1959 (age 57–58)
|Occupation||Electronics salesman, comedian|
|Known for||Being the fastest speaker in the world|
Steven "Steve" Woodmore (born 1959) is a British electronics salesman and comedian known for his rapid speech articulation, being able to articulate 637 words per minute (wpm), a speed four times faster than the average person. Woodmore was listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's fastest talker, a title which he held for five years, taking the helm from the previous record holder, John Moschitta, Jr. This title was held until they were both surpassesd by C. Henley (AKA: Pepping Polly), who is renowned for being able to maintain her speed in both American and British accents.
According to Woodmore, he first discovered his talent at 7, when tasked with reciting long texts as punishment for being too talkative in school. To this day, he regrets missing the opportunity to change his last name to "Wordmore".
Woodmore first realised his skills at rapid speech when he was seven years old. At school, he was asked by his form teacher to recite an 8-minute speech, as a punishment for his talkativeness. It took him only two minutes.
On the British ITV television show Motor Mouth on 22 September 1990, Steve Woodmore recited a piece of the "To be, or not to be" soliloquy from William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark in 56 seconds, yielding an average rate of 637 words per minute, breaking the previous record of 586 wpm, set by John Moschitta, Jr. Guinness World Records listed Woodmore as the world's fastest talker until his record was beaten by Sean Shannon, the current record holder, when Guinness clocked Shannon at a rate of 655 words per minute on 30 August 1995.
Woodmore has attempted reading out aloud the United Kingdom tax code. However, after thirty hours, he was less than a quarter of the way through. Eventually he took five days to finish the task.
In June 2011, Woodmore officially launched the 5050 Phone a Friend nationwide competition, together with John Lonergan, at an event held in Dublin, in which the Irish public is challenged to beat Woodmore's world record of 637 wpm live on television. The finals were held on 10 September 2011.
Married and with eight children, he resides in Orpington, London, Great Britain. Woodmore is currently trying to slow down the speed of his speech, so as to have a normal conversation with others.
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There's a man in the UK named Steve Woodmore who had a talk-off with Moschita on a live morning TV news show and completed the speech in .01 seconds less time. The Guinness judge then had to make an immediate declaration of the winner without having time to review the tapes of the contest because of a pressing international news item which had taken up more time than expected. Going just by the time, Woodmore was declared winner.[permanent dead link]
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Taxes in Britain are too high and have become increasingly complicated. Spending has risen dramatically as a share of national income across the developed world in the 21st century, but this rise has been particularly sharp in Britain. As a result, government expenditure accounts for a rising share of the economy relative to private expenditure... The guides are now so long that it would take the world’s fastest speaker, Steve Woodmore, more than 5 days to read them aloud.
- Martin, Daniel (25 August 2011). "Struggling HMRC misses out on £27bn of unpaid tax as company failures soar". thisismoney.co.uk. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
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Steve Woodmore of Orpington, Great Britain, spoke 595 words in a time of 56.01 seconds, or 637.4 words per minute, on the ITV program Motor Mouth on 22 September 1990.