TWO voluntary DJs have stormed into the record books after a marathon 58-hour stint on community radio.
Exhausted duo Sarah Stewart and Jamie Thirlwell completed their epic Koast Radio broadcast at about 5pm on Saturday to take the Guinness World Record for longest radio DJ team show.
Previously, Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles and his on-air partner Dave Vitty held the honour after completing a 52-hour show in aid of Comic Relief in March.
But the Longhirst-based pair were determined to do better and after smashing the record on Saturday morning they carried on until tea-time to raise as much money as they could for the Sara’s Hope Foundation, which arranges holidays in Crete for families of children with terminal or life-limiting illnesses.
Koast Station Manager Vicky Oakley, who came up with the idea, said: “They broke Chris Moyles’ record at 10.30am on Saturday and they just carried on because it was such a massive success.
“The support of the public was just phenomenal. The phone never stopped ringing and the webcam had so many hits. It was just unbelievable and a massive effort from everyone.
“I’m so proud of everyone involved with it.”
The record-bid was supported by boy-band Connected, who were runners-up in TV show Britain’s Got Talent and travelled from Manchester to the Koast studio to perform, attracting dozens of fans.
Celebrities Calum Best, Miss Great Britain and members of Madness also offered their support.
However, there were some worrying times when organisers doubted whether the DJs would last the distance.
Mrs Oakley said: “I must admit, there were times when I thought they wouldn’t make it.
“Through the night from Friday to Saturday Sarah was really struggling and Jamie had a cold. Both were saying their mouths were just so dry, their tongues were sore and the roof of their mouths were sore.
“They made an appeal through the night for people to come in and support them and lots of people turned up at the station, even though it was about five o’clock in the morning. That gave them an extra boost because through the night it tends to be quite quiet, but the support got them through the dark hours.
“The presenters were shattered at the end of it. They just couldn’t think because of the sleep deprivation. They couldn’t function properly. It was quite amusing, but they did really well and I’m pleased to say they are no worse off now they have recovered.”
The total money raised for Sara’s Hope is still being counted, but about £1,500 is thought to have been collected — enough to send another family to Crete.
And plans are already being drawn up to stage another fundraising event next year, perhaps with a Big Brother theme.
“Everybody thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. It went back to fun radio, how radio used to be, and it was just so amazing that we have to do something even bigger and better next year,” said Mrs Oakley.
“The presenters will be able to sleep next time, but maybe it will be Big Brother style and the challenge will last four or five days, when they won’t be able to leave our Longhirst studio. We are just planning that now.”
Koast Radio has a trial FM licence to broadcast on 87.7FM and listeners can also tune in online at www.koastradio.co.uk