Comic Relief: 80s stars break highest-ever concert record

Eighties stars Tony Hadley and Kim Wilde sang their way into the record books on Sunday after together performing the highest ever concert on a jumbo jet. The Spandau Ballet member and the Kids in America singer put on an acoustic show for 128 passengers on a Boeing 767 aircraft at 13,000 metres (43,000 feet) for Comic Relief. The duo, who were joined by fellow 1980s acts Bananarama and Go West, beat the previous world record of 12,825 metres (42,080 feet) held by singer James Blunt.

Passengers also managed to set a second world record on the British Airways flight by performing the highest ever Harlem Shake. The internet craze, in which a group of people dance to a short excerpt from the song Harlem Shake, has swept the globe after thousands of videos were uploaded to YouTube.

Wilde, who recently became an unexpected internet sensation after a video of her serenading commuters on a train went viral, said: “I’m becoming an old hand at performing on public transport, in fact I’m getting a bit of a taste for it, so when British Airways asked me to play at 43,000ft I simply couldn’t resist. It was great fun and I’m proud to have been a part of it.”

Hadley, 52, added: “I’m very excited to be in the Guinness Book of Records, it’s quite an amazing feat to be part of. It’s really great that British Airways has put this event on, which has raised thousands of pounds for Flying Start.”

EastEnders actor Shane Richie hosted the 80s Gig in the Sky to celebrate 25 years of Red Nose Day. In that time, British Airways has raised more than £4.5m for Flying Start, the airline’s charity partnership with Comic Relief.

The artists, who had to perform a 15-minute set accompanied by musical instruments, played for 22 minutes and 36 seconds at 13,000 metres.

Assisted by her brother on the guitar, Wilde sang her hits You Came, You Keep Me Hangin’ On and Kids in America, while Hadley performed acoustic renditions of True, Gold and a cover of Queen’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love.

Passengers were served with canapes inspired by British Airways menus from 1988, while cabin crew donned original 1980s Roland Klein uniforms.

Keith Williams, British Airways’ chief executive, said: “I’ve visited a number of Comic Relief-funded projects and know how important it is to continue to raise money for our Flying Start partnership. The 80s Gig in the Sky is just one of the great fundraising initiatives that our teams have been working on. Many congratulations to everyone involved for this fantastic achievement.”