Labrador causes a bit of a kerfuffle for Walliams

David Walliams, part man, part comedian, part fish, rescued a dog that got into difficulties whilst swimming in the Thames on the latest leg of his charity swim.

The star of Little Britain and Come Fly With Me was approaching Coockham Lock, Berkshire, on his gruelling 140-mile (225K) swimathon along the UK’s most famous river, when a Labrador named Vinnie leaped off the bank to join him.

Vinny’s owner, Gina Fidler, explained that her dog has a fixation with water: he has a bad hip, and undergoes regular exercise sessions in a pool, which help to alleviate his symptoms. She said:

“He’ll jump in at any opportunity.”

Taking a “humungous leap” into the water, the fearless Lab startled 40-year-old Walliams, who turned around to see what the commotion was. However, Vinny soon came unstuck as the bank was at least 3 feet higher than the water, and he couldn’t climb out. Noticing he was in trouble, Walliams swam towards him and helped him up onto the bank, before continuing on his way.

Walliams has undertaken the challenge in the name of charity Sport Relief. After seeing the conditions in which children on the streets of Kenya live, he took on the mammoth task. Incredibly, the distance he is swimming is the equivalent of crossing the English Channel seven times.

Ms Fidler was glad for the star’s help, but found the whole incident “surprising and a little bit embarrassing”. We’re sure that Vinny would have retired to his dog basket, along with a blanket and a couple of dog treats, to recover from his ordeal.