Brave David Walliams pushes through the pain to continue Thames swim while suffering with stomach bug

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By Sarah Bull

Pushing through the pain: David Walliams was seen having a rub down as he stood in his wetsuit before taking to the water. He has swum five miles today so far

Doubts were cast over his ability to complete the grueling 140-mile swim after he was struck down with a stomach bug.

But David Walliams is pushing through his pain to continue swimming making a slow, but steady pace.

Before a short break this lunchtime the comedian had completed five miles this morning.

A spokesperson for the swim told MailOnline: 'He is back in the water and a doctor has confirmed that his stomach is settling.'

'He is having to stop regularly to have hydration tablets because he just can't keep anything down and he needs the fuel.'

David contracted a serious stomach bug yesterday after swallowing some of the murky water.

Helping hands: David has been making slow and steady progress today but had to be helped out of the water for a rub down

Give us a hand: Walliams is helped out of the water as he prepares to take another break to rehydrate

In a picture posted on the Sport Relief Twitter page today, Walliams appeared to be struggling to continue after coming down with 'Thames Tummy', an upset stomach caused by intake of the murky water which harbours a cocktail of bacteria such as E.coli, salmonella and hepatitis.

Walliams had attempted to put the bug behind him as he once again got into the water and tried to complete his 18 miles of swimming today.

However at the pace he is going it is looking unlikely he will complete his goal for today and fall further behind.

Struggling: David Walliams appears to be in a lot of pain as he receives a massage

He has so far swam 38 of his 140-mile journey, and is swimming for up to eight hours a day in order to complete the challenge in just eight days.

In other pictures of Walliams' Sport Relief challenge, the comedian was seen receiving treatment from a physiotherapist in between swimming the length of the river.

Still clad in his wetsuit, Walliams grimaced as the physiotherapist gently helped him stretch out his sore legs.

You can do it! But Walliams got a lot of support along the way, with school children cheering as he swam past them in Wittenham, Oxfordshire

Fighting through: Walliams struggled through the pain to continue in his charity challenge

The comedian, who is married to stunning supermodel Lara Stone, is attempting to swim from Gloucestershire to London over eight days to raise money for Sport Relief.

Yesterday, the comedian was up at dawn in a bid to make up some of the distance he lost the day before.

He said: 'I was determined to make up for the time I lost yesterday so I started at dawn and made up two miles but the weather is causing a real issue.

Painful: As well as his aches and pains, Walliams has now contracted a serious stomach bug which is putting the swim into doubt

Demanding: Walliams is attempting to swim the length of the River Thames for Sport Relief

'The wind on my face is harsh and the torrential rain is making today extra difficult.

'Plus, the fact that I got up so early to make up for lost time means that I'm having to refuel more often, making the schedule difficult to stick to.

'Despite how tough it is, every pound donated is really helping to keep me going.'

Battling through: Walliams has been struggling with the physically-demanding swim

The BT Sport Relief Challenge: Walliams vs The Thames is being filmed for a documentary to be broadcast in the build-up to the Sport Relief weekend in March next year.

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.

Walliams, who was supported by his wife, model Lara Stone, and mother Kathleen as he set off, is asking for people to sponsor him at