Elderly 'Twilight TikTokers' racking up millions of views on social media

Frank Hackett has always been a natural entertainer. “I’ve always loved dancing and singing and acting – anything for a laugh,” he smiles. So when he found fame on the internet three years ago, he was not astonished in the slightest. “Of course not, I was born for it!” the retired environmental health and safety worker laughs, a twinkle in his eye.

It is no surprise that Frank is loved by so many people – 7.2 million to be precise – on the video-sharing site TikTok.

The unlikely content creator, who is 77 and goes by the name “Grandad Frank” [@grandadfrankk], has won acclaim for his energetic dances and lip-synching performed with granddaughter Kiera Hackett-Hall, 17.

And he is far from alone. Recent years have seen a remarkable rise in so-called “granfluencers” – people aged 50 to 90 who are racking up millions of followers on social media platforms, and earning handsome retirement incomes.

With 11 percent of the site’s users now aged 50 or above, such granfluencers – or “Twilight TikTokers” as they are also known – have seen their followings grow, winning the hearts and minds of youngsters, especially with their humour and wisdom.

They can, it turns out, show the US-based Kardashian family a thing or two.

“The most comments I get seem to be from teenagers who never knew their own grandparents. Or their families have broken up and they don’t see their grandparents anymore,” Frank, originally from Galway, Ireland, explains. “Some of them have really heartbreaking stories.”

Fans also love his occasional videos with his wife Julie. One recent clip of the pair dancing was watched by 2.2 million people.

Kiera, who curates the short videos, which typically last 10 to 20 seconds, tempted Frank onto TikTok in late 2019 and, since then, he has racked up an astonishing 176 million likes.

amazon, elderly 'twilight tiktokers' racking up millions of views on social media

Grandad Frank and granddaughter Kiera

Indeed, he has become so famous that he gets recognised in Kent where he lives.

“We were at a concert recently in Dartford and during the interval at half-time, I got a tap on my shoulder with ‘Grandad Frank, can we have a photograph with you?'” he says. “I was in the middle of somewhere with complete strangers. It was unbelievable.”

This trend of senior influencers as social media kingmakers has been gathering pace for some time, but the popularity of double acts like Frank and Kiera snowballed during the pandemic as stay-at-home orders restricted opportunities to meet in real life.

Much has been made of granfluencers who become bankable stars through brand sponsorships and lucrative paid-for posts but Kiera, who is in her second year of A-levels, does not put herself and Frank in that bracket.

“Yes, we make some money, but that’s not really what keeps us going,” she says. “We just do it because of the fun, really.”

Joe Allington [@grandadjoe1933] from Lichfield, Staffs, is reportedly TikTok’s highest-earning granfluencer, earning some £134,000 per year – eight times more than the current state pension.

With his beaming smile and cuddly physique, Grandad Joe, as he is known, is 89 and has six million followers for his videos, light-hearted skits, jokes and dancing with 18-year-old granddaughter Brooke Paintain.

“The dances aren’t my favourite because they can be hard to choreograph, I prefer the funny, light-hearted ones,” the retired truck driver says. “If me or my daughter or one of my granddaughters sees a dance or a trend that we think is funny we share it with each other and decide whether we should recreate it – it’s a lovely thing to have everybody involved.”

amazon, elderly 'twilight tiktokers' racking up millions of views on social media

Grandad Joe and Granddaughter Brooke

Turning to TikTok has dramatically altered Joe’s life.

When his wife Joyce died in 2008 from dementia, he was left shellshocked.

She was 77 and had displayed no symptoms except for the occasional forgetfulness; her untimely death left him grief-stricken and isolated after 18 years of happiness. “I wasn’t expecting it and suddenly I was alone in the home we’d shared,” the pensioner admits with a sigh. “I think to some extent I just gave up.”

After Joe suffered a near-fatal heart attack, his daughter Wendy insisted he move in with her and her three children including Brooke. It was during lockdown she interested him in TikTok. “She was always on her phone,” he remembers.

“I would ask her what she was doing and it was always TikTok. She asked why I didn’t start my own, and I thought, well, why not. Then my account exploded – I suddenly was getting millions of views on my videos.”

Joe defies expectations with his gallows humour. In one clip as he clicks his fingers, a message reads: “You’re not bringing your wife are you?” He walks off to the side, followed by someone carrying an urn of Joyce’s ashes.

Although some might baulk at this, Joe sees laughter as medicine. “I like to play the joker and I hope showing difficult and painful things like this in a humorous way means other people my age who have experienced loss can feel comfortable having conversations about this,” he says.

It is why he is backing a BT digital skills campaign to support older people to master their mobiles so they can better keep in touch with loved ones and friends.

