So, you fancy getting yourself a Guinness World Records title?
Well, you’ve come to the right place!
In our brand new Behind the Scenes series, we’re inviting our fans to have a peek behind the curtain at the inner-workings of Guinness World Records.
And what better way to start than by going over exactly what it takes to become a record holder and be declared Officially Amazing.
We’ve enlisted the help of David Wilson from our Records Team to walk you through the basics.
Consider this a complete beginner’s guide to achieving a Guinness World Records title…
As well as recently training to become an adjudicator, David – or Dave as we’ll call him because we’re all friends here – has been working at GWR for almost three years.
Day to day, Dave and his team work through all the applications sent into us, whether that’s people who want to attempt to break an existing record, or create a brand new one.
He’s also one of the people who’ll eventually review the evidence you’ve submitted and determine whether or not you’re a record holder.
“Getting a record means so much to people,” Dave said. “And I feel so lucky to be a part of that – we all do.”
So, let’s kick things off by talking about our existing record titles.
Oh, and by the way, there are around 65,000 of them. We know, we’re spoiling you aren’t we?
“The best advice I can give you is use the search function on our website as much as possible,” Dave said.
“The best thing about Guinness World Records is that there really is something for everyone!
“Whatever your hobby or skill, it’s very possible that there’s already a record in our system that you could be applying for.
“Just read, read, and read! Do your homework, and always make sure you look up the existing record as well, because it’s pointless coming to us and saying, ‘Hey, I can do four push-ups in a minute’, because the record will be way more than that.”
Dave added: “Make sure you know your stuff and come in with some prior knowledge, and then if your application is all good to go, we’ll send you the guidelines.
“And again, I can’t stress enough how important it is to read absolutely everything!
“The guidelines are designed so that someone could have never seen this done before, but read them and know exactly what they need to do to break the record.
“Unfortunately there have been times when someone is sure they’ve set a new record but we’ve had to disqualify them because they haven’t properly followed the guidelines.
“And we don’t want to do that – we want everyone to be successful!”
So, what if you’ve searched our database and you can’t find the perfect record? Can you propose a brand new record title?
“Yes, but we have some rules when it comes to creating new records,” Dave said.
They have to be achievable, but also breakable, and most importantly, they have to be open to everyone and something we can actually measure.
Dave explained: “For example, we couldn’t create a record that was ‘most marathons completed by someone from Manchester’ because not everybody is from Manchester.
“And records have to be measurable and standardisable too. I’m sure lots of people would love for their child to be named ‘most beautiful baby’ but we couldn’t possibly measure that as beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
“If you’ve got an idea for a record, we’d love to hear it, but it must meet our criteria.”
Any new record that’s created will have a minimum requirement set for it.
These are determined either by looking at similar existing records, or by enlisting the help of experts.
As you can see, setting up new record titles requires some research and for this reason we charge a small admin fee, so that’s worth bearing in mind too.
Dave says he’s seen some pretty epic things over the years, from people jumping London cabs on a pogo stick to someone eating peas with their feet.
Dave approves records on a daily basis, but he admits he’s usually sat in his home office with the added advantage of video evidence he can slow down, pause and start again.
Recently, he donned his adjudicator uniform for the first time to oversee a whopping nine records set by young members of the Chennai Hoopers, who’d travelled to our London office from their home in India.
The pressure was on, but it turned out to be a moment that was just as special to him as it was to them.
“Putting on that famous suit is an honour. Even though it’s my job, it’s a real honour to step into the suit and do a good job. It’s so amazing to be able to say you’re the best in the world at something, and it’s just as amazing for me to be a part of that moment.” - Dave Wilson
Dave also reckons there are a lot of people out there who could be record holders without even realizing it.
“You could be the oldest firefighter and think, ‘Well I’m just a firefighter’, but you could be the oldest person in the world doing it.
“Or you could have a strange family fact that you and all your siblings have the same birthday, and not realize that’s a record.
“You could be Officially Amazing without even knowing it.”
As a rule, Guinness World Records staff aren’t allowed to attempt records, but if he could, Dave knows exactly which one he’d do.
“I mean, I’ve got a list! But the main one I’d love to try is most Cadbury’s Creme Eggs eaten in one minute. It would definitely be one of the eating ones!”
Well, Dave, the current record is six so we recommend plenty of practise just in case you ever get the chance.
If you want to know more about our history, find out exactly how the first ever Guinness World Records book came to be published in 1955, by reading this article – it’s a pretty fascinating story if we do say so ourselves!
You can also check out the timeline of Guinness World Records here.
Want more? Follow us across our social media channels to stay up-to-date with all things Guinness World Records! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Snapchat Discover– including our in-depth Curious Casebook series.
Don’t forget, we’re also on YouTube!
Still not had enough? Follow the link here to buy our latest book, filled to the brim with stories about our amazing record breakers.