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August 13, 2007 
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Guinness scours Canada for tallest man
By BRETT CLARKSON, TORONTO SUN
The Toronto Sun

Neil Fingleton may be Britain's tallest man, but sometimes he's a little short on patience.

Fingleton, 26, who stands at a towering 7-foot-7, was in Toronto yesterday to help Guinness World Records find Canada's tallest man. Between Pearson airport and his downtown hotel, Fingleton estimated at least 20 people stared at him and asked, 'how tall are you?'

But it's nothing new, he says. It happens everyday. In fact, the native of Durham, England doesn't mind the attention. What he can't shrug off is that every so often some wisecracker will try to make a joke of his astonishing height.

"I'm not rude," Fingleton says. "If somebody's genuine. You know, if they're really interested (in my height), I'll talk to them all night, but if it's somebody that's trying to be funny, I'll just tell them to you know what. I don't care, I just get right to the point with people, if they're rude."

REVEALED NOV. 8

Fingleton and Guinness World Records book editor-in-chief Craig Glenday were in Toronto today and yesterday in an attempt to pin down Canada's tallest person, which will be revealed on Nov. 8, Guinness World Records Day.

Glenday urged anyone who thinks they might be the tallest in Canada to visit the Guinness World Records website and submit their height measurements. Fingleton, who recently moved back to England after living in the U.S. for nine years, played basketball at the University of North Carolina and Holy Cross in Worcester, MA., graduating with a degree in history.

Before that he played ball at Holy Name Central Catholic High School in Worcester, where he'd been recruited to play at 16. His coach at Holy Name was none other than Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi, who coached the high school's basketball program while he was director of player personnel with the Oakland Athletics. He wanted to reunite with Ricciardi, but the Blue Jays were out of town.

After playing in Greece, Italy, and Spain, nagging injuries cut short Fingleton's basketball days. Now he's focusing on acting, having done some work on commercials in the UK. Fingleton hopes to make the move to L.A. soon, and is confident his height will snag him some choice sci-fi roles.

And while a lot of giants grow to massive heights because of a condition called acromegaly, which spurs growth because the pituitary gland produces excess growth hormones -- Andre The Giant and Richard Kiel, who played Jaws in the James Bond movies -- Fingleton is just naturally tall.

His parents are both 6-feet, his sister is 6-foot-3, and his brother is 6-foot-9.

"I don't look at it like it's freakish. It is what it is."

Fingleton, who sleeps in a specially made 8-foot-long bed and who gets his clothes tailor-made, said his family and friends have encouraged him to be comfortable with his giant height. He says he's single and has never had any problems meeting women.

"It is what you make of it," Fingleton said of being one of the tallest people in the world. "It's not like if somebody's fat, they can do something about it. When you're tall, if you don't accept it, you're going to lead a pretty miserable life."



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