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How long before we see Stephen Fry ‘TV’ via Twitter?

Twitter is definitely moving into celebrity-territory now.

Last night, Stephen Fry got stuck in a lift. Or an elevator.

How did I know this?

Well, I first noticed after a few of my Twitter friends — Martin and Jonathan — pointed out that after my rant about #uksnow, I was liable to go positively ballistic on finding out about the #frylift tag.

The #frylift hashtag on Twitter was setup immediately to manage the avalanche of comments in response to this Tweet from Stephen Fry:

Ok. This is now mad. I am stuck in a lift on the 26th floor of Centre Point. Hell’s teeth. We could be here for hours. Arse, poo and widdle.

Within moments Mr Fry had taken a Twitpic or two and they were online for everyone to see and retweet. Here’s one of them:

Fascinating.

Now whilst I thought the uksnow stuff on Monday was more or less a waste of time (I liked the proof of concept, but I felt it was a bit… banal), I have a totally different viewpoint of the ‘fry-in-a-lift’ Twitter hashtag.

That is entertaining.

It’s entertaining because it’s Stephen Fry.

And because he uses phrases like, ‘Arse, poo and widdle.’

No wonder that pages and pages and PAGES of #frylift comments started flying. The fact that Mr Fry was stuck in a lift was rather irrelevant for most of his followers — the key point was that he was ‘live’ — reading and responding to messages. Witness this Tweet:

Your brilliant comments are keeping us all (hysterically) cheerful. Last a heard engineers still on their way

If you’d like to talk to the chap, that was a particularly good time to do it.

And if you’d like to just sit back and ‘be close’ to the man — sit and watch.

Which leads me to ponder… at 111,566 followers (currently), at what point will a Stephen Fry show — a live experience such as #frylift become commercially viable?

At what point will Mr Fry’s agents sit back and think… right then… You’ve got Ricky Gervais and his podcasts making millions. So if we have 111,566 followers… how many of them would pay a fiver a month to ‘Tweet’ with Stephen?

And to participate in some live interactive ‘things’?

Quite a lot, I reckon.

Assume, for the sake of argument that every single subscriber would chuck up 5 quid a month.

That’s £557,830 revenue per month. Or a smidgen under £7m a year.

And he’s only just started.

If The Sun and the rest of the mainstream media continues to push — and CRUCIALLY, EDUCATE — the normobs across the country, that 111,566 subscribers could shortly hit half a million. Or a million.

The revenue possibilities are fascinating to consider.

How many watching the #frylift entertainment experience last night would have paid £29.99 for a one-hour exclusive pass to watch the live QIK stream of the event?

Perhaps that’s taking it a little bit too far.

But if you look at the games that Stephen is routinely playing with his followers — setting questions, tasks and so on — with little prizes… we’re not a million miles away from some kind of QI-Twitter-Gameshow-Live-Entertainment-Stephen-Fry-Mashup, are we?

Why bother presenting QI on the BBC when (looking into the future) you can reach a bigger, guaranteed, responsive and cash-rich audience via your own @stephenfry channel?

Watch this space!

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

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