It is a country known mainly for holding the world’s highest point (Mount Everest at 8,848m above sea level, for those that didn’t know), but the landlocked Asian nation of Nepal now has another item that they can claim for international fame – boasting the world record for the longest-running TV talkshow.
While the name of that record would generally be seen as something that a long-running American daytime or late-night series would be favourite for, it is referring to the ‘longest single telecast’ under the genre, broken this weekend by 36-year-old Rabi Lamichhane, who broadcasted for 62 hours and 12 minutes.
In a feat of endurance fitting for a nation with 8 of the world’s 10 tallest mountains, the network News24 chose to stick to a single theme throughout the 3-day broadcast (which lasted from Thursday morning to Saturday night (11-13 April)), with Lamichhane continuously running the topic ‘Lord Buddha was born in Nepal’ for his many guests and callers.
The list of people who joined him in the studio topped 100, and at various points included Nepalese politicians, entertainers, journalists, athletes, and entrepreneurs, with the idea of the one-off special to help ‘promote Nepal globally’, a feat which will have been accomplished as much as possible due to the record being broken.
The achievement, which was monitored and formally ratified by the Guinness Book of World Records, broke the mark set by a 2011 talkshow telecast in Ukraine hosted by Pavlo Kuzheyev and Tetiana Danylenko, a 52-hour broadcast celebrating the 20th anniversary of their country’s independence.
News24 chairman Anil Joshi summarised of the broadcast: “Our campaign was aimed to spread the message to the world that the Buddha was born in Nepal.”
The event was broadcast in Nepali with English subtitles, and shown not only on Nepali TV, but also streamed online through the News24 website and partner sites.
Based on the rules of the contest, though, the broadcast was not entirely as ‘continuous’ as the numbers may suggest, with Guinness World Record regulations allowing Lamichhane a 5-minute break for every hour on-air, which he used to accumulate in blocks for longer rests. The rest of the hosting performance, however, was a more stressful affair, as he ate meals during interviews and according to network executives, ‘survived on energy drinks’ in order to stay awake.
By the completion of his challenge, Lamichhane, ironically not based in Nepal but a resident of Baltimore (USA) and the manager of a local branch of fast food giants Subway, even had visible stubble from the length of time he was on-air for, but would naturally be able to pick himself up enough to close the show by receiving his award in traditional Nepali dress.
The strain of going almost 3 days working in front of or behind a camera, however, will clearly be worth it whenever anyone involved sees that certificate (pictured) to remind them that they have a world record. That is, of course, until the next attempt at a marathon telecast comes along…
While it would be a difficult task to watch 62 hours of content, this post won’t be left empty-handed video-wise, so two more ‘conventional’ Guinness World Record attempts from Nepal can be enjoyed below, while on a semi-related matter, it is only fitting that Lamichhane deserves a little promotion for his day job in America as well: