Sutton Bridge mouse Mr Jingles is attracting fame on TikTok, Instagram and Facebook
When Martin Critchlow began sharing videos of his pet mouse online he had no idea they would be viewed by millions of people across the world.
Since then, Mr Jingles – named after the mouse in the film The Green Mile – has become quite a celebrity, racking up half a million followers across his TikTok, Facebook and Instagram pages.
Martin, of Sutton Bridge, bought the tiny harvest mouse five years ago after visiting a pet shop with a friend and began sharing videos of him online after encouragement from his grandchildren.
Now he has posted more than 1,000 videos of the little mouse’s adventures, which include eating miniature versions of his own meals, having his tiny car towed, sitting on his dog’s head and carrying out a daring rescue in a helicopter.
“I had no intention of buying anything when I went to the pet shop,” recalls Martin, who also owns three skunks – Pepe, Lily and Lady Penelope – meadow voles and field mice.
“I was looking around and saw this little mouse in a tank by himself. He was only £10, and I thought ‘you’re coming home with me’.
“About £300 later, I bought a new tank and loads of other things he didn’t need, and I took him home. After a couple of months, I thought he ought to have a companion, but the place I got him from said they didn’t sell harvest mice.”
After some research Martin discovered there were only a few breeders in the UK, so he made an eight-hour round trip to Wales to collect half a dozen more. He now breeds harvest mice himself and releases them back into the wild.
“When I said what I was doing, my family thought I was nuts!” laughs Martin, who works for a scaffolding company in Lynn.
“My grandson said I should put some videos of Mr Jingles on TikTok. They were nothing special, just clips of him on the table and a couple of days later I had 100 followers – I don’t even know 100 people!
“I kept going, I videoed him coming to Tesco with me, playing cards and they became more elaborate and started going viral. I was getting messages from people telling me what a difference it was making to their day.
“It was during the pandemic when I think it all changed, people were sitting at home, searching online and were finding our videos – it’s nice to know they bring a bit of joy to people.”
Martin and Mr Jingles have been enjoying their new-found fame. They’ve appeared on children’s news in Australia and have featured in national newspapers and magazines as well as chatting to Claudia Winkleman on BBC Radio 2.
Mr Jingles also has his own merchandise range including mugs and T-shirts and next year Martin hopes to write a children’s book about his many adventures too.
*You can follow Mr Jingles on TikTok @martincritchlow and Facebook @themouselivinginmyhouse and visit his shop at mrjinglesshop.com
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