Record Breakers (CBBC, 1972-2001)
This is another long-running CBBC show, I didn’t watch it a huge amount over the years, but because so many people will be familiar with this one I do feel that it is worthy of a review. I do have a few of the Guinness World Records books, which are full of all kinds of facts and figures that are interesting to know, along with plenty of trivia, that aims to document the biggest and the smallest and just about everything else inbetween. To get yourself referenced in the book is considered by many to be something of an honour.
Record Breakers launched in the early-70s, and by the time I watched in the 90s, the hosts were Roy Castle (who also found fame as an actor and trumpeter) and Cheryl Baker (who was in the chart-topping Bucks Fizz!). Every edition featured meeting people who had achieved weird and wonderful things all over the world, and there were also interviews with Olympic athletes, just anybody who had excelled in their chosen area really.
The show also featured plenty of attempts at breaking a record, some of the rather extreme challenges sometimes against the clock could be compared a little to You Bet!, and most editions seemed to conclude with about a thousand people in the studio all trying to attempt something, they could barely fit them all in. I also remember one year that there was a competition to design the cover of the latest edition of Guinness World Records.
Roy even managed to set some records himself, and for a while there would be some celebrity specials at Christmas. Following Roy’s death in 1994, and a tribute special looking back at his career where everyone acknowledged that he knew that to be successful, dedication’s what you need (and some of his highlights were also released on VHS), the show did carry on for a while with some new hosts, including Kriss Akabusi, although it was never really the same.
In 1997 there was the spin-off Record Breakers Gold, which celebrated the 25th anniversary of the show by taking a look back at some of the most spectacular stunts to have featured over the years, which ran for two series. Record Breakers eventually ran for 30 series, before it finally came to an end in 2001, by which point it had been firmly established as one of the best-known CBBC shows.