1. Headline
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Rosie Hallam  /  Fame Pictures
Keisha and Wilco van Kleef-Bolton with their children Lucas, 4, and Eva, 2, in Dagenham, Essex, England. Keisha, 31, is 6-foot-5; Wilco, 29, is 7 feet tall. Their children are already the tallest in their classes.
By
TODAY contributor
updated 7/23/2010 9:41:33 AM ET 2010-07-23T13:41:33

Individually, they are tall enough to turn heads. Together, Wilco and Keisha van Kleef-Bolton are simply jaw-dropping.

He’s a ceiling-scraping, doorway-bonking 7 feet, an altitude seen more often in basketball players than security guards. She’s 6-foot-5, an impressive height for a woman, but just right for the man with whom she goes through life.

If that’s not enough to get your attention, Wilco, who was born in the Netherlands, is blond and pale, while Keisha, who is of African heritage, is dark. They have two children: Lucas, a 4-year-old who’s tall enough to pass for 7, and Eva, 2, who’s as tall as a girl a year older.

Until recently, the van Kleef-Boltons merely seemed to be the tallest married couple in their Essex, England, hometown — or anywhere else, for that matter. Now, it’s official: The Guinness Book of World Records has declared the towering twosome the tallest married couple in the world.

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They were not without competition. Internet searches turn up other couples who would seem to be taller, including an Indian couple, Sharad and Sanjot Kulkarni, who claimed heights of 7-foot-2 and 6-foot-4, respectively. But after a worldwide search that included an Internet appeal, Guinness has certified the heights of the British pair, as well as the validity of their marriage. At a combined 13 feet, 5 inches, they are in the famous book’s 2010 edition as the tallest in the world.

High hopes
According to British media reports, the couple met through an Internet site for tall people. Keisha was looking for a dance partner tall enough for her.

“I’m 7 ft.,” Wilco responded. “Is that tall enough?” The average British male is 5-foot-10; the average female, 5-foot-4.

The U.K.’s Sun reported on the couple’s nuptials in 2001, when Wilco was 20 and Keisha 22. “Everywhere, people stare,” Keisha said at the time. “Some even ask if we are wearing stilts.”

Wilco works as a security guard at a local college. “I have to get my uniform custom-made. And finding a good pair of shoes that fit is really difficult,” he told British newspaper The Daily Mail.

According to the paper’s website, the two live in an apartment with a bedroom that is not big enough for an extra-long bed, so they sleep with their feet hanging out. They also dream of raising the doorways so they don’t have to bend to keep from hitting their heads.

On the plus side, Keisha never needs a stool to reach things on high shelves — or the top of the slide at the local playground.

Wardrobe woes
Keisha, who wears a size 12, told The Daily Mail she was the object of jokes in school and quit wearing high heels when she was 18.

“'I use normal women’s dresses as shirts because they come up so short,” the woman with the 38-inch legs told the newspaper. When she was pregnant, there were no women’s clothes big enough for her, so she wore men’s clothing.

Wilco said he goes to American clothing sites that cater to basketball players to get the size 15 shoes he wears. Finding pants with a 40-inch inseam isn’t that easy, either.

Rosie Hallam  /  Fame Pictures
The Guinness record holders for world’s tallest couple live in an apartment that isn’t big enough to fit an extra-long mattress — with obvious results.

Wilco told The Daily Mail his parents took him to medical specialists when he reached the height of a normal man at the age of 10. The doctors determined his height was due purely to tall genes; he did not have a medical condition that was causing him to grow.

Still, when he was 12, doctors started giving him hormones to make him stop growing, their concern being that if he grew too tall, it would put too much stress on his knees and other joints. Wilco told reporters he stopped growing at 16. In his wedding photos he’s rail-thin, but he has since filled out to 260 pounds, which he appears to carry easily on his extra-large frame.

Eventually, the couple said they would like to have two more children.

“We think four is the ideal number, but we think we can wait until these two are a bit bigger,” Keisha told The Daily Mail, referring to her two rapidly growing children.

“Looking at them, it won't take that long,” she added.

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Photos: Guinness World Records 2010

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    The two were brought together fora Guinness photo shoot Sept. 3, 2006. Guinness World Records 2006 Credit: Richard Bradbury/Guinness World Records (Richard Bradbury / Guinness World Records) Back to slideshow navigation
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  49. Farthest eyeball pop

    Kim Goodman of the U.S. can pop her eyeballs to a protrusion of 11 millimeters (0.43 inch) beyond her eye sockets. Her eyes were measured on the set of the television show "Guinness World Records: Primetime," in Los Angeles on June 13, 1998. (Drew Gardner / Guinness World Records) Back to slideshow navigation
  50. Largest pie fight

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  51. Tallest man

    The world's tallest man, Sultan Kosen of Turkey, is measured by Guinness Book of World Records' officials on Sept. 21, 2009. Kosen towers over the rest of the world at an astounding 8 feet 1 inch (Seth Wenig / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  52. Tallest dog

    Gibson, a Great Dane, was the world's tallest dog. He measured 107.18 centimeters from floor to shoulder and stood at 2.19 meters. In this photo, Gibson is playing with with his friend, Zoie a 19.05 centimeter Chihuahua. The tall California dog, who was battling bone cancer, passed away on Aug. 12, 2009. (Deanne Fitzmaurice / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  53. Deepest cycling underwater

    The deepest cycling underwater is 66.5 meters (214 feet, 10 inches) and was achieved by Vittorio Innocente in Santa Margherita Ligure, Liguria, Italy, on July 21, 2008. (John Wright / Guinness World Records) Back to slideshow navigation
  54. The most tattooed senior citizen

    The most tattooed senior citizen is Isobel Varley, who covered 93 percent of her body with the ink art. (John Wright / Johnwrightphoto.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  55. Tallest couple

    Keisha and Wilco van Kleef-Bolton of Essex, England have been certified by Guinness as the world's tallest married couple. Keisha, 31, is 6-foot-5, while Wilco, 29, is 7 feet tall. Their children Lucas, 4, and Eva, 2, are already both the tallest in their classes. And their apartment isn’t big enough to fit an extra-long mattress — with obvious results. (Rosie Hallam / Fame Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  56. Most expensive hot dog

    The world's most expensive hot dog was served at New York City restaurant Serendipity 3. Priced at $69, the foot-long frank arrives on a pretzel roll toasted in white truffle butter. The all-beef sausage is grilled in white truffle oil and topped with duck foie gras, caramelized Vidalia onions, heirloom tomato ketchup and Dijon mustard. (Liz Steger) Back to slideshow navigation
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