The Secret Identity of the Peep Show Tweeter

Sorry if you thought the Peep Show twitter was official - I was careful to never claim so.

If the Peep Show characters show you their thoughts in the series, Twitter was the obvious platform to extend the characters into the 4th dimension. So obvious in fact that I swore someone else would already be thinking about it (the IT crowd would be another obvious one, but doesn't have that personal dimension of Peep Show).

It started as a very conversational feed, with the cast interacting and a plot of it's own developing (with care not to fall outside of the 'actual' plot lines and plausibility. This was while I was working as a volunteer at a studio, though pretty much unemployed. Who else would have the time?

As time went on, people like Nancy were brushed to the sidelines with little depth to their characters even in the series - in fact I realised they're just plot devices, Peep Show is completely and always will be about Mark and Jez. The greatest characters in the history of comedy, a statement I would fervently defend, and Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong should be awarded daily with grapes and stenna stairlifts for blessing us with such laughter. But their genius was obviously a benchmark by which the tweets would be measured, and I feared being berated for failing them.

Yes, it was hard. Very hard - I'm trained in music production, not writing or comedy. It's up to you whether or not the twitter feeds worked or not, but in the months I've been doing this there were less complaints than I could count on one hand (as much as they tore me) but hundreds of tweets of praise and possibly thousands of retweets. Every click on a funny web linked shared was getting 400+ clicks within a half hour, and not just from the UK where I expected the Peep Show fan base to be.

I knew for a long time that live twitter alongside series 6 would be a brilliant idea. So good that I wished it was just official, and could be done properly. Noticing that Sam Bain was following some characters, I offered him the twitter names for them to integrate but he didn't reply. There was no way I'd leave the names to go to waste, and followers were adding up fast, so with absolutely no effing idea of the series 6 plot I dived in with the live tweeting.


To be honest I don't remember much about what it was like, other than it was very rushed, and that I had to 'be' several different people in quick succession AND know what the context of the program is AND talk to the missus AND enjoy the show like a regular super-fan.

Quite often, the Peep Show characters were just ways of saying things I couldn't say on my regular twitter account. The super-nerd in me couldn't talk about how I love the efficiency of my local waste collection service; Mark could. The smoker in me couldn't talk about running out of rizlas; Jez could.

One one occasion I accidentally became the catalyst for the Michael Jackson moonwalk flashmob you may have seen on the news. You didn't see that coming, and neither did I. @RobManuel from b3ta had the idea, which I saw on my personal account, and I used the (at the time) 3.5k strong following to go retweet mental. With organisation from a Telegraph writer (I can't spell his username) there was a flashmob which made the news worldwide. The only thing which ruined the day was missing my train and not making it to the whole thing, though I watched live streams from peoples mobiles with a tear in my eye, it somehow felt like one of my greatest achievements. Though I don't claim credit for either the idea or the measures the journalist took talking with the police to make it happen, I'm convinced the size of Mark and Jez's followings gave it the traction to happen.

So the Peep Show twitter has been a lot of fun. Evidently, a lot of other people thought the same. Thanks for all the kind words, every single comment means a lot to me.
Let me tell you what I have l learned.

  • Don't start a twitter feed of your favourite series if you want to pay real attention to it and properly enjoy it.
  • Don't choose a program that starts the very minute you actually finish your real life work, if you hate running.
  • Don't accidentally tweet from your other personal accounts while talking as SuperHans about picking up a shedload of cocaine.
  • Don't "break the 4th wall"
  • Don't message the actors saying 'oi you look like me' or 'wtf' which really would up Matt King. Sorry.
  • Only tweet it if it makes you laugh.
  • If you fret for a second on a joke, don't do it. The occasional times I thought 'meh post it anyway' were the ones I regret.
  • I am an absolute whore for attention. I realise now that if I were offered all the money in the world, and all the attention, I would choose the attention, and probably have some problem which has a name and would get me a free laptop at school.
  • If you want it to continue, don't tell everyone you're the one who did it.

And with that, I don't know if the Peep Show twitter will continue. Sam Bain, Jesse Armstrong, and new writer Simon Blackwell (who has been very kind to the real me on twitter, incidentally) can have them if they want, as long as they don't leave them to go on the wayside. I genuinely believe there has never been a better match for interaction between the web and television, and with a proper marketing team it could be huge. And with the real writers, a lot funnier.

Subscribe to Tom Davenport

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.