About Ben

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About Ben

Yorkshire born, Ben Shires is our chief Officially Amazing presenter and resident funny man… And that's not just a reference to his snappy dress sense!
 
Our Ben doesn't just leave all the fun up to the record holders, he's not shy of having a crack himself as you will see in the show...
 
We don't want to give anything anyway, but let's just say he's been dropped, whipped and driven at high speed among many other ridiculous things.
 
We managed to catch Ben in a rare record-free moment and asked him some very important questions, here's what he said: 
 

What is your favourite part of the new series?

 
I love this series in particular because we’re doing a proper, big, shiny floor studio show.
 

What has been the most inspiring thing you have seen on the show?

 
When you work on Officially Amazing there are inspiring moments every day! Just to see people who are really skilled or good at something is inspiring - what they do has been the result of months or years of dedication and perseverance.
 

What do you like best about being an Officially Amazing presenter?

 
I often get a thrill meeting the people attempting to break world records. It takes a special blend of commitment and passion to become a record breaker, and I've encountered folk who themselves are every inch as officially amazing as the records they're known for.
 

What is it like working with the Guinness World Records adjudicators on set?

 
I’ve been working with Guinness World Records adjudicators for a while now and I know that one of the questions they always get asked is ‘Are you an actor?’ That couldn’t be further from the truth. They’re some of the most exacting – some might say pedantic – people you could meet. With record-breaking, there have to be rules and these have to be adhered to. Whilst they might look stern on camera, they are also very affable people.
 
They’re not open to bribery, I’ve tried many times. They are open to being very fair, firm when necessary, and just all-round good eggs.
 

What would you be able to set a record doing?

 
Throughout the course of filming Officially Amazing, I've attempted many of the skills I've seen others break records in. If there's been one unifying feature of my attempts, it's been my dismal failure in all of them.
 
Perhaps I can set a new record for ‘most world records unsuccessfully attempted'. After all, if I can't be the best at being the best, at least I can be the best at being the worst.
 

If you could invent a new record what would it be?

 
I think the skill to inventing a record is coming up with one that no-one else could possibly ever have thought of doing before, and then getting very good at it. If I invented the fastest time to run 117m for instance, I reckon Usain Bolt would still have me licked. However, if I challenged him to the quickest time to style a quiff whilst bouncing on a trampoline and saying the alphabet backwards, I might stand a better chance!
 

Is there a record attempt you wish you had witnessed?

 
I've witnessed many incredible feats whilst filming Officially Amazing, but I would have loved to have gone toe to toe with Robert Wadlow, the man with the world's largest ever FEET! They were a whopping 47cm long, which is a shoe UK size 36.
 

Why do you think people should attempt to break records?

 
Perhaps the real incentive to attempting records should be to push the limits of what humans are capable of. Consider this: in 1912, the world record for the men's 100m was 10.5 seconds. A hundred years later in 2012, Usain Bolt had shaved almost a whole second off that time. That reduction might not sounds like a lot, but if we continue at this rate of progress, by my calculations it means that in 900 years time humans should be able to run the 100m in 0.5 seconds!
 

What is Officially Amazing about you?

 
Ah, where to start? No, seriously, I'm struggling to think of anything. There are lots of things that are peculiar about me: I have slightly webbed toes, unsymmetrical ears and my jaw clicks incredibly loudly when I eat. I'm not sure any of these could be classed as Officially Amazing though, more just odd. But whilst I may be a physical oddity, I reckon I could give Al and Haruka a run for their money when it comes to being the most Officially Amazing Officially Amazing presenter there is. Therefore I think a series of challenges is called for to determine which of us can grab the most records and be crowned the champ! Let the fun begin.