Swedish couple to challenge kissing world record

Reinforcing all the old stereotypes about saucy Swedes, a couple from Hallstahammar, in the province of Västmanland, will attempt to create a new world record for the longest kiss.

Hannu, 41, and Clara, 38, have been together for 16 years and will make their bid for the prestigious title of ‘the world’s longest kissers’ on February 14th, Valentine’s Day.

“If you’re going to break a world record, it’s got to be the kissing record,” said Hannu. “It’s the finest record there is.”

Sports stars may disagree with that, but the current record is certainly impressive – if you consider it impressive to lock lips for 30 hours, 59 minutes and 27 seconds in one stretch.

That was set in 2001 by a couple from New Jersey in the USA, but the Swedish contenders are not to be intimidated, believing they’ve got what it takes to snatch the record.

“We like kissing,” said Hannu, who hails from Eskilstuna, likes speedway and plays guitar in a country band called Fatboy.

Clara is the fourth generation to work in the family business supplying screws for horseshoes. She likes adding plants to Hannu’s kitchen.

The question on everybody’s lips – at least those which aren’t stuck like a plunger to another person’s face – is ‘where can I watch this inspiring feat of endurance?’.

That’s where it becomes clear that the long arm of commercialism has stretched as far as kissing records: the whole thing is a publicity stunt for the Swedish pharmacy monopoly, Apoteket.

It’s part of an ongoing toothcare promotion and you’ll be able to follow not just the kiss but also the couple’s rigorous training schedule on their web site.

“It is natural for us at Apoteket to tie together toothcare and a world record attempt for the longest kiss,” said Apoteket’s information director Thony Björk, who, with his tongue firmly in his cheek, was apparently unable to make the attempt himself.

Follow the kiss: www.apoteket.se