A STOURBRIDGE actor swapped treading the boards for pounding the streets to complete his first charity marathon in just over five hours.

Alan Birch, who is well-known for playing Inspector Drake in the David Tristam Inspector Drake movies and plays, ran the first-ever Birmingham International Marathon on Sunday in aid of Little Hearts Matter.

The 57-year-old, from Wollaston, raised £600 for the charity which he said he wanted to support as he felt "some children born with half a heart would love to run around just for the shear joy of being able to" and he wanted to do what he could to help.

Anyone wishing to add to his fundraising total can still do so online at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alan-birch2

Having completed many fun runs and even a half marathon, a 26-miler was the logical next step for Alan, who is a graphic designer by day, and he proudly managed to run the entire course - "only stopping once to share my pain easing gel with someone who was sitting on the road rubbing his leg".

But he said afterwards: "I never realised just how many hills there are in Birmingham. I enjoyed the experience but I think I'll stick to fun runs from now on. The training is too time consuming."