Research found 71 percent of older people thought sharing videos and pictures could be key to tackling isolation – yet just 17 percent of them did so regularly.

“When I lived alone I did feel lonely,” says Joe. “There was no way I could keep in touch with my family the way I do now because I wasn’t using tech and the internet.”

Another couple intent on spreading positivity on TikTok are husband and wife Jimmy and Joan O’Shaughnessy, from Southport, Merseyside, who have two sons and a grandson.

They have been together since Joan was 16 and Jimmy was 17 and will celebrate their golden anniversary later this year.

After learning to dance in their forties, they became English and British ballroom champions. After joining TikTok during lockdown to keep dancing, they have amassed 2.4 million followers on their account [@twojays2].

“We’ve been together a long time and we get so many comments from people saying they want to be like us, quoting the term ‘relationship goals’,” says former IT worker Joan. “We hashtag ‘love and positivity’ because we find that that’s what people get out of our videos.”

One response in particular came from a man who had lost his wife.

“He said seeing the love we have for each other in our video made him think of the love he had for his wife,” says Joan.

“It really touched us.” They replied privately and publicly with their best wishes. Our followers then sent him love, support and sympathy. That’s incredible.”

amazon, elderly 'twilight tiktokers' racking up millions of views on social media


They are still messaging each other now.

Joan and Jimmy have so many views that they were asked to do a promotional dance for one of Motown legend Diana Ross’s records last year, which the singer formally approved before it aired. Disney and Amazon Prime have also been in touch.

“It’s turned out to be quite lucrative in the end because we’ve been commissioned to do different dances,” says Jimmy, a former executive for defence firm BAE Systems.

With offers of free cruises and appearances on chat shows in America, they’ve decided to drop the dancing in real life to dedicate themselves to TikTok.

“We spent 20 years doing ballroom and Latin dancing and it’s as if this is another phase of our life that we never thought we’d be involved with,” Jimmy says.

“It’s opened up opportunities for us and the amount of positive feedback we get from people around the world is mind-blowing really.”

Joan and Jimmy hope they’re defying stereotypes about older people.

He adds: “People are astonished that we’re able to still do the moves that young people do today but we did disco back in the 1970s – we used to have all the moves.”

News Related


Bake Off star confirms his Leicester tea room has closed for good

The Leicester tea toom and patisserie launched by former Great British Bake Off contestant Ali Imdad has permanently closed, he has confirmed to LeicestershireLive. Cocoa by Ali, in Market Street, ... Read more »

No arrests made following alleged rape by 'four unknown Turkish men' in Bournemouth

No arrests made following alleged rape by ‘four unknown Turkish men’ in Bournemouth (Image: Newsquest) POLICE have made no arrests following an alleged rape in Bournemouth town centre last year ... Read more »

I’m a parenting expert & bad habits like thumb sucking & toy throwing are good for your kids, here’s why…

IT goes without saying that we absolutely adore our kids – but that doesn't mean they don't drive us up the wall each and every day. If they're not following ... Read more »

Jennifer Lopez shares a hilarious video her Shotgun Wedding co-star Jennifer Coolidge left on her phone just HOURS before their movie premieres on Prime

With just hours left until her new movie Shotgun Wedding premieres on Amazon Prime Video, Jennifer Lopez shared a hilarious new video with her co-star Jennifer Coolidge. Lopez, 53, took ... Read more »

Ashworth could seal a "deadly" signing as Newcastle in talks for "breathless" £35m ace - opinion

Newcastle United are in talks regarding a deal to bring Denzel Dumfries to the Premier League in the January transfer window. What’s the talk? Transfer Focus That’s according to a ... Read more »

Indian employee fired by Spotify says it feels like a bad dream, has 60 days to find a new job to stay in US

Indian employee fired by Spotify says it feels like a bad dream, has 60 days to find a new job to stay in US The tech job market is in ... Read more »

Mortgage clinic: ‘I’m self-employed and a first-time buyer. How much could I borrow to buy a rental property?’

Julie Ward Julie Ford, 46, is a consultant for the private rented sector who wants to invest in a buy-to-let property herself. She currently rents a three-bedroom house in Clifton, ... Read more »

Nadhim Zahawi - live: Former Tory chair calls on successor to ‘step aside’ in tax row

✕ Close Rishi Sunak says ‘no issues’ raised about Nadhim Zahawi tax affairs before cabinet appointment A former Conservative Party chairman has called on Nadhim Zahawi to “step aside” whilst ... Read more »

Andy Farrell: Six Nations pressure will be priceless for Ireland going forward

Andy Farrell’s Ireland were Triple Crown winners in 2022 (John Walton/PA) (PA Wire) Andy Farrell believes the pressure of being Guinness Six Nations title favourites can aid Ireland’s ultimate quest ... Read more »

