Hollywood hunk Matt Damon's uncle has become the oldest person ever to swim the English Channel - at the age of 70.

GEORGE BRUNSTAD arrived on the French coast in the early hours after a gruelling 34 kilometre (21 mile) swim, raising approximately $12,000 (GBP6,600) for Haitian children.

The retired pilot told reporters on his arrival, "I am tired, but this is it, I've got the world record and I feel wonderful.

"When I arrived I just said, 'Praise the Lord,' stood on the beach and raised my arms in a V sign."

The swim took 15 hours and 59 minutes and Brunstad, a champion swimmer who had trained for the challenge for a year, took the record from a 67-year-old.

30/08/2004 08:58