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Comedian and volunteers are bowled over by world’s biggest jigsaw

PUBLISHED: 11:33 12 July 2011

Comedian Paul Foot and volunteers try to get their heads around the world's largest jigsaw

Comedian Paul Foot and volunteers try to get their heads around the world's largest jigsaw

Karen Hart

A comedian, his fans and an army of volunteers, cheered on by farm animals, was not enough to complete the world’s biggest jigsaw.

Staff at Stepney City Farm and stand-up comedian Paul Foot had no idea what they had taken on as they set out to build the 32,256 piece puzzle.

Around 100 volunteers, including some of Paul’s cult following, spent 21 hours trying to piece the puzzle together at the weekend. But long after the sun had set over the farm in Stepney Way on Sunday evening they had managed to complete just 1.5 per cent of the whole jigsaw. The puzzle, which measures more than five metres long by two metres wide, has 32 images by American pop artist Keith Haring, and the volunteers managed to partly complete just one image of a dolphin.

The farm’s PR manager Karen Hart conceded: “We had no idea what we had taken on, we hadn’t realized the complexity of the puzzle. The pieces are tiny and just trying to find the right corner among duplicate corners was near impossible.

“We had to abandon plans to put it together inside the animal enclosures because it was just to blowy. Instead we put the made-measure back board in the activity room. But already Saturday afternoon we realized it was going to be too difficult to complete.”

But Karen is not too disheartened even though they didn’t manage to raise any money from the event. Instead the farm signed Paul up as a patron along with fellow comedian David Baddiel. “Two comedians in one week is not bad, she said.

The event had been a fun profile raiser and proved how social networks like Twiiter can bring people together, she said. It was through Twitter that Karen made contact with Paul after he tweeted that he had bought a copy of the world’s biggest jigsaw and was looking to use it for a chairity-fundraiser.

There is said to be only 250 copies of the jigsaw in the world and it is believed never to have been completed. The farm has now been contacted by a company which may be interested in sponsoring the farm to complete the jigsaw.

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