BUSINESS LIVE: Direct Line CEO exits; Superdry losses widen; Wholesaler Bestway takes Sainsbury’s stake

The FTSE 100 will open at 8am. Among the companies with reports and trading updates today are Direct Line, Superdry, Sainsbury’s, YouGov, Mortorpoint and Amigo Holdings. Read the Friday 27 January ... Read more »

Shanina Shaik stuns in a daring black cut-out dress while Sara Sampaio sparkles in sequin frock as the models attend Cult Gaia opening in West Hollywood

Fellow supermodels and friends Shanina Shaik and Sara Sampaio stepped out for the opening of Cult Gaia in West Hollywood on Thursday. The gal pals, both 31, showed off their ... Read more »

Fans go wild as convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby reveals her stunning hair makeover - after urging tourists to be careful and lock their suitcases when traveling overseas

She’s found a career as an influencer after leaving prison. And Schapelle Corby showed off her social media credentials as posted photos of her hair makeover on Friday. The 45-year-old, ... Read more »

Manchester restaurant hits back after celeb haunt popular with Molly-Mae Hague and Ronaldo launch high court battle

An Italian restaurant chain with a vast celebrity client list has launched legal action against another Manchester eatery over a battle regarding their name. Cibo Hale and Cibo Wilmslow, which ... Read more »

Top Gear's Freddie Flintoff reportedly makes 'painful decision' to put TV career 'on hold' after horror crash

Freddie suffered facial injuries and broken ribs in the crash Freddie Flintoff is reportedly putting his TV career on hold following his horrific car crash on Top Gear. The former ... Read more »

Manchester United might have found their next captain with Erik ten Hag's £57m gamble

After Manchester United took a giant stride towards the Carabao Cup final on Wednesday evening, Lisandro Martinez might want to start thinking about investing in a bigger mantlepiece. Just three ... Read more »

Unai Emery has the keys to the Aston Villa castle, none of his predecessors have ever had this much control... the Spaniard is desperate to put his mark on the team this month with a European place in his mind

Unai Emery has had a significant impact since arriving as Villa boss in OctoberThe Spaniard has been given control to shape the squad and club as he wishesHe is desperate to sign players, with the possibility of European football still on  Read more »

IT-gigant kutter 3000 ansatte

SAP skal si opp 3000 ansatte. SAP skal si opp 3000 ansatte. (Foto: Daniel Roland/AP/NTB) SAP melder at de sier opp 2,5 prosent av de ansatte. Reuters melder om nok ... Read more »

Margot Robbie was offered Hooters job after filming advertisement for company

Margot Robbie Margot Robbie has revealed Hooters offered her a job after she filmed an ad for them. While speaking to New Music Express for an interview, the Barbie star ... Read more »

Sopranos star John Ventimiglia's daughter, 25, dies just months after giving birth

Sopranos star John Ventimiglia’s daughter has died aged 25, three months after giving birth. Odele died on 12 January, her family have heartbreakingly confirmed, but her cause of death is ... Read more »

Marvel fans think Tobey Maguire just dropped a big hint about Avengers: Secret Wars

Tobey Maguire has got Marvel fans excited with his latest admission about playing Spider-Man. The actor played Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man) in a trilogy of films from director Sam Raimi ... Read more »

Warren Gatland facing tall order to revitalise Wales but ‘anything is possible’ in Six Nations

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has returned for a second spell in the job (David Davies/PA) (PA Wire) Warren Gatland has adopted an “anything is possible” approach as he prepares ... Read more »

Boris Johnson reveals just how big his advance was for upcoming book

Boris Johnson is promising a political memoir ‘like no other’ (Geoffrey Swaine/Shutterstock) Boris Johnson has picked up an advance of more than £500,000 for his forthcoming memoir, as it emerged ... Read more »

Η συγκλονιστική αποκάλυψη της Πάμελα Άντερσον για το «Baywatch»

Πάμελα Άντερσον Η Πάμελα Άντερσον είχε τα μεγαλύτερα πλεονεκτήματα στο «Baywatch», αλλά δεν καρπώθηκε τα οφέλη, όπως αποκαλύπτει η ίδια. Αποδεικνύεται ότι η ξανθιά σεξο-βόμβα έπαιρνε 1.500 δολάρια ανά επεισόδιο ... Read more »

Fast-food delivery courtside at Duquesne University basketball game was a planned PRANK as college reveals it's ramping up security to avoid future stunts

Delivery man appeared oblivious he was interrupting Duquesne University gameBizarre incident midgame has been found to be a planned prank by the collegeClick here for all your latest international sports news from DailyMail.com  Read more »

Kishore Biyani steps down as chairman of Future Retail

Kishore Biyani Kishore Biyani has tendered his resignation from the position of executive chairman and director of Future Retail Ltd, effective Monday, the company said in an exchange filing. “The ... Read more »

Salute Madonna: defying the odds at 64. But what are the work choices for other women her age?

