Charity begins at home… or in the Thames

David Walliams completed an epic 140 mile swim in eight days, following the path of the River Thames to raise money for Sport Relief. He finished yesterday, and my guess is he’s been sleeping ever since. Almost immediately that he climbed out of the Thames for the last time, he spoke to the BBC for a surprisingly eloquent, if exhausted, interview.

I’m not normally one to take much notice of the crazy celebrity stunts. I vaguely followed Gary Barlow when he was climbing a mountain, but then Scott Mills walked a desert and that mostly passed me by. I was also only a little bit aware that Walliams had already swum the Channel – this Thames trip was his idea of topping that.

He certainly did top that. I followed it practically every step of the way, watching the map crawl from Gloucestershire towards his destination. I was stunned that he didn’t give up when he got sick, and when I saw some of the clips of kids cheering him on, even I started to feel a little bit of emotion.

I rolled my eyes when it was reported that he’d saved a dog’s life whilst swimming and was suddenly a hero – as though swimming 140 miles for charity isn’t good enough. I’m not his biggest fan, always been more on Matt Lucas’ side really, but this achievement just blew me away. When I read some of the things he’s up against, including talk of tides and sewage and cramps, I could only think that someone would have to pay me A LOT to do it, rather than the other way round.

He’s a crazy fool, there’s no denying that. But what a way to be crazy.

3 thoughts on “Charity begins at home… or in the Thames

  1. I find this incredible, what an achievement! So much respect for the guy, there was already enough after his Channel swim but this is something else.

    Hell, I get tired enough after a 40 minute swim after work! Also, who knew the Thames was so long?

  2. Also, who knew the Thames was so long?

    And so winding! It must have been depressing to know you were going back up when you had just spent the day swimming downwards.

  3. I had no idea he had swum 140 miles. I saw that he had done a huge distance one day and rescued a dog and had been ill but I didn’t know all that was part of a longer swim.

Comments are closed.