“I never expected to be famous like this but it’s great to be able to help the club and the hospice.”


FredNinety-one-year-old Fred Wright became famous overnight after joining the St Giles Computer Social Group.

The unlikely social media star celebrated his birthday with millions of people on Twitter and Facebook after a photo of him went viral with the hashtag #makefredfamous.

The picture of Fred with his birthday cake reached more than 5 million people in less than a week and sparked messages from celebrities including singers Boy George and Barbara Dickson. It was retweeted more than 43,000 times, liked on Facebook 2700 times and shared more than 2000 times.

Fred’s incredible story of internet fame then hit the news headlines, appearing in the local and national newspapers as well as on TV and radio around his birthday in August 2017.

St Giles Community Engagement Manager Ian Leech, said: “Fred’s a fantastic example of someone who is still learning in their tenth decade so it seemed a brilliant opportunity to show that on social media.

“I didn’t expect the response we got! It was absolutely wonderful to see such an amazing wave of lovely messages, pictures and videos from across the internet.”

Fred’s technology journey started when a family member bought him a tablet and he joined the computer group to get online.

“I spotted a story in the local paper about the group and decided to go along,” said Fred, who is the oldest member of the group. “It’s been lovely to learn so much and to be part of the group, which is really friendly.

“I never expected to be famous like this but it’s great to be able to help the club and the hospice.”

St Giles CEO Emma Hodges said the response to #makefredfamous was phenomenal and really demonstrated the positive impact of social media.

“Our volunteer led computer group encourages local people to come together, chat, learn and make new friends,” she said.

“Fred’s story really shows that it’s never too late to start learning and we’ve seen so many positive stories shared about older people engaging with technology.

“It’s also been great for us as it shows that hospices aren’t places where people go to die, they are part of a vibrant community which help people live full lives.”