Crypto trader hijacks Neil Innes' Twitter account | Late comic's fans bombarded with Bitcoin spam

Crypto trader hijacks Neil Innes' Twitter account

Late comic's fans bombarded with Bitcoin spam

A cryptocurrency trader has hijacked the Twitter account of the late comedian and musician Neil Innes.

Fans of the unofficial 'seventh Python' were bamboozled to find graphs about Bitcoin, NFTs and other volatile investments on their timeline – from a mysterious user called @lukaxnft

They included comic Dave Gorman, who managed to discovered that the account had previously been owned by Innes, who died in 2019, under his own name.

It was then renamed, before the new owner started to make the junk posts and was yesterday renamed again @freexnft.


Writing on Twitter, now called X, Gorman, above, explained how he figured out what was going on: 'Scrolling through Twitter & I see this [a tweet about crypto]  on my timeline. I think, "that’s odd there’s no way I’d choose to follow this sort of crypto BS"

'So I look at the acct. It’s also followed by dozens of comics. That’s even odder. So I scroll back &find old conversations it was in. And  it turns out it used to be the account of the amazing Neil Innes.

'Neil was a comedy God. He created The Rutles for crying out loud.  He died in 2019. & now this shyster’s got hold of his acct, changed the name & is using it to plug crypto stuff that is probably crooked. After all, if it was legit, you probably wouldn’t need to steal access to the account of a deceased comedy legend. 

'But I guess having an account with lots of followers and many of them _influential_ followers helps to make you _look_ credible.

'I doubt  @elonmusk and @twitter  will do anything about it but if you were a fan of Neil’s and were following @neilinnes you’re now probably following this twonk and you might want to at least undo that.'

Chortle asked the user how they came to have possession of the account, but got no reply.

We also approached Twitter's press department about how an account could be hijacked and receive the automated message: 'Busy now, please check back later.'

Until recently journalists' inquiries for the company Musk bought for $44billion automatically received just a poop emoji by return.

Innes died in Toulouse in December 2019 at the age of 75.

He may be best known as one of the founding member of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, which he set up while in Goldsmiths College, London, in the 1960s, with other students including frontman Vivian Stanshall. 

In the late 1960s, the band appeared on the children's television series Do Not Adjust Your Set which also featured David Jason, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin.  From there Innes became closely associated with the Monty Python team, contributing music to  their albums.

After Python finished TV run, Innes joined with Idle on the series Rutland Weekend Television, a sketch show which  spawned Beatles spoof The Rutles (aka the ‘prefab four’),  in which  Innes played the character of Ron Nasty, loosely based on John Lennon. 

In late 2010, Innes formed The Idiot Bastard Band with Adrian Edmondson, Phill Jupitus, Simon Brint and Rowland Rivron.

Published: 12 Nov 2023

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