It’s been quite a year in the Twittersphere.

From political scandals, celebrity gossip, major sporting events, viral videos, millions of memes and significant deaths, people haven’t been deprived of things to talk about.

Now, Twitter UK has released their annual report on what topics, TV moments, and celebrity goss has captured the attention of us Brits over the past 365 days.

From tributes to notable figures Prince Philip and Sir Captain Tom Moore who have sadly passed, to the great return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford.

Plus, how can we forget Piers Morgan kicking off about Harry and Meghan (again) by storming off the Good Morning Britain set? Twitter can’t get enough of the conversations.

Here are some of the most popular UK tweets from this past year.

Most RT & Liked of 2021 - @captaintommoore

Sir Captain Tom Moore captured the heart of the nation in 2020 when he raised money for the NHS in the run-up to his 100th birthday in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The former British army officer, raised £30 million by the time his birthday came around - smashing his initial target of £1,000.

His achievement didn’t go unrecognised as he was personally knighted by the Queen at Windsor Castle in July 2020.

Sadly, on February 2 2021, Sir Tom passed away after being sent to hospital with pneumonia and later contracting Covid.

So, after his hugely successful fundraising it’s no surprise that when it was announced on his official Twitter account that he had died, the tweet became the most shared tweet this year as Britain mourned his loss - with 993,000 likes and over 138,000 retweets.

Sport - @ManUtd welcomes home Cristiano Ronaldo

When it was announced that footballer Cristiano Ronaldo would be leaving Juventus to return to his old stomping ground at the Theatre of Dreams, it’s fair to say footy fans (especially Manchester United fans) had a lot to say about the news.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Ronaldo’s first stint at Manchester United was from 2003-2009 where he won the Champions League, Premier League, the Ballon d’Or, so no wonder Twitter was buzzing about his highly anticipated return to the club.

The official announcement from the football club’s Twitter account received 1.9m likes and over 247,000 retweets from fans welcoming him back to Old Trafford.

Brand - @Twitter itself

In a meta twist, it appears Twitter itself has managed to go viral with a simple tweet saying: “hello literally everyone.”

And it looks like it reached “literally everyone” as it received 3.3m likes and over 191,000 retweets.

Charity - @MindCharity condemns Piers Morgan’s comments about Meghan Markle

After Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s explosive sit down interview with Oprah Winfrey was aired, and Piers Morgan was pulling no punches.

Known for his controversial opinions, in particular, slating the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at any given opportunity, he called Markle “Princess Pinocchio” and said: “I don’t believe a word she said,” in reference to comments the Duchess made about having suicidal thoughts.

In response, mental health charity Mind criticised Morgan over his comments, expressing their “disappointment” before adding how it is “vital” that people who share their experiences with mental health are “treated with dignity, respect and empathy.”

Over 96,000 people liked the charity’s tweet, while over 30,000 retweet the statement.

TV - Piers Morgan storms off Good Morning Britain set in a row with co-present Alex Beresford over Meghan and Harry

Discussions on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex came to a head when Morgan and Good Morning Britain co-presenter Alex Beresford clashed over their opinions on Meghan Markle.

Beresford slammed the way Morgan “continues to trash” her, but this appeared to hit a nerve as Morgan then stormed off, saying on his way out: “OK, I’m done with this, sorry, no, can’t do this,” while Beresford can be heard calling Morgan’s behaviour “pathetic” and “diabolical.”

Morgan did return to the set later on in the show to continue his presenting duties and resume discussion around the two royals.

For obvious reasons, it became one of the biggest TV moments of the year, with over 335,000 people likes for the clip, and 62,000 retweets.

Moment - The Royal Family announces the death of Prince Philip

On April 9th 2021, news broke that Prince Philip had passed away at the age of 99.

As the longest-serving royal consort in British history, the Duke of Edinburgh beside the Queen for more than her six decades of reign, and so generations of Brits have grown up with him as he carried out his royal duties.

Due to the digital age of social media, Prince Philip’s death was also announced on the Royal Family’s official Twitter account.

Along with a photo of the Duke, the tweet read: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”

In response, the announcement received over 580,000 likes, and 182,000 retweets as people sent their messages of condolence to the Queen and the rest of the royal family.

Activism - free school meals @Munchbunch87

A mum went viral on Twitter after pointing out the glaringly obvious difference between what thirty pounds worth of food looks like (left) compared to what a private company Chartwells, who was contracted by the government to supply £30 worth of food to her (right).

In the photo, it shows the mum was given two jacket potatoes, a can of beans, eight single cheese slices, a loaf of bread, two carrots, three apples, two Soreen Malt Lunchbox Loaves, three Frubes, some pasta and one tomato.

