Johnnie Walker whisky is promoted with the tagline “Keep on Walking,” but North Carolina college radio host Johnny Walker has done more than just walk past the Guinness World Record for longest continuous radio broadcast by an individual.
By the time WUAG(FM)’s Walker switched off his microphone on Aug. 13 at 1:15 p.m., he had logged more than 175 hours on air, tacking more than two days on to the 125-hour record set in April 2006 by Stefano Venneri of BBSI Radio in Alessandria, Italy.
WUAG is the student-run station of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
The local entertainment paper Go Triad ran a day-by-day diary of the broadcast, which has yet to be certified as official by the Guinness World Records.
Under the Guinness rules, to count as a continuous broadcast, a talent can only take one five-minute break per hour; no song played can be longer than six minutes; during interviews, the broadcaster must speak at least once per minute; and the entire process must be recorded and videotaped.
One of the earliest official individual radio marathon records was 37 hours, set by BBC Radio 1 presenter Simon Mayo in 1999 to raise funds for Comic Relief.
In June 2003, Suresh Joachim of Geethavaani Tamil Radio in Scarborough, Ontario, pushed the limit to 120 hours, which was broken by BBC Radio Cambridgeshire presenter Max Rushden in November 2004; Rushden was raising funds for Children in Need. That record held until Venneri’s 125 hours in April 2006.
In September 2006, Robin Vember of Rhodes Music Radio in Grahamstown, South Africa. went 126 hours, 44 minutes, to mark the station’s silver anniversary, but the record has yet to be certified by Guinness.