Events

#ThisHappened - the Top UK Retweets of 2017

By David Wilding
Tuesday, 5 December 2017

As we reach the end of 2017, we’re reflecting on the year that was: from breaking news, entertainment, sports, if it happened anywhere, it happened on Twitter.

Here in the UK, it has been at times a challenging year on various fronts. In the face of adversity, though, we’ve seen Tweets bring people together like never before. Communities have united, solidarity has prevailed, humour has shone through, and voices have been given to the voiceless.

To remind us of the incredible depth of conversations we’ve seen happening in 2017, we’ve pulled together the 10 most Retweeted Tweets in the UK since January:

---

It comes as little surprise that the most Retweeted Tweet of 2017 in the UK, currently holds the record for the most-RT’d of all time.

Back in April, Carter Wilkinson pleaded with his 100 followers to help him achieve Wendy’s audacious offer of free nuggets for life should he hit 18 million RTs. Twitter didn’t disappoint, with #NuggsForCarter trending globally and Carter becoming an internet sensation, now with around 115K followers.

This Tweet is unavailable
This Tweet is unavailable.
This Tweet is unavailable.

Following the tragic attack on Manchester in May, millions came together in an outpouring of strength and defiance on Twitter. Solidarity hashtags such as #WeAreManchester saw Mancunians offer their homes, cars or simply a hug to complete strangers.

Ariana Grande’s poignant Tweet spread around the world in the devastating aftermath of her concert at Manchester Arena that night:

This Tweet is unavailable
This Tweet is unavailable.
This Tweet is unavailable.

One of the most heartwarming stories of 2017 was the bond that formed between footballer Jermain Defoe and Bradley Lowery.

Bradley sadly lost his battle with terminal cancer back in July, but became a national hero as the die-hard Sunderland fan became ‘best mates’ with his hero @IAmJermainDefoe.

The football community and beyond united in tribute to Bradley and other young children facing illness or adversity through #CancerHasNoColours.  

This Tweet is unavailable
This Tweet is unavailable.
This Tweet is unavailable.

It has been a huge year for politics, with #Brexit and #GE2017 two of the three top UK trending topics in 2017.

It’s not just UK focussed politics that resonated though. @BarackObama’s farewell as POTUS sparked huge conversation throughout the UK, with this powerful message being Retweeted more than 1.7 million times:

This Tweet is unavailable
This Tweet is unavailable.
This Tweet is unavailable.

Mental health has been in the headlines throughout the year. When footballer Aaron Lennon was detained under the mental health act in May, former-pro Andy Johnson took to Twitter to encourage people to rally behind people like Aaron.

#EndTheStigma became an incredibly uplifting hashtag that empowered people to have an open conversation about Mental Health, rather than shy away from a tricky topic.

This Tweet is unavailable
This Tweet is unavailable.
This Tweet is unavailable.

Jeremy Clarkson is never far from the spotlight in the UK, and he returned to entertain us this year with the launch of The Grand Tour.

One of the most followed UK individuals with 7 million followers, when Clarkson decided to turn himself into a meme back in July the Retweets were destined to follow;

This Tweet is unavailable
This Tweet is unavailable.
This Tweet is unavailable.

Next, in the top 10 UK Retweets is @CopThatCooks. PC Dave Wise is a detective in training with West Mercia Police but on the side a prolific Tweeter.

Dave’s follower numbers have more than doubled over the course of 2017. Much of this popularity is down to his honest and passionate voice around the issues that many of us relate to in everyday life.

In this instance, he was raising awareness about a challenging but important issue -- suicide prevention. He used the Twitter Poll feature effectively to engage people into action, with nearly 300K votes / Retweets combined:

This Tweet is unavailable
This Tweet is unavailable.
This Tweet is unavailable.

There's nothing better about British Twitter than our ability to take the piss out of ourselves.

Few are better at this than footballer Peter Crouch, whose self-deprecating tone has won him million of followers on Twitter.

Measuring in at 6’7, when Crouch had a photo opportunity with a Giraffe during the summer holidays he sensed an open goal of a Tweet, and he didn't miss:

This Tweet is unavailable
This Tweet is unavailable.
This Tweet is unavailable.

When @LucidWhim Tweeted this picture out to her 46 followers in September, she probably didn’t expect what followed. Fiona was attempting to raise awareness about breast cancer following her daughter’s diagnosis.

A quarter of a million Retweets down the line, Fiona shared in November that her daughter is now cancer free, thanking @SheffieldHosp and @WPSupportCentre for their unwavering support.

An incredibly moving story that reminds us of the power of communities on Twitter, often giving a voice to the voiceless.

This Tweet is unavailable
This Tweet is unavailable.
This Tweet is unavailable.

Jeremy Corbyn was the most mentioned individual on UK Twitter in 2017. Not only did he beat Theresa May in terms of total conversation, but he was also ahead of Donald Trump!

When this clip emerged of him with a spring of his step at Labour party conference, Twitter couldn't resist a caption competition... and it did not disappoint:

This Tweet is unavailable
This Tweet is unavailable.
This Tweet is unavailable.
@drwilding

David Wilding

‎@drwilding‎

Head of Planning

Only on Twitter