With Halloween around the corner, gravespotting is the latest unusual trend to emerge from TikTok with BBC documentary-filmmaker and former fashion-model Jono Namara at the forefront, carving out his niche as a ‘Cemetery Influencer’.
Jono’s new series Cemetery Safari tours notable graves of celebrity or historical intrigue in tightly edited shorts blending in his idiosyncratic sense of humour, style and intellectual curiousity.
User favourites include The Time Traveling Tomb (465.9k views) and London’s Floating Coffin (90.2k views).
It all started with a casual video of Jono’s visit to the tomb of Oscar Wilde at the renowned Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. “There’s a raunchy urban legend about his grave, and I suddenly felt a pressing need to share it with the world,” Jono explains. Overwhelmed by the interest and engagement that followed, Cemetery Safari was born.
Coining the term ‘#cemtok’ – a portmanteau of ‘cemetery’ and ‘TikTok’ – Jono has enthusiastically embraced the unexpected niche that has inspired many TikTokers to explore their local graveyards, ‘I’m a bonafide taphophile – a tombstone tourist’ he says in a recent appearance on TalkTV.
But Cemetery Safari isn’t just about history; Jono Namara delivers all the Savile Row tailoring, rapier wit and demeanor of an English gentleman in a refreshing departure from typical TikTok content.
In an upcoming shoot titled, “Spectral Style,” Jono will be seen donning designer wares in one of London’s magnificent cemeteries – Abney Park – for a hauntingly fashionable experience.
Jono’s journey has been unconventional to say the least. Born and raised in North London, as a child, he was a member of the Young Archaeologists Society, igniting his passion for history and culture.
As a teen he was discovered by fashion designer/photographer Hedi Slimane and was launched into the dizzying world of high fashion; walking the catwalk for Balenciaga, Paul Smith, Comme Des Garcon, and Hugo Boss and landing campaigns for Dior Homme and Lanvin.
Today, Jono Namara makes documentaries for the BBC including ‘E-Life After Death’ which explores how social media has impacted the way we process death and one’s ‘digital legacy’ and ‘A Brief History of Celebrity’ which explores how we went from the poet Lord Byron, argued to be the world’s first celebrity, to Reality TV star Kim Kardashian.
Other BBC documentaries include ‘A Bloody Mystery: The London Monster,’ ‘Britain’s Nazi Traitor: John Amery,’ and more.