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Guinness World Record smashed

Celebs joined in the successful record breaking bid

A world record has been smashed after 3,324 children gathered to listen to books being read by an adult for half an hour.

The previous Guinness World record of 3,032 children, set in Dubai in 2008, was broken on World Book day last week, at the London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel, east London.

The Big Read, and event organised by the Islamic Forum of Europe  (IF), which raises funds for children and the environment, involved hundreds of adults reading Roald Dahl’s timeless classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

You can watch an advert for the world record bid here. Children came from as far afield as Reading and Croydon, as well as Tower Hamlets, whose council backed the event, and surrounding east London boroughs.

The world record was smashed on World Book Day last Thursday.

Celebrities who took part included journalist, Victoria Brittain, BBC London presenter Asad Ahmed and Hedy Epstein, an 85 year old holocaust survivor.

Former stars from the BBC hit show The Apprentice Ghazal Asif, Tre Azzam, Majid Nagra and Syed Ahmed also got involved, alongside broadcaster Yvonne Ridley, George Galloway MP, and Tower Hamlets leader Lutfur Rahman.

Stephens who worked as part of the special effects team on what turned out to be the cult film Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, made a surprise appearance.

The Big Read has been endorsed by Rev Jesse Jackson. He said: ‘I support the BIG Read because if you can read, you can reason. Reading is like a light to your brain. It takes you out of darkness… Literacy liberates. Reading and reasoning are forces for change, for the good.’

Ruhul Tarafder from IF added: ‘We try to make fundraising fun and like to involve mass participation where possible. Instead of simply asking for donations, we have been trying to build a movement of people working together to make the world a better place through action. This is why we try to involve people in events such as world records.’


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