Toy Show tester Adam King has been named "most huggable person" of 2022 by the team behind National Hugging Day in the US.
Ever since he first appeared on The Late Late Toy Show in 2020, Adam King has melted hearts around the country with his infectious enthusiasm, big smile and virtual hugs.
Given the COVID-19 restrictions at the time, the affectionate toy tester decided to hold up his picture of a heart that read 'a hug for you' in lieu of being able to give host Ryan Tubridy, and his surprise guest, hospital porter John Doyle, a proper hug.
Since then, the space enthusiast has found fans across the universe, with special shout outs from NASA (they offered him a job), astronaut Chris Hadfield (who gave him pointers for his new job), and now the good people at National Hugging Day.
Founded by Kevin Zaborney, National Hugging Day was first celebrated in America in 1986 but has grown internationally ever since. The day primarily encourages family and friends to hug often (and consensually) with one another, although they do remind participants to be especially careful at the moment considering the pandemic.
According to the website, 'The Most Huggable of the Year' are announced annually, with past selections celebrating public figures - such as comedian Joan Rivers and actor Jason Ritter - as well as "down-to-earth common folk".
Today it was announced that the 'Most Huggable' titles went to G and the Jolly Cucumbers band for their song Wrap My Arms Around You; and 7-year-old Adam King from East Cork who created Adam's Virtual Hug.
🌟 Adam's kind heart and adventurous spirit inspires us.— NASA (@NASA) November 28, 2020
There’s space for everybody at NASA, and we can’t wait for him to one day join our team of dreamers. We’ll be here when he’s ready. 🌟 pic.twitter.com/WJCzue9O13
In a recent press release, Adam was applauded for "introducing the world to a beautiful hug he had drawn to stay closer to his teacher and friends during the Covid-19 pandemic."
Last year, to celebrate National Hugging Day, Adam's 'A hug for you' sign was projected onto the Samuel Beckett Bridge, and it seems that this year has another exciting presentation in store.
Posting to the Adam King Adventures Instagram page, Adam and his family shared the news that they would be lighting up the GPO and other landmarks across the country with a virtual hug, which they invited the public to enjoy both in person and online:
"And remember in Adam's words - always remember to hug the ones you love the most, and if you can't give them a real hug - give them a virtual hug!!"
For more information on National Hugging Day click here.