The lengths (and widths) they go to... Frank Skinner dives in
Comedian overcomes his fear of swimming to complete a length for Sport Relief
Saturday 24 March 2012
Frank Skinner has overcome his lifelong fear of water to complete a length of a swimming pool – despite a panic attack.
The comedian swallowed some water during his feat in Sport Relief but battled through, encouraged by a crowd of supporters including Adrian Chiles and Clare Balding.
Skinner swam his 25 metres at the Barnet Copthall Leisure Centre in north London. The 55-year-old, who is due to become a father later this year, underwent eight weeks of training to overcome his phobia.
"Towards the end I had one of my little panics that I often have – but I could hear the crowd and I just thought 'No, no, I can't stop now' and I kept going. I was half drowning, half choking – it was a good advert for terror," he said.
As he rose from the pool at the end of his ordeal, Skinner was given a congratulatory hug by his trainer David Tatler. He said afterwards: "I'm absolutely knocked out. I'm so relieved and excited. I lay in bed last night thinking about all the different ways I wouldn't finish that length.
"I want someone to learn to swim because of this. I know it looked really tough and frightening but I've had a good laugh and it will stay with me for ever."
While Skinner was conquering his fear, in Salford groups of schoolchildren were soaking up the atmosphere as they watched the Queen start a special Sport Relief Mile.
Her Royal Highness and The Duke Of Edinburgh were visiting MediaCityUK – the new home of BBC North in Manchester – where they launched a BBC staff run ahead of the nationwide event on Sunday.
On their tour of Manchester and Salford, the Queen and the Duke unveiling two plaques, one at the BBC studios, where Match Of The Day and CBeebies are recorded, and another at Quay House, the home of BBC Sport.
In the studios, owned by Peel Holdings, they listened to the BBC staff choir and The Salford Family Orchestra.
BBC journalist David Waters ran in the staff mile and was alsoin the staff choir. "We were just settling in on our singing, when they stopped us and told us the mile was starting," he said. "Everyone was together and in such a good mood and it was great that the Queen graced us with her presence," he added.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer news: Gunners given boost in hunt for Marco Reus, why Wenger signed Gabriel Paulista, no move for Cheick Tiote
Chelsea injury news: Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic could join Diego Costa on the sidelines for crucial Manchester City clash
Australian Open 2015: Thanks to Amelie Mauresmo, it's no longer Andy Murray against the world
Fantasy Premier League: Invest in Arsenal to climb the ranks in Gameweek 23
Manchester United sign former Manchester City prospect Sadiq El Fitouri on advice from Phil Neville and Paul Scholes
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Canadian woman suing police who locked her in van with sex offender who then raped her
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key S...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...
£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...