Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Why Guinness World Records editor Craig Glenday is swapping London for Dundee

We speak to the former Craigie High School pupil about travelling the world to meet scores of weird and wonderful record breakers.

Craig Glenday has been the editor of Guinness World Records since 2005. Image: Kim Cessford /DC Thomson
Craig Glenday has been the editor of Guinness World Records since 2005. Image: Kim Cessford /DC Thomson

Since Craig Glenday became the editor of Guinness World Records in 2005, he has met record breakers in more than 60 countries, taken phone calls from Michael Jackson, hung out with Beyonce and fallen out with Fall Out Boy.

Before all that – he worked at a bakery in Dundee.

The 50-year-old, who was brought up in the Craigie area of the city, attended Balerno Primary School and Craigie High School before moving to Edinburgh to study publishing at Napier University. His career then took him to London, where he lived for 25 years.

But now, speaking to me on Teams from the publication’s Tottenham Court Road headquarters, reveals he has decided to give up the hustle and bustle of life in the capital for a quieter existence in the City of Discovery – and to be closer to his mum, Sylvia.

It is safe to say that Craig – who is squeezing our interview in before a meeting with the world’s fastest juggler – has led a varied career.

Craig with a record-breaking moth. Image: Kim Cessford/DC Thomson

It is a role which, on one occasion, found him stranded in South America with US rock band Fall Out Boy.

“Fall Out Boy were trying to break the record for the fastest time to do a gig on every continent, so we flew to the tip of South America and were due to fly out to Antarctica to do the last concert, but we got snowed in.

“We got chatting, and I mentioned that I had the records for most radio interviews in a day, and they said, ‘Just to annoy you, we are going to beat your record’.

“When they got home, they organised a session, and they did more radio interviews in one day just to wind me up – which was very annoying.”

The band managed to beat Craig’s previous record of 54 interviews in one day with 72 (it has since been broken again by American news anchor Pavlina Osta, with 347).

Hugh Jackman has the record for longest career as a live action Marvel character for his role as Wolverine. Image: Guinness World Records

I get the feeling this is one of countless celebrity anecdotes Craig has up his sleeve.

It is hardly surprising, considering he is the book’s second-longest serving editor after its co-founder Norris McWhirter, beloved by kids in the 70s thanks to his role on TV’s Record Breakers.

Known then as the Guinness Book of Records, the title was first published in 1955 by Norris and his brother Ross. It was later sold by Diageo – who own Guinness – and is now under Jim Pattison Group.

The publication has sold more than 151 million books to date.

Craig with Nick Stoeberl, who has the world’s longest tongue. Image: Guinness World Records

I’m catching up with Craig ahead of the launch of the 2024 edition, which this year features 2,638 record achievements from around the world.

I ask him if it is ever a struggle to keep content fresh. Surely there’s only so many records to be broken?

Craig says: “Contrary to what people think, about 80% of the book is new each year.

“This year we’ve had more than 30,000 applications – there are more records that come in every year than we can put in the book.

“I just choose the ones that I think will make the best read and these are the ones that get me most excited.

“For me, the mark of a good record is that you want to tell your mates about it.”

One of his favourite records in this year’s book, he tells me, is held by a Tayside man who completed the longest marathon on a swing, after swinging for more than 36 hours and 32 minutes.

Richard Scott, from Kinross, was inspired to go for the world record after playing on the swings with his 12-year-old son.

“I really liked that because it was a father and son bonding over something fun,” Craig says.

Craig with mum Sylvia and dad Doug at the Kelpies.

But it hasn’t always been smooth-sailing. “A lot of people were ringing the death bell for the book a few years ago when they said the internet just has all this stuff now,” Craig says.

“But the problem is that the internet just doesn’t have the filter. It is like a tsunami of stuff and you’ve no idea what is in those waves and if it is true.

“Whereas, I had to go and measure the world’s shortest man recently for this book and I can tell you he is the height he is because I measured him with a tape measure.

“Whereas, if you ask the internet who the world’s shortest man is, you might get 100 different answers. You might as well just go into the street and start asking random people.

“What we provide then is a bit of a filter which says, ‘We can stand by this.'”

‘I wanted to be back in Scotland’

Craig, who is still settling into his new home, says it was the introduction of remote and hybrid working during the Covid pandemic which inspired the move.

He said: “We used to have a big flagship office in Canary Wharf and when Covid happened we came out of the lease because we didn’t need such a big office.

“Everyone was working from home, and I thought, ‘Oh I could be back in Scotland, I could be home.'”

But the catalyst was the death of his father Doug in March this year. “I wanted to be at home to help my mum cope with things. I want be there for her if she needs anything. I’m an only child so I’m the only person to look after her.”

And he has already thrown himself back into the local community, having joined the Dundee Instrumental Band as a drummer. Craig grew up playing in the orchestra pits in Gardyne and Whitehall theatres in the city, as well as the Webster Theatre in Arbroath.

The latest edition is now available. Image: Kim Cessford/DC Thomson

Although his mum is delighted to have him home – he admits his friends can’t quite believe it.

He says: “I tend to make the most of living in London so I’m out a lot, enjoying everything that London has to offer, and people are saying, ‘You know you are not going to have half these opportunities when you go to Dundee’, but that is part of the appeal of it as well.

“I want to slow down a bit.

“It is definitely a different pace of life, but that to me is a good thing.”

A few days later, when I phone him back to arrange the photoshoot for this article, he is on his way to Edinburgh Zoo to meet with Brigadier Nils Olav (the world’s highest ranking penguin).

After that, he has a trip to Spain to take part in the world’s largest jigsaw championship.

Craig’s social life might be slowing down, but his career certainly shows no signs of doing do.

Fans can now get their hands on the new book in stores and online.

Guinness World Records 2024 feats

Sidakdeep Chahal, who holds the title of longest hair on a teenager. The 15-year-old, from India, has hair more than 4ft long.

Sidakdeep Chahal with his 4ft long hair. Image: Guinness World Records

Tom Enoch, 18, from Leamington Spa, who has down’s Syndrome and holds the record for the most push-up burpees in one minute, at 16. The teenager is part of a new category for people with impairments.

Tom Enoch, who completed 16 burpees in a minute. Image: Guinness World Records

Nicholas Cherrywood from the US has the largest collection of Care Bear memorabilia.

Nicholas Cherrywood. Image: Guinness World Records

A Brown Swiss – a type of dairy cattle – named Tommy, from the States, who has been named the tallest steer at 6ft 1in.

Tall Brown Swiss Tommy with his owner Fred. Image: Guinness World Records