Radio DJ marathon

How to do the longest radio show ever

It’s a real endurance task to do the longest radio DJ show ever. If you’re considering doing it solo or as part of a team this podcast contains some quick fire tips to inspire you and help with preparation to break the world record for the longest radio show.

The Longest Radio Show: World Record

I often get enquiries from DJs asking for Music Radio Creative to make them a jingle package as they are attempting to break the record for the longest radio show ever either by themselves or as part of a team. At the time of publishing this podcast the longest marathon by a single radio DJ is held by Peter Van de Veire who clocked up 185 hours on Belgian radio station Radio MNM back in 2012. Then there was the team effort conducted by Chris Moyles and his crew for Children in Need on national British radio station BBC Radio 1 in 2011.

I broke the world record in 2007 by staying on air for 126 hours non-stop at local radio station Time 106.6 based in Berkshire, UK and now I want to share some tips with you that really helped me when I did my own marathon radio show.

Planning Your Marathon Radio Show

The first thing you need to do is look very carefully into the guidelines set out by Guinness World Records and also seek medical advice as it is not natural to stay awake for a week presenting a radio show! In order to be officially recognised you need a medical official with you all around the clock during the process. You’re allowed to have a 15 minute break every 8 hours which I found to be a great recharge and help for me. I got some ‘Binaural’ music that can be used for meditation to put me into a ‘trance’ like state while I lay in the dark with a cool towel on my head to recover and prepare myself to continue.

Surviving A Marathon Radio Show

Here are my tips for surviving your own non-stop radio show:

  • Get co-hosts, lots of them, ask every presenter at the radio station to join in with your attempt but remember there are strict rules on how much they can speak on-air otherwise it becomes a ‘team’ world record and not a ‘solo’ attempt.
  • Eat healthy – have apples for your voice and fish for your brain – it’s best to make sure that there will be someone who can cook for you around the clock.
  • Remember that after many hours on air your brain is no longer connected to your lips. It is likely that you may say something embarrassing or even swear. Prepare for this!
  • Drink plenty of water, it’s not only a challenge to stay awake, drinking water will keep you hydrated and lubricate your vocal chords.
  • Air conditioning can play havoc with your voice so try to get plenty of fresh air if you’re in an isolated studio.
  • Get out of the studio often (especially if there is no natural light in there) so that you can see the daylight and night time. This will help to ‘reset’ your body clock.
  • Ask for feedback by phone, email and social media to help encourage you to keep on going through the tiny hours of the morning.
  • Have a bucket of ice water on standby. If you start to fall asleep your team have every right to dunk you in it!

Suggested Reading

Finally, a bonus tip not in the podcast, prepare for your marathon radio show long before you actually do it by working out and eating well. You want to be in tip top shape when you head into that radio studio. Two books that I highly recommend to get you into the right mindset for eating and exercising are The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Chef both by an author I respect, lifestyle design guru, Tim Ferris.

How Do You Feel After A Week With No Sleep?

Surprisingly… OK. I finished in the afternoon, after a week with no sleep, was driven home and slept from 2pm-10pm. I woke up and had a curry then went back to bed at 11pm to wake again the following morning at 8am. That day I went walking for miles along the Long Walk in Windsor, England and all was normal again (no problems getting back to my normal daily routine).

Free Marathon DJ Jingles

If you’re thinking about having a crack at this world record I created multiple hour jingles, “hour 1, hour 2, hour 3 etc.” All available to download for free from my Free Radio Jingles website. Good luck!

The Next World Record

Are you thinking of attempting your own radio DJ marathon show? Get in touch and I’ll be happy to help you where I can. Also, remember to leave a comment below with any tips you have on how to stay awake for long periods of time.