Tributes have been pouring in for Martyn Hett, the 10th person to be confirmed as a victim of the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena.
His ‘soulmate’, Russell Hayward, broke the tragic news on Twitter, writing: “He left the world exactly as he lived, centre of attention.”
Martyn had attended the Ariana Grande concert with his friend Stuart Aspinall and went to the bar towards the end of the show. This was the last time he was seen.
He was due to fly out to America yesterday, for a two month ‘trip of a lifetime’.
The 29-year-old PR manager from Stockport was well-known in the Manchester area and recognisable by the large Deirdre Barlow tattoo on his leg.
A self-confessed Coronation Street superfan, he’d amassed an online following for his love of the soap, as well as appearances on TV shows such as Tattoo Fixers and Come Dine With Me.
Thousands of people – including many who never met Martyn – have being paying tribute to the ‘iconic’ guy who brought happiness and joy to so many people.
In a letter – a photo of which was posted on Twitter – his best friend Christina wrote: “Every day I am reminded of you. Now everytime a celebrity dies, every time I hear the Coronation St theme, or the Audrey Roberts noise, when love takes over, Mariah Carey. Inappropriate word art use, mums on Facebook, I will think of you.
Martyn Hett made people he didn’t even know smile every single day. Devastated at the news, and heartbroken for his friends and family.
— Daniel Welsh (@sillyolddaniel) May 24, 2017
“I will always be thinking of you. You will always be my baby. You were the light in so many people’s lives.
“All the colours of the rainbow, literally the life and soul, iconic. One in a million. A huge piece of my heart missing forever. I will always love you.”
Commenting on the fact Martyn’s name was trending worldwide on Twitter after news of his death broke, his brother Dan said: “He would, I think it’s safe to say, be fucking loving this”.
Martyn Hett you did not waste a day of your 29 years with us. You will be so sorely missed. An icon
— Liam (@LiamLambrini) May 24, 2017
As well as his appearances on TV, Martyn was also a freelance writer and contributed to publications such as the Manchester Evening News and Attitude Magazine.
On his own website, he said: “I like to write about strong women and low culture. I also like to make silly videos with low production values.”
One of those videos’ is about the infamous ‘Audrey Roberts Noise’, which he created.
The montage went viral after he posted it on YouTube and to date it has amassed almost 500,000 views.
Speaking to Metro in 2015, Martyn said: “It probably is and always will be my proudest achievement that I know Sue Nicholls loves it and now purposely places the Audrey noise into scenes for a laugh.”
Martyn had several experiences of going viral, but one time in particular demonstrated the immense kindness he exuded in his life.
It was in 2016 when, according to Buzzfeed, ‘he saved his mum’s knitting career via Twitter.’
Heartbroken that nobody had bought anything from his mother’s stall at a Christmas craft fair, he promoted her therapeutic knitted teddies by sharing her Depop store on Twitter.
My mum has set up her own stall at a craft fair and has messaged me to say she hasn’t sold anything yet and my heart is breaking pic.twitter.com/cdzHn77pM5
— Martyn (@martynhett) November 26, 2016
The tweet went viral with people from all over the world flocking to her online store – eventually she sold out of everything.
A vibrant young man, Martyn lived his life to the full. Whether it was getting a tribute tattoo or making funny mash-ups of his favourite soap stars on YouTube, Martyn openly celebrated and followed his idols and in turn he became an idol himself.
Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw followed him on Twitter and said he was ‘really sad’ to hear of Martyn’s death, tweeting: “He made me laugh every day with his hilariously witty tweets. What a character.”
Pop star Mariah Carey also paid tribute to Martyn. He was a huge fan of hers and said his ‘life peaked’ when he met her several years ago.
Sharing a photo of him on her Instagram Mariah wrote alongside it: “Devastated to learn that one of the victims in Manchester was part of the #Lambily
“RIP Martyn Hett. We will cherish your memory forever. His family and all the families affected are in my thoughts and prayers. MC.”
Martyn lived and died as an internet icon but more than that, he truly embodied the spirit of Manchester.
It is lives like his – and the love and happiness he brought to the world – that people should focus on during this time, the city’s darkest hour.