I couldn’t believe it when he told me… 13.5 inches, and that’s rounding down.
Paul Sturgess, aka Britain’s tallest man, comes in with a width of about five inches, making the BFG a size 18… in shoes.
Now I’ve answered the big question you all wanted to know, I can tell you that Paul is 7ft 7.26 inches tall and used to play professional basketball for the Harlem Globetrotters.
Having now left that behind to begin his acting career, the large Loughborough lad spends his spare time making appearances in schools and inspiring kids.
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Speaking to UNILAD, Paul said:
I do school visits where I make personal appearances, talk about myself and it usually comes with an anti-bullying message and then coach a bit of basketball.
It’s pretty cool, and obviously it was great for basketball. It’s opened plenty of opportunities for me, travelling the road, playing basketball, and now I’ve turned it into doing some acting.
I did the stuff in primary school which I wouldn’t have been able to do if I wasn’t as tall as I am. I enjoy doing that the most as I enjoy being around kids and having that positive impact.
I usually start with an assembly. When I first walk in their jaws drop to the ground. I’m really approachable and hands on with the day and they just ask me lots of questions. It’s so popular what we do.
Kids don’t hold back with their questions, and Paul said he often gets asked how he sleeps, how he fits into cars and showers, and how he gets clothes big enough for him.
Paul’s positive outlook failed to find any faults or drawbacks with being that tall, saying he just ‘gets on with it’ and has gotten used to constantly ducking through doorways.
Paul went on to say:
I get in cars fine, I’ve just got to recline the seat all the way back. I pretty much just get on with it.
The most difficult parts of my day are just the normal things. Doorways, you know having to duck everywhere. Showers aren’t high enough. Walking around, having people stare at you constantly… that’s obviously the biggest one.
It is what it is. Whenever I’m about I just listen to music and pay no attention to it really. You’ve got to take the good with the bad.
I got to go to university in America on a basketball scholarship and then I got to travel around the world with the Harlem Globetrotters. I’ve been to 38 countries with them and every single state in America. I’m really lucky to be so well traveled.
I just finished playing basketball in March to pursue the acting stuff. I can’t tell you exactly what I’m acting in, all I can say is that it’s for Warner Bros and I’m starting filming soon, that’s my first one. I’m quite nervous for it because it’s a whole new thing.
Paul isn’t a complete anomaly as he does come from a family of giants. His dad is 6″7, and all the men in the family follow suit being well over 6ft, however Paul is the first to go over 7ft. Strangely, his mother and sister are both a very normal height.
Being so tall, the 29-year-old consumes about 5000 calories everyday, which increases to 9000 when he’s playing basketball in the US.
Speaking about his love life, the single lad said:
Yeah I’m single. My height doesn’t create any difficulties. At the end of the day, I’m just a normal person.
I traveled around a lot so that made it difficult to date. I definitely wouldn’t say it’s a burden, I’m a normal person just a little bit taller.
How tall they are isn’t an essential thing. If you’re attracted to someone they come in all different shapes and sizes.
Being almost 30, Paul said he has toned down the going out and surprisingly it only takes five or six pints to get him drunk.
It doesn’t have any effect on my health, I’ve never had any knee pain, back pain or anything like that. Probably because I’ve been so active in basketball and I eat pretty well.
I go out a little bit. I used to more than I do now because I’m going to be 30 next month so I’ve toned it down a little bit.
I play golf and hang out with friends a lot. Just the usual stuff really. I play playstation probably more than I go out to be honest.
It doesn’t take me more alcohol to get drunk because I don’t go out that much. Probably like five or six beers. I’ve never really been a huge drinker.
— Harlem Globetrotters (@Globies) September 6, 2012
While playing for the Harlem Globetrotters, Paul gained the ironic nickname of Paul ‘Tiny’ Sturgess and became the tallest person in history to ever play professional basketball.
The Harlem Globetrotters are an exhibition basketball team, meaning they combine athleticism with theatre and comedy, and they are currently owned by Herschend Family Entertainment.
Sturgess was drafted into the team at the same time as fellow rookie Jonte ‘Too Tall’ Hall who was 5ft 2in, making him the shortest professional player ever.
LMAO PAUL STURGESS BETTER pic.twitter.com/1ces4Bh8F4
— sam esfandiari (@samesfandiari) October 9, 2017
Following his time in America, Paul was signed by Cheshire Phoenix in the British Basketball League.
Aside from the basketball, Paul is also unofficially the tallest golfer who could beat the majority of people with a four-handicap on the golf course.
Of course Sturgess has custom golf clubs which are three inches longer than the standard and he routinely crushes drives more than 300 yards.
Golf is certainly a game that everyone can play. Paul Sturgess is Britain's tallest person and has a handicap in… https://t.co/9oxs6XkKrI
— Weybrook Park (@golfatweybrook) September 28, 2017
Paul has used his size in an inspiring way, encouraging others to embrace their quirks and uniqueness while also being able to travel around the world!
There can be a tendency with people who look different to treat them as if their lives must be in some way bizarre, but as Paul put it, he’s a ‘normal guy, just a bit taller’.
Keep an eye out for him in his new acting role… he’ll be hard to miss.