The tweet received 124,000 likes, 50,000 retweets, and caused children’s minister Vicky Ford to announce a Government investigation to ‘urgently’ look into the matter.

Chartwells released a statement clarifying the images circulating shows five days or school lunches (not ten) and added the charge, packing and distribution of the food came to £10.50 and not £30 as suggested.

Covid - @sbattrawden

With the Covid pandemic continuing into 2021, one of the top tweets in relation to this topic was from Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden who tweeted about how she is leading a group of doctors taking the government to court for a public inquiry.

While promising to keep followers updated on her progress, she asked her followers to “help us hold the Govt to account” by retweeting and sharing her tweet.

Well, it certainly worked as her tweet has been liked 66,000 times, and received over 34,000 retweets too.

Thread - @GeorgePointon_

On a lighter note, one teacher went viral with his hilarious Twitter thread of his young students cracking their best jokes and rating them out of ten.

Our personal favourite is Alice who joked: “Why did the cow cross the road? - To go to the Mooovies”

The comical thread has received 230,000 likes and 50,000 retweets so it looks like we might have some future comedians in our midst.

Meme - Sea shanty @vonstrenginho

The “Four Lads in Jeans” who became an infamous meme after an image of them wearing tight trousers on a night out went viral,

Last year, Jamie Philips, Connor Humpage, Kevin Rooney and Alex Lacey were photographed outside a bar in Birmingham and soon hit viral fame after people turned the innocent image into a meme.

TikTok soon took hold of the meme with the “sea shanty” trend entertaining us during the pandemic as the lad’s faces had been digitally edited to make it look like they’re singing along.

A clip of the lads “singing” the sea shanty song received 179,000 likes and 30,000 retweets, it seems Twitter is officially a fan.

Top Tweeted person: Boris Johnson

Getty Images

With Covid, Brexit, food shortages, supply chain issues, and alleged Christmas party rule-breaking, it’s no wonder that Boris Johnson is the top tweeted person in 2021 - beating the likes of popular K-pop band BTS.

  1. Boris Johnson
  2. BTS
  3. Donald Trump
  4. Joe Biden
  5. Kier Starmer

Top Tweeted hashtag: #loveisland

YouTube/Love Island

Every summer, like clockwork we Brits always tune in to ITV 2 to see what drama and romance the islanders find themselves in, so Love Island being the top hashtag of the year doesn’t come as a shock.

  1. #loveisland

Top Tweeted artist/musician: BTS

Getty Images

BTS is known for their hardcore fanbase, so there was no doubt they were going to claim the top spot for this category.

One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson also made it in the top five with his latest solo project and Taylor Swift crept in there as well, thanks to her releasing her re-recordings of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version).

  1. BTS
  2. EXO
  3. BAEKHYUN
  4. Louis Tomlinson
  5. Taylor Swift

Top Tweeted sports team: Paris St Germain

AFP via Getty Images

With Lionel Messi joining Paris St Germain this year, in a team with the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, it comes as no surprise that the French club was all football twitter was talking about.

  1. Paris St Germain
  2. France
  3. Olympique Marseille
  4. FC Barcelona
  5. Real Madrid

Top Tweeted sportsperson: Marcus Rashford

Thanks to his regular appearances playing for Manchester United and England along with his dedicated campaigning off the pitch for free school meals and Universal Credit - and receiving an MBE for his charity work, Marcus Rashford is the top tweeted sports person this year.

  1. Marcus Rashford
  2. Lionel Messi
  3. Cristiano Ronaldo
  4. Jack Grealish
  5. Paul Pogba

Top Tweeted film: Zack Snyder’s Justice League

YouTube/HBO Max

There was a lot of anticipation surrounding director Zack Synder’s cut of the superhero film after he stepped down during the post-production phase of the original film following the death of his daughter.

And with his cut being a four-hour experience, it’s understandable as to why this was the top tweeted film this year, with Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, and Jared Lato as the Joker - it was an all-star affair.

  1. Zack Snyder’s Justice League
  2. Spider-Man: No Way Home
  3. Black Panther
  4. The Suicide Squad (2021)
  5. Black Widow

Top Tweeted TV show: Sex Education

YouTube/Netflix

Netflix’s British comedy Sex Education had everyone talking upon the release of its third season in September this year. How we missed Moordale High, along with Otis and Maeve giving advice out to students on all things sex and relationship related.

Squid Game came in second, which given it’s the biggest Netflix show ever there was of course a lot of buzz about the Korean dystopian drama in the Twittersphere.

And it wouldn’t be a British list without Love Island making it in the top, now would it?

  1. Sex Education
  2. Squid Game
  3. Love Island
  4. GMB
  5. You
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)