 12 hours a day for the last week and not much human contact.

"To be honest with you, Chris, I'm kind of over swimming now and I need to just have a nice lie-down."

He had raised almost £980,000 by this morning. Supporters can sponsor the performer at www.sportrelief.com/walliams.

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