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Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

Press Release

BBC Radio 3's Red Nose Show breaks Guinness World Records title for largest ever kazoo ensemble

Gaby Roslin and Sue Perkins

On Monday 14 March, the audience at BBC Radio 3's Red Nose Show at the Royal Albert Hall along with a star-studded kazoo band set a new Guinness World Records title for the Largest Kazoo Ensemble.

The Red Nose Day event, organised by BBC Radio 3 to raise huge amounts of money for Comic Relief, featured an ambitious attempt by audience members and a special celebrity kazoo band to break the world previous record of 3,861 people set in Sydney, Australia in 2009.

The new Guinness World Records title of 3,910 kazooists was set when the Royal Albert Hall crowd joined together to perform Wagner's Ride Of The Valkyries and the Dambusters March.

The cast of celebrities in the onstage kazoo band that helped break the Guinness World Record were: Adam Gillen, Alex Winters, Alice Arnold, Alice Lowe, Andrea McLean, Andy Day, Andy Nyman, Anna Crilly, Ben Goldacre, Boyd Hilton, Caitlin Moran, Cerrie Burnell, Charlie Condou, Chris Bran, Chris O'Dowd, Christian O Connell, Christine Hamilton, Clare Balding, Claudie Blakley, Dan Stevens, David Armand, David Baddiel, David Morrissey, David Schneider, Dawn Porter, Debbie Chazen, Edith Bowman, Emma Freud, Emma Kennedy, Gabby Logan, Gaby Roslin, Geraldine McNulty, Grace Dent, Helen Atkinson Wood, Hugh Bonneville, Jenny Eclair, Jeremy Salsby, Jessica Stevenson, Jez Nelson, Jo Scanlan, Jon Ronson, Katy Brand, Katy Wix, Kirstie Allsopp, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Lucy Speed, Marcus Brigstocke, Mark Frith, Mel Giedroyc, Michael Fenton Stevens, Miranda Hart, Mitch Benn, Morwenna Banks, Penny Smith, Polly Kemp, Rebecca Front, Richard Bacon, Richard Curtis, Robin Weaver, Russell Tovey, Sam Spiro, Samuel West, Sandy McDade, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Sarah Cawood, Shabby Katchadourian, Simon Hickson, Simon Mayo, Stephanie Merritt, Stephen Mangan, Steve Furst, Toby Davies, Tom Goodman-Hill, Tony Gardner, Tracey Thorn, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Trevor Neal, Vicki Pepperdine.

Stephen Mangan said: "Being part of this record-breaking kazoo ensemble is probably one of the highlights of my entire life – the fact that we now hold the Guinness World Record is exciting beyond words."

Craig Glenday, Editor-in-Chief of Guinness World Records, added: "Guinness World Records would like to congratulate everyone that hummed their way into the record books during Radio 3's Red Nose Show to set a new record for the largest ever kazoo ensemble."

The event will be broadcast on Radio 3 on Friday 18 March at 7pm.

For more information on Radio 3's Red Nose Show go to

Notes to Editors

95 per cent of the ticket purchase price went to Comic Relief.

About Comic Relief

Red Nose Day 2011 is heading your way on Friday 18 March when the great British public will once again be asked to Do Something Funny for Money.

To join in the fun go to and find out how you can get involved.

Comic Relief, registered charity 326568 (England/Wales); SC039730 (Scotland).

Kazoo fact-file

The kazoo is a wind instrument which adds a "buzzing" timbral quality to a player's voice as they sing or speak into the instrument.

The device modifies the sound of a person's voice by way of a vibrating membrane.

The instrument is tube shaped, with one flattened end and a circular membrane.

By fully or partially covering the membrane hole a huge variety of sounds can be created.

The kazoo can be made out of plastic or metal.

The kazoo is based on an ancient wooden African instrument used in sacred ceremonies as voice disguisers.

The first kazoo as we now know it was invented in the 19th century by an African American named Alabama Vest in Georgia, United States.

The kazoo is technically a member of the membranophone family, which other than the kazoo, is a group made up entirely of drums.

The first recording ever to feature a kazoo was the Arkensas Blues by the Mound City Blowers. It sold over a million copies.

Since then Bowling For Soup, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd and Leonard Bernstein have all been unlikely champions of the instrument.

Eric Clapton uses the kazoo on his cover version of San Francisco Bay Blues taken from his Unplugged record from 1991.


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