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Walliams splashes home in epic swim

Swimming sensation David Walliams has completed his 140-mile charity Thames journey to raise more than £1 million - and said he was glad it was over.

The TV comic rounded off eight days of relentless slog as he passed beneath Westminster Bridge in central London, with thousands lining the route.

Walliams, 40, said afterwards: "I think a bath is the only water I want to see for quite a while."

Walliams was greeted on Westminster Bridge by his wife Lara Stone who has been following his progress in a support boat. Lenny Henry, Barbara Windsor, comedian Miranda Hart and Olympic rower Steve Redgrave were also among the huge crowd whooping and cheering him on.

The Little Britain star's 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 set off from Lechlade in Gloucestershire on Monday and has had to contend with not only the aches and pains of the swim, but also diarrhoea, vomiting and low energy levels from "Thames tummy".

Organisers of the BT Sport Relief Challenge said his extraordinary swim had raised a total of £1,093,325 with money still flooding in.

He burned nearly 66,000 calories as he powered through 107,062 strokes on the 140.54-mile trip. Walliams admitted he had considered giving up when he was at his lowest ebb. "I thought I was going to give up, I thought I might need a couple of days out of the water but I just carried on. I was swimming a lot slower," he said.

"It wasn't really fun, it was 140 miles swimming in cold water so the fun bit is when you get out. You are alone with your thoughts for a really long time. Some days I was in the water for 10-12 hours so you sometimes have delusional thought so you try to think of songs that you love or movies that you love."

Walliams is no stranger to getting wet for a good cause - in 2006 he swam the Channel, raising £1 million in aid of Sport Relief. He has also swum the Straits of Gibraltar and last year cycled from John O'Groats to Lands End, also for Sport Relief.

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