After 16 years in his Adjudicator uniform, Jack Brockbank jokes that he’s owed his very own Guinness World Records certificate.
“I’m pretty sure I’ve been doing it longer than anyone else at the minute,” Jack told us. “Where’s my certificate?”
Aside from a couple of other people within the company whose main job is something other than adjudicating, Jack really has been carrying that famous clipboard for longer than anyone else.
As we continue our look Behind the Scenes of Guinness World Records, Jack is here to help us understand exactly what it takes to be an Adjudicator.
He’s also keen to tell us about some of the incredible things he’s seen… as well as some of the more unfortunate experiences he’s had.
Jack began his GWR career working at head office.
At the time, everyone in the office was trained to adjudicate record attempts and took turns travelling the world to declare people Officially Amazing.
Jack has now moved on from his office job but wouldn’t dream of giving up his stopwatch.
He said: “Needless to say, it’s a completely unique job, I get asked about it all the time but for me the main thing is I get to witness these snapshots of human excellence and achievement, these amazing people doing incredible things and all the stories that come out of that, and there’s just nothing like it.
“The travelling I’ve done is unparalleled as well as all the amazing people and incredible things I’ve seen.
“I honestly think it’s one of the best jobs in the world.”
Jack remembers his first ever adjudication like it was yesterday.
It was in 2007 when he travelled to Romania to see the longest graffiti scroll.
“The really nerve-wracking bit was the public speaking,” Jack confessed.
“There was a stage and a cordless mic thrust into my hand, but when you’re there in that situation and you’re carrying the brand and everyone is looking at you, something happens, and you just make it work.”
Even after all these years, Jack admits he still gets nervous.
“I get a bit of stage fright and nerves every single time, but I think that’s actually really important.
“There’s something about the nerves that makes you stand up tall and give it the level of gravity that it deserves.”
He says it’s almost like method acting.
“You’re not there to be yourself,” Jack said. “You’re there to be Guinness World Records.”
One of the toughest jobs Jack has faced as an Adjudicator was trying to keep a straight face on the set of UK quiz show Pointless as cheeky host Alexander Armstrong tried to make him laugh.
Jack said: “He just started ribbing me and he was trying everything he could to get me to crack a smile or just retort with some kind of response that’s out of official character.
“He was trying his best to make me break character, but I managed to keep my composure.”
Jack has popped up on TV screens many times over the years on UK shows including Britain's Got Talent, Blue Peter, The Paul O’Grady Show, The One Show, This Morning and reality series The Only Way Is Essex.
But one of the most incredible things he says he’s ever seen was far from the TV cameras.
It was in Assam, India in 2013 that he had the privilege of witnessing the most instruments used in a piece of music.
Jack said he felt “humbled” as he watched 476 performers with 315 different types of musical instrument between them perform a beautiful piece of music composed by award-winning film and music director Rupam Sarmah.
And he admits he also enjoyed the power of being able to call out an instrument and have those performers play on his command.
Things haven’t always gone so swimmingly though.
Jack was once left stranded in the mountains in Italy after declaring a record attempt unsuccessful and leaving the participants less than impressed.
He said: “There was a lot of booing and hissing and they all just sort of turned around and left. I was keeping clear because there was a lot of bad feeling, but what I didn’t expect was not to be offered a lift back.
“So, I was just left there stranded in the mountains, but thankfully a passer-by took pity on me and gave me a lift back to the local town. It was quite a long drive so it would have been a very long walk through the mountains in my Adjudicator suit.”
What’s absolutely clear is that Jack loves his job and is proud to wear the uniform.
He said: “Some records are so iconic that the people who achieve them become huge stars after being in the book. Some people have made their whole careers out of it.
“I get asked quite a lot if you get money for having a record, but you don’t and that’s not really the point of it.
“It’s the accolade of being officially recognized as number one in the world at something.”
Record-breaking is something Jack loves to try out for himself too, even if it is just for fun.
“We used to try to break records at staff parties,” Jack said.
“When I was new in the office and keen to impress, I managed to achieve most apples bobbed in one minute. It was called a ‘staff record’ though, as GWR staff aren’t allowed to be record holders.
“Of course, the number I got has been completely smashed since then.”
The current record is 37 and held by Cherry Yoshitake (Japan), so Jack will need plenty of practice if he wants to reclaim it.
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