Growing up we only had three TV channels to choose from. This means I remember all my favourite TV programmes vividly … from Why Don’t You? … to Blue Peter, to The Adventure Game, The Red Hand Gang and Jim’ll Fix It (RIP Jimmy.) One of my most favourite programmes, however, was Record Breakers, hosted by the late great Roy Castle, who never failed to impress me, even as a child, with his never ending enthusiasm and smiley face. Plus, the McQuirter twins were wonderfully weird. And tall. What’s not to love?
So it was very surreal to find myself boarding a train with Skig on Thursday, heading to the headquarters of the Guinness World Records in London. I wasn’t sure what to expect but all I know is, dedication’s what you need. (The more mature amongst us will get that joke )
We arrived at Warren Street tube station with plenty of time to spare. Good job really as my map reading skills leave a lot to be desired and we actually ended up doing a full circle on ourselves before we reached HQ. I would like to point out that we arrived at exactly 1.30pm, the time the event was meant to start. I hate tardiness as much as poor grammar so feel it’s important to point out. Right, OK, as I was saying.
The people that work at Guinness World Records were brilliant, not only welcoming to me, but particularly great with the children. Skig was given a VIP pass on a lanyard, which made him feel very important. There was a good spread of food and drink put on for us and Skig and I indulged in too many egg sandwiches, sausage rolls and Percy Pigs. Perfect.
It was great to see some of my favourite fellow bloggers there. What was even nicer was that our children got to hang out together too – the next generation of bloggers??
We were treated to visits from current world record holders which were introduced by Craig Glenday, the Editor. Craig was such an entertaining bloke who pitched to the audience of parents and kids perfectly. Craig very kindly even produced his very own Powerpoint presentation for us (when it finally loaded up – the first Powerpoint presentation I’ve ever watched that wasn’t boring,) and he explained the history of GWR, how it works, what is and isn’t acceptable and finally, we saw some photos of some great record holders. The world’s ugliest dog my particular favourite.
First up was Darius. Great bloke. Huge. Bit hairy. Slept a lot. Also happens to be the biggest rabbit in the world.
Then there was John Farnborough, a talented young man who holds five world records for football tricks. I’d be hard pushed to do two kick-ups but John was amazing.
Next up was Sean, all the way from Canada, who’s the fastest talker in the world. Think I might put Skig up for this challenge though – reckon he’d give Sean a run for his money. Sean recited Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody … in 47 seconds. Pretty impressive stuff. (Although give me a couple of vodkas and I reckon I could beat that.)
Finally, we met Sam Sam The Bubbleman. That’s his real name. The clue’s in the title – a man who has spent the last twenty years playing with bubbles. Suffice to say, he was all kinds of awesome, great with the kids and even encased Skig in his very own bubble!
We got to tour the offices, met the staff (who were the happiest staff I’ve ever met – why could I never have worked in an office like that!?) and came across a fascinating cabinet of interesting artifacts. A copy of the first ever GWR book, a Converse trainer the size of my car (well, not quite, but a size 30,) and the childrens’ favourite, ancient dinosaur puke. Brilliant.
Now you may be wondering just how did it come about that I ended up coming home a world record breaker myself? I’ll explain.
At the end of the afternoon, the GWR team put on three challenges for us all to take part in. Whoever completed each particular task in the fastest time would have the opportunity of officially competing, with full official adjudication, and if they beat the record, would appear in the actual Guinnes World Book of Records next year! All to play for.
I’ll preface this by just saying, I’m pretty competitive. Not in a ‘pushing little kids out of the way’ type way .. but I like winning. Oh yeah, and taking part. That too.
The three challenges were:
Who could put back together Mr Potato Head the fastest
Who could stack the most dice on top of each other in 30 seconds
Who could stack the most dominoes on top of each other in 30 seconds.
I ended up stacking the most dominoes in the warm up round and so got to take part in the official challenge. The video can be viewed on my blog post - to be found at www.witwitwoo.com.
So that’s how I became a world record breaker! How cool is that?!
And just when I didn’t think the day could get any better, we got to ride back to Euston train station on the world’s fastest sofa. No, seriously. We did. Look!
Big thanks to everyone involved at Guinness World Records. Skig and I had the best day EVER!