The People's Book of Records

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The People's Book of Records
The People's Book of Records.png
Directed by Atul Malhotra
Creative director(s) Tim Hincks
Presented by Dominic Coleman
Opening theme "Paris Sous Le Neige" by Mellow at the Mellow
Ending theme "Shooter" by Barrie Gledden
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 9
Executive producer(s)
  • Paul Gilheany
  • Peter Holmes
  • Neil Webster
Producer(s) Grainne Jordan
Camera setup Multiple-camera
Running time 22–26 minutes
Production company(s) Zeppotron
Distributor Channel Four Television Corporation
Original network Channel 4
Picture format PAL (576i)
Original release 21 March (2003-03-21) – 16 May 2003 (2003-05-16)
External links

The People's Book of Records was a comedy game show made in the United Kingdom, which offered members of the public the opportunity to set unofficial records for any activity that they chose. Examples of records featured in the series included eating peanut butter from nappies, swimming while singing the main theme from Jaws, and placing a novel by Jilly Cooper near a horse without it noticing.[1] The show was first broadcast on 21 March 2003,[1] and was presented by actor Dominic Coleman. British production company Zeppotron produced the programme after being commissioned in 2002 by the Channel Four Television Corporation,[2] who broadcast the show on their eponymous channel.[3] The People's Book of Records was featured as part of a GB£430 million season of new television programming on Channel 4 during 2003,[4] and ran for a single series of nine 30-minute weekly episodes.[2] Each episode was directed by Atul Malhotra, whose previous directing work had included the 2002 series of Comedy Lab.[5]

During promotion of the programme, considerable media attention was given to a record shown in the first episode of a man being licked on the buttocks by a dog as many times as possible in two minutes.[6][7][8][9][10] Several commentators criticised the series as a whole for including such a segment: Jason Deans of The Guardian branded the show a "dog's dinner",[9] while Jim Kresse of The Spokesman-Review stated that TV had "officially hit bottom" as a result.[8] The record was set during episode one by Doug Bennett and his dog Harley with a final score of 71,[11] before being broken during the third episode by Martin Shaw and his dog Star with a total of 145 licks.[12] Executive producer Phil Gilheany defended the programme, describing it as "quite innocent fun".[9]

The People's Book of Records received a sponsorship deal from Kenco Rappor,[13] and its first five episodes were broadcast during a prime time period on Channel 4 at 9:30 p.m. on Friday nights.[14] However, following disappointing ratings, the show was moved to a later time slot for its final four episodes.[15][16]

A US version of the series produced by Lock and Key Productions was aired on FX.[17] Retitled The People's Champions, the programme followed the same theme as its British counterpart, with members of the American public setting unofficial records for anything they liked. The show was first broadcast on 19 September 2003, and was hosted by Oliver Muirhead.[18] American viewers also had access to the original British series on the Internet TV service NEXT.TV.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "PICK OF THE DAY: Record-breakers take a lot of licking; The People's Book of Records, Channel 4, 9.30pm". Daily Mirror. London: Trinity Mirror. 21 March 2003. OCLC 223228477. Retrieved 1 December 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Staff (12 March 2003). "3 UK signs up TV Go Home firm for 3G comedy content". London: Brand Republic. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  3. ^ "The People's Book of Records". Broadcast. 1 April 2003. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "Channel chopping". The Scotsman. Edinburgh: Johnston Press. 2 November 2002. ISSN 0307-5850. OCLC 3856993. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  5. ^ Malhotra, Atul. "Producer/Director". Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "Channel 4 to show dogs licking people's bottoms". Ananova. 12 December 2002. Archived from the original on 22 December 2002. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  7. ^ "Bum cheeks take a licking". Evening Standard. London: Daily Mail and General Trust. 13 December 2002. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Kresse, Jim (2 December 2011). "TV has Officially Hit Bottom". The Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington: Cowles Publishing. p. B4, col. 3. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c Deans, Jason (12 December 2003). "Channel 4 serves up dog's dinner of a show". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media. ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 476290235. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  10. ^ The Minx (13 December 2002). "Media Diary". The Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media. ISSN 0307-1235. OCLC 613316876. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  11. ^ "Dogs Bum Lick". London: Channel 4. March 2003. Archived from the original on 25 July 2003. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  12. ^ "Dogs Bum Lick Revisited". London: Channel 4. 2003. Archived from the original on 12 September 2005. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  13. ^ Billings, Claire (19 February 2003). "Kenco Rappor signs £1.5m sponsorship of C4 and E4". London: Brand Republic. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  14. ^ "PICK OF THE BOX: Lenny's a bite special now". The Daily Record. Glasgow: Trinity Mirror. 21 March 2003. ISSN 0956-8069. OCLC 614676258. Retrieved 1 December 2011. 
  15. ^ Hughes, Penny (24 April 2003). "People's Book Of Records loses slot". Broadcast. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  16. ^ "C4 shunts stunt show". Broadcast. 30 April 2003. Retrieved 1 December 2011. 
  17. ^ Kowalewski, Jennifer (9 December 2003). "Want to be 'The People's Champion'?". Mansfield News Journal. Mansfield, Ohio: Gannett Company. p. C.4. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  18. ^ Barberi, Tom; Wilson, Laurie (28 September 2003). "Point/Counterpoint: Prime-time slime sinks lower, but should networks teach values?". The Salt Lake Tribune. Salt Lake City: MediaNews. ISSN 0746-3502. OCLC 8086936. Archived from the original on 7 November 2003. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  19. ^ "Endemol USA's Digital Channel Lazy TV to Launch on NEXT.TV". Los Angeles: Marketwire. 11 October 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 

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