The most shocking thing Madonna has ever done, as she once said herself, is just to keep on publicly being Madonna. She won’t give up. She won’t fade away. She ... Read more »

Mystery Channel ship wreck is 1600s Dutch warship Klein Hollandia, sunk by Royal Navy while full of valuables

Two guns found at the site of the wreck of the Klein Hollandia (Photo: Cathy de Lara/PA) When the Dutch warship Klein Hollandia sailed up the English Channel some 351 ... Read more »

'Lindsay's mental illness became overwhelming': Priest leads vigil for two children, 5 and 3, strangled to death by their midwife mother before she jumped out top window of Massachusetts home - as he pays tribute to 'happy and loving family'

Holy Family Church in Daxbury stood vigil for the family Thursday night The Very Rev. Fr. Robert Deehan said the family were 'happy and loving' Lindsay Clancy faces potential charges of homicide among several others Read more »

Woman fired for following 'transphobic' Twitter users accuses video game firm she worked for of caving to online mob: 'I follow accounts of every political affiliation!'

Kara Lynne spoke out after being fired by Limited Run Games last weekShe was the target of an online campaign led by trans activist 'Purple Tinker'Was fired after fury that she follows right-wing commentators on TwitterLynne says she follows a variety of accounts to see different views Read more »

These 5 animals from RSPCA Essex are looking for their forever homes

There are a few pets from the Essex RSPCA centres and Danaher Animal Home who are looking for new owners. (Image: RSPCA) Here is a selection of animals from the ... Read more »

Emily Ratajkowski accuses paparazzi of ‘screwing up’ her dating life

Emily Ratajkowski has spoken out about how media scrutiny around her love life has “screwed up” her ability to date casually. The model, who filed for divorce from her husband ... Read more »

When is the FA Cup fifth round draw?

The FA Cup continues this weekend with the fourth round of the competition. The third round saw nine Premier League teams eliminated, with Aston Villa’s home defeat to Stevenage among ... Read more »

Jamie Ritchie believes Scotland in a ‘good place’ ahead of Six Nations campaign

Gregor Townsend and Jamie Ritchie at the Six Nations launch (John Walton/PA) (PA Wire) Captain Jamie Ritchie has declared Scotland “in a good place” for the upcoming Six Nations after ... Read more »

Man City vs Arsenal predicted line-ups: Team news ahead of FA Cup fixture tonight

Manchester City host Arsenal in the FA Cup tonight as Pep Guardiola faces Mikel Arteta for the first time this season. A former assistant to Guardiola at City, Arteta has ... Read more »

Football rumours: Bournemouth interested in Roma forward Nicolo Zaniolo

Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive) What the papers say Bournemouth are interested in Roma forward Nicolo Zaniolo, the Daily Mail reports. The 23-year-old is understood to be ready ... Read more »

Wout Weghorst determined to change Erik ten Hag's mind over Man Utd transfer plan

Wout Weghorst is adamant that he can persuade Erik ten Hag to shelve his search for a new striker in the summer and land a permanent deal at Manchester United. ... Read more »

Model Georgia Fowler stuns in a luxurious satin gown as she marries her Fishbowl founder fiancé Nathan Dalah in an idyllic countryside ceremony at 'exclusive' venue in the Southern Highlands

Georgia Fowler has walked down the aisle with her fiancé Nathan Dalah in a gorgeous countryside ceremony. The New Zealand born model and her Fishbowl founder love exchanged vows at Hopewood House ... Read more »

Average non-London asking rent rises to £1,172, up almost 10% in a year... while those in the capital face paying nearly 16% more for a property

Demand to supply is still high despite a rise in the number of properties to rentRightmove expects rents to increase by another 5% over 2023  Read more »

How much cash should investors hold? Emergencies, buying opportunities, loss avoidance... the best strategies in current markets revealed

Rookies are typically told to build an emergency fund of 3-6 months of salaryExperienced investors might want to hold an 'opportunities fund' in reserveInterest rates are up and markets are volatile - so how much cash do YOU need  Read more »

Emmy award-winning college basketball broadcaster Billy Packer - who covered 34 Final Fours for NBC and CBS from 1975 to 2008 - dies aged 82

Longtime Final Four broadcaster Billy Packer has passed away at the age of 82His son revealed he had been in hospital and succumbed to kidney failure Click here for all your latest international Sports news from DailyMail.com  Read more »
Kênh kiến thức kỹ năng, phát triển bản thân, hướng nghiệp, blog nhân sự