7 MARCH 2008

Little Britain star David Walliams was greeted with a hero's welcome after braving passing tankers, freezing water - and even dolphins and whales - to complete a gruelling 12-mile charity swim across the Strait of Gibraltar.

The comedy actor joined Olympic rower James Cracknell on the epic journey - which the pair finished in just under four-and-a-half hours - completed for Sport Relief. It was the final stretch of James' 10-day journey from Britain to Africa.

The sports star had already rowed the English Channel and cycled 1,385 miles to Spain to raise money for the charity.

It's not the first time David has put on a wetsuit and goggles for a good cause. Two years ago he raised £1 million after crossing the English Channel in an impressive ten hours and 34 minutes, swimming through shoals of jellyfish and water temperatures as low as 15C.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
The Little Britain star set off from a beach in Tarifa Spain, to cross the 12-mile stretch across the Strait of GibraltarPhoto: © PAClick on photos for gallery
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Before setting off on his epic journey – completed with Olympic rower James Cracknell to raise funds for Sport Relief - David admitted he was worried about the possibility of encountering sharksPhoto: © PA