Comedian David Walliams has completed and eight day challenge to swim the length of the Thames and has so far raised more than £1,090,000 in donations for Sport Relief and donations are still being accepted online.
The challenge started last Monday close to the source of the river in Gloucester and after swimming just over 140 miles he crossed the Westminster finish line at 6.24pm where he was welcomed by cheering crowds as well as his wife, Lara Stone and celebrities including Lenny Henry, Miranda Hart, Barbara Windsor, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Mark Foster and Sir Steve Redgrave.
Walliams said: “Thank you for your waves, thank you for your cheers but most of all thank you for your donations.”
The money raised includes donations from the public and a donation of £330,000 from BT, which makes up part of the £1m total it has pledged to Sport Relief 2012 through similar celebrity challenges in the lead up to Sport Relief 2012 next March.
The public are advised against swimming in the Thames due to the tides, river traffic and risk of illness. Walliams himself contracted a bug from bacteria in the water. He had an extensive specialist support team of experts to make the swim as safe as possible, the cost of which was covered by additional sponsorship from BT as well as gifts in kind from organisations involved.