Australia's most successful Olympian Ian Thorpe gave swimming lessons to children living in the borough yesterday.

Mr Thorpe, who has been presenting the games for the BBC, visited Tooting Bec Lido, in Tooting Bec Road, and instructed a group of youngsters.

The freestyle expert, who has six gold medals, planned the visit to encourage youngsters into sport and kick start the Olympic legacy.

Budding swimmers picked up tips from Mr Thorpe and also got their swimming caps signed.

Mr Thorpe, also known as the Thorpedo, then held a Q&A session in a bid to inspire people into getting active.

About 400 people flocked  to the swimming pool to see the sporting star, which is the largest outdoor pool in the UK.

Anthony Mason, operations manager for DC Leisure, said: "He wanted to come to a local London swimming club and do some lessons and meet some people.

"He loved it and thought it was amazing here, it is one of the premier open swimming venues in London.

"He was lovely and a natural teacher. Children were very keen to have swimming lessons from Ian, and there were a few older members."