Do you remember when you had to read the papers or watch Parkinson to find out your favourite film, music or television star’s thoughts on any given subject? Well, for better or for worse, those days are gone, because modern cats only have one source for their celeb gossip – a place where they can hear it straight from the horse’s mouth (or that of a trusted PR appointed by the horse). Yes, I’m talking about @Twitter, obviously.
In the wake of @simoncowell joining the micro-social network, the past week has seen all manner of online bravado from some of his mogul-like British peers. Can he beat @piersmorgan in his follower count by Christmas, or will @lord_sugar shame them both with his ability to create virtual apprentices?
Well, while these be-suited gentlemen might be big in business, they’re not the biggest British names on Twitter – not by a long chalk.
In fact, the highest ranking British “thing” on Twitter is the band Coldplay, with a whopping 4.7 million followers – but because they’re a group, I’ve discounted them from this study.
Therefore – drum roll please – the (un)disputed British Twitter champion is… (oh, if you’ve read the headline, you’ll already know)… Russell Brand. That’s right, the controversial comedian turned film star has a stupendous 3,522,354 followers and, according to figures from Famecount.com, he’s rising by more than 160,000 new followers each and every month. Sachs-gate… what Sachs-gate, eh?
But it’s not all plain sailing for old @rustyrockets (Brand), he’s got competition. Snapping at his digital heels in pursuit of the British Twitterati crown is learned funnyman, all round good egg and media appointed national treasure, Mr @stephenfry. The artist formerly known as Lord Melchett is just under 100,000 off the pace at present, with 3,426,158 followers. He too is gaining newbies fast, with just under 150,000 new followers supporting his cause every month.
As far as I know there’s no current rivalry between the two social media giants, but when their fans read this – and realise just how close they are to one another – I’m hoping one develops.
In third place is @MrsLRCooper (better known as Lily Cooper or Lily Allen). The singer’s not far off the pace – in the three millions, a good place to be – but with a growth rate of only 50,000 followers a month, it’s unlikely she’ll find a way to convert her 3,140,468 followers into Brand or Fry-busting numbers anytime soon.
There’s quite a drop down to the fourth person in our list. She’s not a film star, a national treasure or a pop princess. Nope, she’s a humble presenter… but that doesn’t seem to worry @fearnecotton‘s 2,408,629 Twitter faithful. Indeed, Fearne’s a growing star – she added almost as many new followers in the past month as Mr Brand.
Completing the British Twitter hot five is another singer – it’s @OfficialAdele, the soulful sensation who’s so well loved that 2,338,715 people hang on her every digital word. And Adele could soon be skyrocketing past @rustyrockets himself, it seems. Last month she attracted an astounding 650,000 new followers. Now that’s what I call music… I mean, momentum.
So there we have it – the Twitter wars continue, whose side are you on?
But for now, why not read the rest of the top ten British individuals on Twitter – and maybe give them a follow and see just what “essential” information you’re missing out on…
1. Russell Brand – 3,522,354 followers
2. Stephen Fry – 3,426,158 followers
3. Lily Cooper / Allen – 3,140,468 followers
4. Fearne Cotton – 2,408,629 followers
5. Adele – 2,338,715 followers
6. Eddie Izzard – 2,129,111 followers
7. Wayne Rooney – 2,128,579 followers
8. Emma Watson – 1,916,153 followers
9. Chris Moyles – 1,679,407 followers
10. Simon Pegg – 1,672,093 followers