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Sunday, September 11, 2011

What a hero! David Walliams saves a dog from drowning as he continues with Thames swim


What a hero! David Walliams today saved a dog from drowning as he continued his Thames swim for Sport Relief

Comedian David Walliams yesterday saved a dog from drowning despite suffering from ‘Thames Tummy’ during his marathon charity swim along the river.

The Little Britain star swam to save the one-year-old labrador after hearing him splash into the water. The animal, called Vinny, was struggling to get out because it has a bad hip.

Walliams grabbed the dog by the scruff of the neck and pushed it on to the river bank near Cookham Lock in Berkshire.

Bravery: Walliams pushed the Labrador to safety after the canine jumped in to greet the comedian

Walliams said: ‘I heard a splash and looked over to be met with the face of a sweet labrador.

‘I thought he was fine, but he started to really struggle when he was getting out so I swam over and helped his owner get him out.’

Vinny’s owner Steve Outten, 23, from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, said: ‘Vinny has hip dysplasia and was really struggling to get out just as David was swimming past.

‘He stopped, swam over and helped me get him out, which when you think what he’s going through with the swim is totally amazing. What a man.’

Hero's welcome: Walliams is applauded and cheered as he arrives at Bray Lock this afternoon

Support: Walliams said he has been amazed by the amount of support he has received from members of the public

Talking about his brave rescue, Walliams said: 'We had a little incident with a dog on the way to Maidenhead - I heard a splash and looked over to be met with the face of a sweet Labrador. I thought he was fine, but he started to really struggle when he was getting out so I swam over and helped his owner get him out.'

Walliams' rescue mission came as he was supported by his supermodel wife Lara Stone, who followed him on a boat as he swam.

Lara even fed Walliams a cookie as he stopped for a quick snack break on his way to Bray Lock in Maidenhead.

Taking to her Twitter page this morning, Lara wrote: 'He really is flying!! SO PROUD!!!!! #thamesswim @sportrelief.'

Support: David Walliams' wife Lara Stone came to support him on his Thames swim today

She later added: 'Another amazing reception! So many people, too sweet, brings tears to my eyes.'

Lara wasn't the only famous face supporting Walliams today, as comedian Miranda Hart also popped along.

After making him some porridge for breakfast, Miranda was ready and waiting with a dressing gown for Walliams as he pulled himself out of the water for a quick pitstop.

Walliams added: 'It's been a great day today. My wife Lara has been in the boat cheering me on which was such a big boost to me. Miranda Hart came along and made me porridge too which was a lovely thought, but slightly less lovely in practice.'

Slowly but surely: Walliams, seen here yesterday, is in much better spirits today

Grinning from ear to ear: Walliams smiled for the camera as he prepared to get into the water this morning

He added: 'My tummy has settled a bit and I had fish and chips and some pizza last night so feel better.

'We have broken through the 100 mile barrier now which is great, but once I reach Teddington Lock the Thames becomes tidal and there's a whole new set of challenges.

'The currents and undertows are very dangerous so I'll need to be strong.'

Eat up! Lara feeds Walliams a cookie to keep him energised for the swim

Famous faces: Lara was joined on the boat by comedian Miranda Hart

Walliams was also encouraged on the charity swim yesterday by his close friend, fellow comedian Jimmy Carr, who was there to congratulate him as he reached the halfway point of the challenge in Henley-on-Thames.

Earlier this week, the former Little Britain star was struggling to continue with the challenge after contracting 'Thames Tummy' from the murky Thames water.

But speaking about his progress yesterday, Walliams said: 'It's fantastic to be half way - although if I think for too long about the fact that I've got to do as many miles again, I feel even sicker than normal.

'I'm learning to live with the stomach bug and had a more settled night. I even tucked into fish and chips, so I’m taking food on board again.'

Spurring him on: David stopped to shake Michael Parkinson's hand

source: dailymail


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