Dan Wallace has got talent and it will soon be deployed in hot pursuit of David Walliams. From Little Britain to northern France, the Olympic silver medallist is plotting a safe route through choppy waters and cargo ships over a distance markedly longer than the ones he covered during his pomp in the pool which took him to the podium at Rio 2016, and at world championships and Commonwealth Games.

The Other DW raised £1 million from his Channel swim.

“If we can surpass the £300k mark, we’ll be the second-most,” said the Scot, now 30 and five years retired from the pool.

Cancer Research and Ukraine Relief stand to benefit. It will be, he knows, quite the marathon compared to freestyle sprints lasting 400 metres or less. But he acknowledges: “I was so used to the pressure and the racing environment of the Olympic Games that I didn’t see that as tough anymore. I just had to really perform. So the expectation was there. But the physical demand wasn’t actually that difficult. This is definitely harder. It’s longer, it’s more intense.”

A band of brothers has been reformed for the attempt, scheduled for a favourable tide in a few weeks. Ross McWhirter and Jordan Dunn, from his old stomping ground at Edinburgh’s Warrender Club, plus Jack Blyzinskyj, a Londoner of Ukrainian heritage, and Australian Harrison Haines from his former aquatics crew at the University of Florida.

“None of us were distance swimmers,” Wallace says. “We really come to the water, but we’re having to put in quite a few hours in the pool to get our endurance as high as we need. There’s going to be times we’re in the water and maybe feeling a bit cold or a bit tired. And I guess when the going gets tough, that’s going to trigger that mindset of never giving up and almost enjoying the pain and pushing through it. Definitely the years of training and the dedication and commitment we used to show is something we’re leaning on again. We stick in, and keep going, because that’s something we had to deal with quite a lot as athletes, both in racing and training.”

The mission commences, in harsh reality, in the coming days. Those seeking clearance for a Channel crossing must pass a test by swimming for two hours, without a wetsuit, in waters chillier than 16 degrees.

“We’re most likely going to get mild hypothermia,” he says casually. “We’re going to have to be feeding and refuelling. And our core temperature’s probably going to drop a couple of degrees, and we’re going to have to endure that for about two hours. That’s actually in my eyes, possibly harder than the swim itself. We’re all scattered around, so I’m going to be doing that qualifying stuff on my own.”

Walliams, watch out.

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