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Monday, March 15, 1999 Published at 17:37 GMT


Radio record silenced?

Simon Mayo: Stayed on-air for 37 hours for charity

BBC Radio 1 DJ Simon Mayo's bid to host the longest radio show ever may have been thwarted - by a student in Nottingham.

Mayo's 37-hour microphone marathon on Thursday and Friday raised £100,000 for Comic Relief. But he wasn't the only DJ with an eye on the record books.

Steve Harris, 20, who works on the University of Nottingham's station URN decided to have a crack at the record too - and finished a 40-hour show in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Now fully recovered from his studio stint, he is waiting to see whether his attempt to get into the record books has worked.

"We decided we might as well go for it - it looked like a giggle and it'd be for a very good cause," he said.

'No bad feeling' between rivals

[ image: Mayo on air during the marathon]
Mayo on air during the marathon
Harris started at 0900 on Thursday - and continued through to 0100 on Saturday, three hours after his rival came off air on Radio 1.

Although he denies there is any bad feeling between the station and the national rival, he adds Mayo made "a couple of comments" about their attempt.

"Nobody at Radio 1 was willing to talk to us, although we did get a call from the press office asking what we were doing," he added.

"I think the important thing for them was to raise the most money, while we were doing this with almost no help."

While Mayo raised his £100,000 from record companies, students and locals pledged £2,000 for Harris' marathon, with more to come.

A BBC Radio 1 spokeswoman said she unable to comment on the rival attempt, but added: "We're pleased with what Simon did. We had a lot of stars and live acts in on the show and we raised a hell of a lot of money. We're delighted."

Submitting evidence

[ image: Comic Relief founder Lenny Henry: The appeal has raised over £17m so far]
Comic Relief founder Lenny Henry: The appeal has raised over £17m so far
Now both Harris and Mayo are submitting their evidence to the Guinness Book of Records, which lays down strict rules on such record-breaking attempts.

A spokeswoman said that although it had a representative on hand at the end of Mayo's attempt, it has yet to hear from the Nottingham students.

"All entrants must submit a video with a clock on it, and there must be two independent witnesses who have to write a statement verifying the record attempt.

"Until we receive these, we can't confirm it as a record," said a spokeswoman.

Comic Relief's 1999 appeal has so far raised over £17.1m - with organisers hoping the final total will beat the £27m raised in 1997.

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