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  Neighbours' Matt swims the Channel
Updated 18 July 2002, 18.27
Neighbours' Stephen Hunt swam the Channel for charity
Clare Youell
CBBC Newsround Online
Neighbours star Stephen Hunt, who plays heart-throb Matt, went through 12 hours of agony to swim the English Channel for charity.

The actor had to endure pain, freezing cold water and even swimming with just one leg when his muscles gave out.

But Stephen told CBBC Newsround Online he was determined to finish, no matter what.

'Absolute murder'

Stephen trained hard for eight months
He's raised loads of money for Aids charities by doing the swim - and it's a cause that's close to his heart.

Stephen's uncle died from an Aids-related illness eight years ago and he did the swim for him.

Stephen said: "Because I was aiming at 10 hours I was swimming really hard the whole way and I was absolutely exhausted. I had nothing left, so the last two hours were absolute murder.

'I cried a bit'

Former Neighbours star Stephen Hunt
"I had my sister crying on the boat and a few other people crying just because they could see how much pain I was in.

"When I finally got there I could barely stand but it was just great. My parents actually sent me a card and it just said 'Bill would have been so proud of you'. And every time I think of that I cry. I've got tears in my eyes now. It was all for him."

Living with Tad

Luckily Stephen had been preparing for the swim for eight months, but the hardest thing was getting used to England's freezing water.

"The first time I got in I could only last half an hour before I just had to get out, I couldn't take it," he said. "But I didn't have any problem with the water temperature the whole way which was my biggest fear."

Stephen's now planning to live in London for a bit, where he shares a flat with old Neighbours pal, Jonathan Dutton, who plays Tad. They're hanging out with Daniel MacPherson, who played Joel.

'Advice'

"It's great fun, they're two great boys and I've known Daniel since High School, we're really good friends. I'm looking forward to some good times. We're just hanging out and looking to further our careers."

But he's had enough of swimming for a while.

"I love my swims but that was really horrible," he said. "I'm never doing it again."

And his advice to the rest of us?

"Catch the ferry!"

Watch/ListenBORDER=0
Stephen chats to NR OnlineStephen chats to NR Online
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More InfoBORDER=0
Find OutWhat is Aids?
ChatWebchat: Flick and Harold
ChatChat about your fave soaps!

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Past StoriesBORDER=0
Neighbours star to swim the Channel
Neighbours' Flick set for sexy new image
Happy Birthday Neighbours!

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Web Links
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Terence Higgins Trust
Aids Trust of Australia
Neighbours
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