One of the things Twitter is particularly good at is making those people we watch on our TV screens more accessible to their thousands – or even millions – of followers. Celebrities on Twitter entertain, inform and interact with their fans in many different ways. Here’s a cross-section of what they’ve been up to during the week ending 7th April 2013.
People like us
There are many reasons people follow celebrities on Twitter, even when they don’t really have anything to say. For instance, the singer Beyonce joined Twitter one year ago last week and has sent just four tweets in that time, all of them basically PR statements. There’s no obvious reason to follow her – and yet she has just under 7½ million followers. Bizarre.
In other cases, though, it’s easy to see why others have loyal followings. Some are genuinely entertaining with their tweets, many are happy to interact with their followers, while others offer a window into their lifestyles, whether it is the glamorous side of what they do or the more mundane things that make them seem more real and accessible: ordinary people like us, as it were.
TV stars also watch TV, just like us. Who’d have thunk it? Some of them watch mainstream shows:
I am developing a significant crush on one of the bad guys in Prisoner’s Wives. Like that show.Title doesn’t do it justice IMHO.
— Miranda Hart (@mermhart) April 5, 2013
Others have more eclectic tastes:
Robot Combat League. Next Monday at 8. SyFy channel. At last. Boxing Robots. AT LAST!!
— jonathan ross (@wossy) April 1, 2013
While others raise the burning questions we dare not ask ourselves. Here’s Pointless‘ man behind the laptop, Richard Osman:
The choice between watching Barcelona v PSG and ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’ makes you ask some hard questions about yourself.
— Richard Osman (@richardosman) April 2, 2013
Many are happy to share the minutiae of their lives, revealing that they suffer from the same frustrations as everyone else. This sort of thing really shouldn’t happen to a Great British Bake Off co-host and sitcom writer, should it? But it does.
Dear Camden Council – in all your innumerable training exercises, do you ever actually learn to PICK UP A PHONE?
— Sue Perkins (@sueperkins) April 5, 2013
Look what I’m doing!
I try to avoid those TV celebs who tweet nothing but PR twaddle (or those who get their ‘people’ to do it for them), but there are plenty out there who clearly tweet for themselves, and for whom the occasional bit of self-promotional news is not unwelcome. So, for instance Countdown‘s – and now The Gadget Show‘s – Rachel Riley:
— Rachel Riley (@RachelRileyRR) April 4, 2013
Some tease us with snippets of what they are up to. Here’s Peep Show‘s and Mitchell & Webb’s David Mitchell:
Sorry I haven’t been tweeting much. I never do that much even when I’m not filming in Turkey. And currently I AM filming in Turkey.
— David Mitchell (@RealDMitchell) April 1, 2013
But what are you filming, David? WHAT?!?
And then there are others who give us a full blow-by-blow account of their week’s activities. For instance, actor, comedian, tech geek and Apple fanboy Stephen Fry was filming for a documentary about the City of London last week. Here are some of the places he went to:
Uh oh – I’m going down Tower 42’s window cleaning thingy. Help!!! — Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) April 2, 2013
Ooh. Fired in the City of London Police range. Two head shots, two body shots and one right in the groin. I frighten myself sometimes… — Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) April 2, 2013
Just been in the Bank of England in a roomful of money. Billions. Feel slightly faint. This City of London documentary has been fascinating — Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) April 5, 2013
Fry is one of the grand doyens of Twitter, regularly tweeting about topics as diverse as his shooting schedule, current affairs, the latest gadgets or, as he did the week before last, commenting on an abusive passenger who delayed his flight back from LA and had to be escorted off the plane by police. He’s one of the few famous people I have followed consistently, largely because there are no airs and graces about him. He leads a varied and interesting life, he’s happy to share it with followers and to interact with them in an occasional rather than needy way, and he’s basically what we all secretly wish we could be as tweeters.
A week in the life of Simon Pegg
Another well-known TV – and now movie – name who’s always worth a follow is Spaced co-creator Simon Pegg, now starring as Montgomery Scott in J J Abrams‘ rebooted Star Trek franchise. Just in case you didn’t know, he’s been regularly reminding us about the forthcoming Star Trek Into Darkness, which also stars fellow TV alumni Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock), Zacahry Quinto (Heroes) and John Cho (FlashForward).
Pegg is currently in Vancouver shooting a film with Toni Collette, star of Muriel’s Wedding and Little Miss Sunshine, among others. His week last week included persuading Collette to join Twitter:
Who would like Toni Colette to get onto Twitter? She’s toying with the idea but isn’t entirely convinced. — Simon Pegg (@simonpegg) April 1, 2013
Working hard on set (having convinced Collette to sign up) …
… Looking remarkably similar on a day off shooting …
Walking around in your underwear is perhaps not the best thing about having a day off by by jingo, it’s up there. — Simon Pegg (@simonpegg) April 4, 2013
And reminiscing about his cinematic breakthrough, Shaun of the Dead, ten years ago:
Pegg’s good value. Like Fry, he’s genuinely funny without feeling the need to send out a one-liner for absolutely everything and is happy to interact with anyone who piques his interest. He also isn’t afraid to give as good as he gets when dealing with one of Twitter’s unfortunate side-effects: users who think it’s okay to chuck insults and abuse at people just because they’re famous. All power to him.
That’s your lot for this week. I’m off now to cyberstalk a variety of C-list celebs, so I’ll be back with more 140-character-based commentary next Tuesday!
To read previous Tweets of the Week columns, click here.