Friends smash record for world's longest hug with mammoth 36-hour embrace

Two friends have broken the record for the world’s longest hug after a marathon embrace on London’s South Bank.

Joe Snape and Will Jarvis, both 27, locked arms for 36 hours, 36 minutes and 36 seconds after coming up with the ambitious idea in the pub.

Hundreds of passers-by in the capital joined in with the heroic cuddle, which began at 8.30am on Saturday June 23rd and stretched until 9.36pm the following day.

The school-friends celebrating their success with yet another hug, after raising thousands of pounds for mental health charity Mind through sponsorship.

Hug it out: Joe and Will raised thousands of pounds for Mind with their record-breaking hug

‘I feel like a shattered shell – in a very happy way,’ said Joe on Monday.

‘It was much harder than I thought it was going to be. It was just so mentally exhausting, and time goes so slowly when you’re there, especially when there aren’t that many people around.

‘But overall it was just the most incredible thing ever, and everyone was so lovely. It felt like millions of strangers came and hugged us, we got the most incredible good vibes.’

Picking a busy London spot meant that hundreds of tourists and locals witnessed the hug-a-thon, with many joining in for a quick squeeze and some moral support.

New friends: Hundreds of strangers dropped by for a hug with Will and Joe

Although Joe admits that the early hours of Sunday were the most challenging.

‘To be honest there were some real low points,’ he said.

‘We were on the South Bank, and it turns out there really aren’t very many people around between 3am and 7am, so that was quite a dark time.

‘When it was dark and there was just no one there and it was just two guys hugging with one of our friends Chris and his drunk mate sitting on the sideline, that was a low point.’

‘It was a dark time’ Joe admits that the pair struggled in the early hours of Sunday

A jubilant crowd witnessed the final seconds, with strangers who had seen the huggers earlier in the weekend returning to the spot to be there for the moment.

Joe said: ‘The crowd was absolutely massive. As the hug finally broke everyone went crazy and we got a hug from about 150 people at once.

‘It was just so lovely, all our families were there. And then we celebrated with a big hug.’


The official rules meant that two witnesses had to be present at all times, and the entire endeavour had to be caught on camera. The pair were permitted a five-minute break every hour.

Joe’s girlfriend Katie Hunter said: ‘I’m very proud of the boys for this marathon achievement.

‘Sure, it came from a really stupid idea born at the pub, but they’ve fundraised a huge amount of money for a great cause.

‘I can’t explain how it feels to know that my boyfriend is officially one of the best huggers in the whole world.’

To sponsor Joe and Will, visit