Friday Dan Barretts (part one)

Me, a Dan Barrett

My name is Dan Barrett. It was 9pm on Friday 16 November 2018 and I think I was in the office for some reason and I don’t know why but I decided to find another Dan Barrett on the internet and give them a nice shout out on Twitter.

Since then I’ve given a nice shout out to 103 other Dan Barretts¹, one a week, on Fridays². I’ve only forgotten three times over the past two years. If you don’t believe me you can have a look at this spreadsheet which provides irrefutable proof.

I tried to keep it unfailingly positive. No mockery. No Dan Barretts who were convicted murderers. No Dan Barretts who are estate agents³. Maybe my vetting process meant I missed out on some great Dan Barretts, and to those Dan Barretts I apologise.

I thought I would run out of Dan Barretts long before I reached 104. I surprised myself.

When you set your mind to something you can achieve great things.

For the next phase of this important work I am going to revisit the Dan Barretts each week, in order. I can do this for the next two years. Maybe some of the Dan Barretts will drop off the list for one reason or another, in which case I will substitute in a new Dan Barrett.

To mark the end of phase one of Friday Dan Barretts, I’m going to go through the list of 104 and reminisce a bit. 104 is a lot of Dan Barretts so I’ll split the Dans into four groups of 26.

This is Dan Barretts 1 to 26. Let’s go.

Dan Barrett #1 makes his own paint. He’s active on Twitter still, though he didn’t respond at the time. Maybe next time. I hadn’t come up with the hashtag #FridayDanBarretts yet.

Dan Barrett #2 has his own Wikipedia page. That’s a sign of a top drawer Dan Barrett. This Dan Barrett worked on the recent Planet of the Apes movies and missed out on an Oscar three times. Looking at his IMDB page he’s got some *big* movies coming up. Fingers crossed brother!

Long before I started shouting out to Dan Barretts on the internet I knew that American jazz trombonist and Dan Barrett #3 was a big deal.

Dan Barrett #4 is a great guy. We follow each other on Twitter. This was the first Dan Barrett to respond. A significant milestone.

Dan Barrett #5 didn’t respond, but his football team liked the tweet at least.

This lad, Dan Barrett #6, did respond. Look at my emoji game in that tweet too. Not bad.

Dan Barrett #7 offered me a starter pack of Magic the Gathering cards and I realise I never took him up on it. I am such a mug.

Dan Barrett #8 responded too, wishing me safe travels back. Lovely. Also I learned how to use bear spray, which is a bonus.

I knew about Dan Barrett #9 before I started this important project because yes sometimes I google myself. I pointed out a typo on Dan’s CV one time and he corrected it but didn’t say thank you. In another world I’d start internet beef with this guy but thankfully I am all about love.

This lad Dan Barrett #10 is a brilliant young activist. He responded once or twice too.

There’s a fair bit of football⁴ in Friday Dan Barretts. Dan Barrett #11 is another football manager and I got a response from him.

Dan Barrett #12 sounds cool. Anybody from New York seems cool to me to be fair.

Dan Barrett #13 is another musician. That’s 4 musician Dan Barretts so far.

Dan Barrett #14 doesn’t have a Twitter account anymore. He responded at the time though. Subsequently I discovered that he’s an artist as well. Maybe I’ll buy a print of his. That would be meta, right?

Dan Barrett #15 responded. Also people recommended that I visit Chicago.

My friend Dom⁵ found Dan Barrett #16 and told me about him, and this Dan responded. Dom’s been a big supporter of Friday Dan Barretts. Also note how I misspelled the hashtag on this tweet, that only happened once.

Dan Barrett #17 is the first female Dan Barrett on the list. Looks like it was International Women’s Day. That’s pretty clever for me. There are so many unexpected layers to this project eh?

Dan Barrett #18 has done some modelling if I remember correctly. Handsome chap.

Dan Barrett #19 is an absolute legend in my view. Later on in the project where I would trawl hundreds of LinkedIn entries searching for a decent Dan Barrett I noticed that he’s currently working at Google.

This tweet about Dan Barrett #20 was liked by him AND Dan Barrett #18 which is like some kind of Dan Barrett trick shot. So satisfying.

More football from Dan Barrett #21. He responded. Not the only Spurs fan Dan Barrett as I recall.

I still don’t understand Dan Barrett #22’s bio. He responded. Also note that I forgot the hashtag. That only happened twice.

Had a lovely response from Dan Barrett #23 who said it was kind. That’s what I was aiming for.

Dan Barrett #24 is the subject of a tweet with a great deal going on in it. I shout out the west of England, make a Liverpool FC reference, get my football facts wrong in a second football pun (it was 29 years), AND I forget the hashtag. It’s like watching somebody try an ambitious gymnastics move and at the last minute instead of landing it they end up falling on their face and breaking their arm.

Dan Barrett #25 is an actual sporting legend. Not the last one on the list either. And he responded.

Dan Barrett #26 is another Spurs fan. From the limited information available here you can tell that I was starting to run out of Dan Barretts on Twitter.

You won’t *believe* what I did next though…

Thanks for reading.


¹ I have deliberately chosen ‘Dan Barretts’ rather than the admittedly more elegant and probably correct ‘Dans Barrett’ throughout.

² A handful of times people pointed out the similarity of Friday Dan Barretts to ‘Are You Dave Gorman?’ by the comedian Dave Gorman:

I am not a comedian and I did not take inspiration for Friday Dan Barretts from ‘Are You Dave Gorman?’. However, I recognise its brilliance and also point out that it was achieved at a time when it was considerably less easy to find people on the internet.

³ I came close. There was a Barrett family estate agents and the Dan on the team had a nice smile. But I decided against it.

⁴ Or soccer if you prefer. Friday Dan Barretts is international after all.

⁵ Hola Leth! Love you brother X




Head of Data Science at Citizens Advice. These are my personal thoughts on work.

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Dan Barrett

Dan Barrett

Head of Data Science at Citizens Advice. These are my personal thoughts on work.

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