Comedian David Walliams’ hero status was further cemented today as he helped a pet Labrador while continuing his brave attempt to swim the length of the Thames.

The dog drama came as the TV star swam towards Cookham Lock in Berkshire, where Vinny the one-year-old Labrador was struggling to get out of the water due to a bad hip.

Walliams said: "I heard a splash and looked over to be met with the face of a sweet Labrador."

He added: "I thought he was fine, but he started to really struggle when he was getting out so I swam over and helped his owner get him out."

The animal's owner Steve Outten, 23, from High Wycombe, said: "Vinny has hip dysplasia and was really struggling to get out just as David was swimming past. He stopped, swam over and helped me get him out, which when you think what he's going through with the swim is totally amazing, what a man."

So far, Walliams has raised more than £500,000 and BT is giving £40,000 a day to the fund.