After reporting on Surge DJs world record victory yesterday, I spoke to Stephen Collins, one of the presenters of the show. He gave me the low down of their accomplishment:
“Our show (called 9AM Automatic) was broadcast from 9-11am every Saturday morning, and featured a mix of chaotic chat, crazy in-studio games and interviews with minor celebrity guests.
We came up with the world record idea at the start of 2013, when Jonny (the eventual record breaker) had brought in a bag full of old papers that were lying around his house, and thought we could have fun using them in an on-air game on our Saturday morning show. After a (very) short while thinking what to do, we looked online to check if there was a world record for wrapping people in newspaper. And lo and behold, we found that there was, and that the record sat at a very breakable 3 minutes and 7 seconds.
Jonny immediately attempted a live practice on Sam (another presenter, who’d be the model in the actual record attempt), and were amazed to find that we were only 15 seconds outside the record on our very first try. With Jonny coming so agonisingly close, we made it our mission to knuckle down to some serious practice, and do everything in our power to smash that record and write our names in the history books.
We got a fantastic response from our listeners when we introduced this record-breaking idea, with fans getting right behind our efforts through encouraging texts and email messages.
Following numerous exhausting, but hilarious, practice nights round at my house, we set a date for Saturday 27th April to try and break the record live on SURGE radio.
In the days leading up to it, we did interviews and photo shoots with the Southern Daily Echo to gather publicity for the event, and by the morning of the event, the tension was palpable. I could hardly sleep the night before it!
But Jonny pulled it out of the bag. He is a man for the big occasion. With the eyes and ears of Southampton fixed on his wrapping and taping skills, he sneaked in under the old record to set a new world best of 3 minutes and 5 seconds. We had some muted celebrations afterwards, but we didn’t want to get ahead of ourselves.
There was still a lot of paperwork to fill in, and a long, agonising wait after we posted our in-depth evidence to the big-wigs at Guinness World Records HQ in London. There are so many ways that we could have failed in our efforts to grab the record…any part of the body being left uncovered, getting the timings wrong, having insufficient evidence etc. It was a seriously nervy wait for all of us involved.
We sent the people at Guinness World Records video footage of the event, photos from every possible angle, witness statements from our 2 independent adjudicators and all the other publicity stuff that we’d accumulated over the months leading up to the big day itself. And then we waited…
But then, the most amazing, magical news landed in my inbox on the morning of 19th September. The best news I’d heard all year. It didn’t say much, it simply expressed ‘Congratulations’, and told us that we had OFFICIALLY broken the world record. Just incredible.
It’s such a thrill to know that the radio show that we’ve all had an absolute ball putting together every single week at uni has left a lasting legacy. All the long hours we put in to planning this seemingly bizarre record attempt have not gone to waste.
We’re absolutely over the moon. I’ve been in touch with the other boys on the team today, and we’re all completely ecstatic. We look forward to meeting up very soon for some celebratory drinks.
9AM Automatic has achieved its rightful place in the history books. And we could not be any more delighted.”