#BBCtrending: Spoof @UKIPWeather tops 80K followers

  • 20 January 2014
A screengrab of the @UKipWeather Twitter account at 14:56 GMT on Monday
Image caption This is how the parody @UkipWeather account looked at 14:50 GMT

In its first two days, a parody UKIP account - inspired by a UKIP councillor's comments linking flooding with gay marriage - has amassed more than 80,000 followers.

By any standards, the rise of the @UkipWeather Twitter account is pretty remarkable. The spoof account has tweeted just 16 times since it was set up on Saturday, but has gathered more than 80,000 followers. That's more than double the number of followers of the official @UKIP Twitter account. The Twitter account was inspired by comments made by UKIP councillor David Silvester - now suspended - who blamed recent flooding in the UK on the government's decision to legalise gay marriage.

"If something highlights the absurdity of life in less than 140 characters then people will retweet it," says the man behind the @UKipWeather account - 43-year-old office worker Jason Spacey from Swindon, who also runs the spoof @UpikTips. Tweet after tweet, he mocks the idea that being gay, or "gay" behaviour, could affect the weather. "Council gritters are on high alert after a man in Peterborough went into a pub and ordered a glass of white wine," is one of his tweets via @UkipWeather (this tweet alone has been retweeted more than 6,000 times). The account got a big boost on Sunday evening when comedian Stephen Fry tweeted about it to his more six million followers. Audio of a spoof UKIP shipping forecast has been a similar hit - with more than 90,000 plays since it was posted on SoundCloud on Sunday.

There are other popular political Twitter spoofs in the UK - like @Number10cat which parodies the government - but it's hard to think of another account which has grown so big, so fast. UKIP have so far not responded to our request for a comment. Mr @UkipWeather - who says he has no political affiliation, but is "what Ukippers would call a lefty" - says he's enjoying his moment in the limelight, but doesn't expect it to last. One recent poll suggested that UKIP - which believes the UK should exit the EU - is the most popular political party in the UK at the moment.

Reporting by Cordelia Hebblethwaite

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