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Walliams in wetsuit for Thames swim

David Walliams has been forced to don a wetsuit despite hoping to swim the length of the Thames in just his trunks.

The comedy star, 40, was told to put on the wetsuit after his skin started to turn blue in the river.

A short distance into the charity swim, for Sport Relief, his trainer Greg Whyte spotted a blue tinge on the comic's back. He insisted the star change into his wetsuit at the first stop to stave off hypothermia.

Walliams said: "The first section of the swim has really shocked me. The water is two degrees colder than when I swam the Channel, just 15 degrees.

Although that doesn't sound like much, it has made a massive difference to how I've been able to cope."

He said: "Even though I don't like swimming in wetsuits because they're restrictive, I just had to wear one. Even if it only makes me think about the cold every 10 seconds rather than every five seconds

"I'm a bit daunted by the way this has started. You can train as much as you want but with these kind of things you don't really know what it will be like until you start them."

Shortly after 7pm on Monday the Sport Relief Twitter feed described Walliams as being in "a lot of pain" and said that he planned to end the day 2.3 miles short of his scheduled stopping point at Northmoor Lock in Oxfordshire.

He managed around 17 miles in his first day, and to avoid disappointing fans who had gathered at his planned stopping point in Bablock Hythe he travelled by boat to greet them.

Walliams is swimming 140 miles over eight days from Gloucestershire to London. The BT Sport Relief Challenge: Walliams vs The Thames will be filmed for a documentary to be broadcast in the build-up to the Sport Relief weekend in March next year.


From Belfast Telegraph