Million Pound Man: Exhausted David Walliams completes Thames swim as he raises over £1.1million

Labels: ,

-Total raised for Sport Relief so far stands at £1.1million
-Swam 110,000 strokes over 140 miles in eight days

By Emily Sheridan and Sarah Bull

Triumphant: David Walliams celebrates swimming 140 miles of the River Thames as he arrives on the South Bank at Westminster

David Walliams finally reached Westminster this evening after an epic 140-mile swim of the Thames.

The Little Britain star, 40, was greeted by his wife Lara Stone, celebrity friends, relatives and hundreds of fans as he climbed up the steps in front of the former County Hall building on the South Bank.

Exhausted and achy, the comedian said he was 'OK, a bit tired' after his challenging journey over the past eight days.

A kiss for my hero: The comedian's model wife Lara Stone couldn't wait to embrace her husband after he climbed out of the Thames

The comedian was met by friends Barbara Windsor, Miranda Hart and Lenny Henry as he heard he had raised more than £1.1million for Sport Relief.

Talking to The One Show about 45 minutes after his ascent from the river, he said: 'I feel incredible relief. I'm a bit over swimming... I feel like I've done enough for a lifetime.'

Amid widespread congratulations from everyone around him, Walliams played down his achievement: 'It was just swimming. It was just putting one arm in front of the other... just swimming.'

Although incredibly shattered following his epic journey, no doubt the adrenaline had kicked in giving Walliams the energy to celebrate as he was showered with ticker tape.

Just a few more strokes... Walliams just metres away from the finish line

I'm a celebrity... get me out of here! The exhausted comedian is helped out of the water on the steps at the former County Hall

All I want is a shandy and my bed: Walliams said he would have a quiet celebration sleeping after his epic journey

Despite battling a bout of 'Thames Tummy', a painful rash where his wetsuit rubbed and aching muscles, Walliams hasn't let anything stop him completing the challenge, which saw him swimming over 110,000 strokes.

Reflecting on his journey, he said: 'There was a lot against me at the beginning and the water was a lot colder because the summer was so bad.

'Being sick was a low point. I lost my mojo but I thought if I try I can keep going.

'You are alone with your thoughts for a really long time. Some days I was in the water for 10-12 hours so you sometimes have delusional thoughts so you try to think of songs that you love or movies that you love.'

'Proud to be British': Walliams paid tribute to all those who had supported him along the way, including sponsors and spectators

Back in Lara's arms: Walliams managed to sum up the energy to hug his stunning wife

As he prepared to head home for a nice warm bath, he jokingly asked his friend Windsor to sponge him down.

He said: 'Dame Barbara, will you bath me? I love this lady!'

He paid tribute to those who supported him along the way: 'What took me by surprise was the support. It made me really proud to be British. It's tough times and people have been so generous with their time and money.'

Among those congratulating him on Twitter was James Corden: 'I'm so inspired by David Walliams #thamesswim That next year I am going to try and swim a width of the Thames. Wish me luck!'

That's my friend! Barbara Windsor was one of the first people to greet Walliams when he got out of the river

Celebrity support: Lenny Henry (centre left) and Barbara Windsor (2nd right) were ready to greet him

Chris Moyles, who interviewed Walliams this morning, wrote: 'He did it!!!! Well done David Walliams and @sportrelief amazing achievement and a tonne of money raised for good causes. Respect.'

The tide helped the Little Britain star speed along the last 11 miles after a rest at Kew earlier today as he waited for a break in the tide.

This morning, Walliams tackled the toughest stretch of the Thames when it becomes tidal, with strong currents and undertows and busy river traffic.

A Twitter update on the Sport Relief page this morning explained: 'Day 8 of the #thamesswim is about to begin. Tidal Thames looking mildly irritated rather than full on angry - wet windy morning though.'

So relieved! Walliams declared he was 'a bit over swimming' after his amazing feat

Supporters: Hundreds of people were waiting on the South Bank of the Thames to cheer on the comedian at the finish line

Walliams has been supported by his Dutch model wife Stone, who travelled in a support boat, and was met along the way by celebrity friends including comics Jimmy Carr, Miranda Hart and Rob Brydon.

He said yesterday: 'The two things that have really kept me going so far are the updates of the fundraising totals I'm given and the stunning support I've been given by the public.

'There must have been tens of thousands of people along the route and I can hear their cheers as I'm swimming.

'I never expected this to catch the public's imagination like it has - there seems to have been a real carnival atmosphere around it which is lovely.'

Challenging journey: Walliams swam 140 miles from Lechdale in Gloucestershire to Westminster in London over eight days

And, speaking ahead of starting his swimming this morning, Walliams added: 'Today will see me entering the tidal stretch of the Thames with all the dangers that brings, so I'll need to be strong.'

Last night, Walliams ended his day by arriving at Teddington Lock just before 8pm, greeted by his proud and relieved wife.

Lara immediately tweeted her congratulations, exclaiming: 'Made it to Teddington Lock, beyond proud!!! @sportrelief #thamesswim #GODAVID.'

Keep going: Walliams, who was said to be 'dog-tired', sits on the support boat for the interview

Hero's greeting: David Walliams was given a warm welcome at lunchtime today, before setting off again for Teddington

It had been another tough day, which has seen David swim an astonishing 21 miles.

With his Thames tummy taking its toll and the cold rainy weather conditions, he tested himself to the limits of his endurance.

Concerned Lara tweeted yesterday afternoon: 'Poor David is in so much pain! Please keep supporting him, remember how far he's swam, and why he's doing this @sportrelief #thamesswim'.

Taking its toll: Walliams looked cheerful despite his 'Thames tummy' on the second to last day of his swim

In with a splash: David hit the water with renewed vigour to continue his swim