He was once played by Hollywood star Taron Egerton in a hit film about his daredevil exploits as an Olympic ski jumper.

But Michael 'Eddie the Eagle' Edwards took on a new challenge when he visited Weymouth back in May 2013 to swim with the Sea Life Centre's black-tipped sharks.

The visit was three years before hit film Eddie the Eagle, also starring Hugh Jackman, was released. The biopic told how in 1988 Mr Edwards became the country's first competitor since 1928 to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping - finishing last in the 70m and 90m events.

On his visit Mr Edwards also posed with his namesake - a sea eagle which was visiting the attraction from its base at Warwick Castle.

Dorset Echo:

 He said: “It was nice to be invited to launch the sea eagles attraction, and then I was suddenly invited to go swimming with sharks.

“It’s really exciting and something I’ve never done before.

“It’s just a shame it’s not great white sharks.”

Dorset Echo:

Mr Edwards said he combined the launch with a family holiday in Weymouth.

“It’s a great town for families, with the beach and so many different things to do.

“We love it here and visit quite often.”

The birds of prey were on display at the Sea Life Centre over the May bank holiday weekend in 2013.

Proving he was a regular visitor to Weymouth, Mr Edwards had also visited the resort in 2012 to demonstrate the safety mechanisms on the Sea Life Tower, which was dismantled in December 2019.