The world’s longest interview

Defying the stereotype of the tight-lipped Scandinavian, popular Norwegian crime writer Hans Olav Lahlum set the world record for the longest interview on Thursday after spending more than 30 non-stop hours chatting in an online broadcast.

Lahlum, who rarely paused for more than a few seconds, discussed topics ranging from U.S. presidents to his fictional characters during the online show hosted by VG Nett, the online arm of Norwegian tabloid VG.

The new record awaits approval from Guinness World Records.

Fast-talking Lahlum, who is also a left-wing politician, historian and top chess player rarely stumbled during the gabfest, which also covered such scintillating topics as his preferences for mixing puddings and kebabs.

“I think I can safely say that tonight I might go to bed a little earlier than usual,” he said as he and interviewer Mads Andersen beat the old record of just over 26 hours.

Shortly after surpassing the previous record, Lahlum plunged into a weighty discussion on world literature in general and Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen in particular.

“Do you have a plan for how you will get Lahlum to stop talking when the interview ends?” one viewer asked VG on its online forum.

There is more here, and the article explains this is part of a broader Norwegian trend toward “slow TV”:

Norway, a pioneer in slow programming, has spawned several lengthy television hits in recent years, and public broadcaster NRK earlier this year aired a 12-hour show centered on a burning fireplace with experts discussing the intricacies of fire wood.

In 2011, it broadcast 134 hours non-stop of a cruise ship going up the Norwegian coast to the Arctic, bagging the world record for the longest continuous TV program along the way.

And an earlier broadcast of an eight hour train journey from Oslo to Bergen was so popular, NRK had to repeat it.

As I’ve mentioned before, so far the Norwegians are having an awesome century.

For the pointer I thank Øystein Hernæs.


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