Pineapple juice was the saviour of Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt's world-record-breaking television interview at the weekend after his mammoth speaking effort was nearly derailed in the first three hours.
Mr Shadbolt broke the Guinness World Record for the longest television interview, with his time of 26 hours and 04 seconds smashing the old mark of 12hrs and 30s set by Pedro Ruiz in Spain in 2009.
Mr Shadbolt, a renowned comedian and story teller who is a regular on the public speaking circuit, was interviewed by Cue TVs Tom Conroy at the SIT CentreStage Theatre for the record-breaking attempt.
He was still going strong at the end, with Mr Shadbolt halfway through yet another story when Mr Conroy stopped him mid-sentence.
"You are out of time," he said.
However, the record-breaking effort was not all plain sailing.
Guinness Book of World Records official Chris Sheedy said it appeared to be in doubt when Mr Conroy started losing his voice in the first three hours.
"But then they started drinking pineapple juice, it's an old opera singer's trick, and from that moment they didn't pause."
Mr Shadbolt covered many topics during the 26-hour interview and remained animated and jovial throughout, though he looked exhausted at the end.
He also surpassed the record for the longest one-on-one interview on any medium, which was 24 hours, and broke the record for New Zealand's longest broadcast, formerly held by television fundraising programme Telethon.
Mr Sheedy, speaking to the more than 100 people who witnessed the last throes of the record-breaking interview, said he hadn't expected the event to be as entertaining as it was.
The event was a fundraiser for St John, with $10,000 raised shortly before the interview finished. Mr Shadbolt was allowed a five-minute break after every completed hour, but when he finished he still had 18 minutes of breaks up his sleeve.
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