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David Walliams Tackles the Thames

6th September 2011

In a valiant attempt to raise money for Sport Relief, Little Britain star and awards host David Walliams, plunged into the freezing River Thames in his quest to swim the 140-mile length of the River.

Walliams, who raised £1m when he swam the Channel in 2006, is swimming from Gloucestershire to London over the course of eight days to raise money for the charity.

Walliams will pass through several major towns en route, including Oxford, Reading, Henley, Maidenhead, Windsor, Kingston and Richmond.

"I must be a masochist," Walliams told the Telegraph whilst perched on the riverbank in Lechlade, to the sound of handclapping and cheering from hundreds of fans and wellwishers who gathered to see him off.

"I wanted to do something else and I'd just turned 40 and I thought I haven't got much time left because my body is falling apart."

During the fundraising swim, Walliams will be wary of the 39 million cubic metres of raw sewage that finds its way into the Thames every year – as well as swans.

"When I got here last night there were about 30 swans and I have been attacked by swans in the training, so I am actually quite nervous about them," the comedian said before the race.

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