In recent times Twitter has moved on from the lame #hashtaggames, Follow Fridays and pictures of dinner plates that plagued it during its early boom. These days there are tweets from space, bizarre cop stories and better gags than 140 episodes of Mock the Week.
But who’s tickled our timeline more than any other this year? It's none other than Norwich's finest, the prince of chat – brought to life through the Partridge-esque tweets of unknowing celebs.
Winner: Accidental Partridge
While Alpha Papa wasn’t the disaster many Partridge fans feared, Alan’s biggest success of 2013 was arguably this fan-run Twitter account, which seeks out inadvertent Partridge-style behaviour and exposes it. Our favourite? Ex-England striker Michael Owen with: “Just done an hour solid of listening to The Beatles.”
Runner-up: Chris Hadfield
NASA’s singing spaceman clocked up the retweets thanks to his high-altitude snaps, exchanges with Star Trek’s William Shatner and most famously his zero-gravity rendition of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, making him earth’s most entertaining orbital export since Thunderbird 5.
Runner-up: Olufsen & Bang
You might imagine the founders of B&O to be a pair of suave, sophisticated Scandinavian chaps. This account imagines otherwise, casting Olufsen as a long-suffering audio engineer having to deal with Bang’s inane questions and barely human ramblings.
Runner-up: USA Soccer Guy
As America’s foremost voice on all things football (not soccer, as scores of Twitter users continue to remind him) Soccer Guy’s Americanised team names (West Side Sledgehammers, London Soccer Cannons) and inspired nicknames for on-pitch events (voluntary simulation plunge, denial flag erection) make it a must-follow for soccer, sorry, football lovers.
Runner-up: Normal Guy
Ask a Twitter sceptic and they’ll tell you the site already has enough people honking on about what they had for breakfast but none of them nail it with quite the precision and finesse that Normal Guy does. The appeal is hard to explain but if you ever despair at some of the prosaic rubbish that gets spewed onto the interpipes, Normal Guy absolutely nails it.
Recently exposed as a BuzzFeed employee rather than the seemingly sentient bot that many believed it to be, the story behind Horse_ebooks is one of the most intriguing in Twitter’s short history. While some were disappointed it turned out to be run by a human, its ‘everything happens so much’ tweet will go down in meme history – and that’s no mean feat.
Runner-up: Crimer Show
With its bizarre spelling and cliched storytelling in any other medium Crimer Show would sink like a stone tied to a brick – but for some reason on Twitter it just works. Each tweet is part of a story which unfolds like a TV series, following Detetcive’s pursuit of Crimer. It’s stupid, it often makes no sense and it’s (puts on sunglasses) brilaint.