Page last updated at 22:11 GMT, Saturday, 16 January 2010

Chesney Hawkes leads air guitar record attempt

Chesney Hawkes
Hawkes had two hits: The One and Only and I'm a Man, Not a Boy

Singer Chesney Hawkes has led nearly 600 people in an attempt to set a record for the number of people playing air guitar at the same time.

The group strummed along to his 1991 chart-topper The One and Only in Portsmouth's Guildhall Square.

Hundreds more joined in at several other venues to try to beat the existing record of 1,436 participants.

Guinness World Records has yet to verify if the attempt, which raised funds to restore a theatre, succeeded.

It was among a series of events taking place this weekend to try to generate £4m to rebuild part of Portsmouth's New Theatre Royal.

The back-lot of the venue was destroyed by fire 38 years ago and it is hoped that new facilities, including a 150-seat community theatre, can be built in its place.

Hawkes said he had "a fantastic day", even though one of the live link-ups - with Portsmouth football fans - did not happen as the club's match against Birmingham City was called off because of a waterlogged pitch.

"It was a very good turnout," said Hawkes.

"It's a wonderful cause and whatever happens, it's drawing attention to it."

Participants had to play an imaginary guitar-like instrument in time to Hawkes' number one hit.

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