A 61-year-old Swindon swimmer who conquered throat cancer is now looking to finish of the UK’s toughest sporting challenges.

Les Slinn from Taw Hill was set to complete the London Classics, a trio of marathons featuring the London Marathon and Ride London when a cancer diagnosis forced him to miss out on the third - Swim Serpentine.

“Prior to the event about three years ago, I was diagnosed with a tongue cancer, in the back of my tongue and throat.

“I’m a personal trainer so it felt like my whole world was falling apart,” he said.

Les had to cancel the open water marathon swim and after a series of scans and biopsies underwent two lots of chemotherapy and five weeks of radiotherapy.

He also needed a feeding tube in his stomach because his throat swelled up so much he couldn’t eat.

Three years on from his diagnosis in 2018 Les is now clear of cancer and is starting to get back into the full swing of personal training.

And he is planning to finally complete the third part of the London Classics when he takes on Swim Serpentine on September 18.

“I just want to say to anyone that getting diagnosed with cancer doesn’t always have to mean that’s the end of everything. Stay strong and stay positive.

“If anyone reading this is diagnosed this week or in a couple of weeks, I hope they remember there’s hope and they stay strong.”

Les was lucky because the cancer was caught early. He noticed a lump on his lymph nodes and went straight to see his doctor which led to the cancer diagnosis.

He said: “I caught it early so there were options for my treatment. It was cancer, and obviously all cancer is serious but I would urge everyone to go and see a doctor as soon as they think something might be wrong.

“I dread to think what would’ve happened if I didn’t go to the doctors when I did. I certainly wouldn’t be as strong as I am now.

“There must be thousands of people who don’t go and get things checked out because they’re worried, if I hadn’t it wouldn’t have been good.”

Les is doing the swim to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society, because his mother was diagnosed with the disease in the same year he received his cancer diagnosis.

Les holds a Guinness World Record for completing the London Marathon in 2011 dressed as a Roman soldier.

He raised money for Save the Rhino for his second London Marathon in 2021, dressed like a rhino and he completed Ride London, the capital's largest annual cycling festival, in 2017.