Young Joe is a record breaker

A GIFTED nine-year-old boy rubbed shoulders with the stars on Saturday as he strummed his way into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Joe Snell, of Borley Green, was among a crowd of 851 musicians that broke the world record for the most ukulele players playing simultaneously at the London Ukulele Festival.

Comedian Phill Jupitus and actor Sir Tom Courtenay were among those who plucked along to Sloop John B by The Beach Boys in Devonshire Square, London.

The record more than doubled the previous number of 401, which was set in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2007.

Bulmer’s St Andrew’s pupil Joe said: “I feel really happy to be in the record books.

“I was quite nervous because I had never really done anything that big before.

“Lots of people really liked having their picture taken with me, which was nice.”

The festival raised money for Cancer Research UK and this made it particularly special for Joe as his granddad is currently in Ipswich Hospital being treated for leukaemia.

There were performances by bands including The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain and the event was publicised to over one million people worldwide.

Alli Burke, Joe’s mum, has taught children at Bulmer St Andrew’s Primary School to play the ukulele and was also one of the record breakers.

She said: “Joe feels over the moon – he has not stopped smiling since Saturday.

“He has been playing the ukulele for the last two years and he really enjoys it.

“There has been a huge interest in the ukulele over the last couple of years and I think it’s a good way to get children playing music.”

Each of the 851 record breakers will receive a certificate of their achievement and event organisers hope to raise over 25,000 for their chosen charity.

ben.arnold@jpress.co.uk