Swimming the English Channel is a feat that only 300 people attempt a year and one which only 20% can complete. More people have climbed Mount Everest than have swum the channel if that puts it into perspective!

So what better way to test a bunch of celebrities who aren’t confident in water than setting them that challenge?

It’s a hell of a way to raise money for Stand Up to Cancer and so that’s what ten water-shy celebs have agreed to do.

Everyone from Love Island’s Wes Nelson to TOWIE’s Arg and Georgia Kousoulou has signed up to the task, each with their own reasons for being less confident swimming and for signing up. But there is one celebrity who has a more monumental physical challenge than the rest and that is Alex Brooker.

Here’s what happened to comedian Alex when he commenced the epic charity challenge.

Screenshot: Sink or Swim 2019 E1 – 4oD

Alex Brooker on Sink or Swim

Alex is a 35-year-old comedian, TV presenter and journalist best known for his work on Channel 4 panel show The Last Leg.

He signed up to do the SU2C swim as a challenge for both himself and to others who do not believe he can do it. He said in the first episode (Tuesday, August 27th): “I want to prove myself and other people wrong.”

Alex was born with hand and arm deformities and a twisted right leg which had to be amputated when he was just 13-months old. Always the joker, Alex spoke about the difficulty swimming and treading water “when you have no feet.”

But the jokes were not always flowing, as there were real moments where Alex was afraid in the water. But it didn’t stop him from keeping up with the rest of his relay team when they embarked on their first challenge… a 500 metre swim across Lake Windemere.

“Inspirational quotes from mum to son”

There’s nothing like a good old pep talk when you’re down and that’s exactly what Alex needed after his initial swimming lessons. Things were looking too physically draining for Alex but his mother had some wise and “inspirational quotes” to push him on!

A visit home to his mother’s house made Alex emotional as he thought about what his father – who has recently passed – would have said to him.

And the emotions did not stop flowing for Alex as he took on the first swimming challenge despite mum’s advice.

Screenshot: Sink or Swim 2019 E1 – 4oD
Screenshot: Sink or Swim 2019 E1 – 4oD

Tearful Alex makes the 500m mark

After doubting himself throughout the episode, Alex defied his own conceptions of his limits and swam the initial 500-metre challenge swimming across Lake Windemere.

He also tread water for 5 minutes without hesitation.

Alex said “I need to be doing this otherwise how am I going to do a mile in the Channel if I can’t do 500 metres today?”

After 300 metres, Alex was in tears saying “this isn’t good enough” and almost stopped. But the will to carry on kicked in and he made it all the way across!

This is 100% one of our TV highlights of 2019.



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