‘Russian hackers’ have targeted a 12-year-old prodigy who has gone viral for his carpentry skills.
Gabriel Clark’s father, Richard Clark, has issued a call on Twitter for people to follow his son’s Instagram after the schoolboy was ‘upset’ by comments on his page by peers at school. Gabriel, from Kirkby Lonsdale near the Lake District, went on to amass more than 225,000 subscribers, including celebrity fans such as Radio 1 DJ Greg James, TV presenter Zoe Ball and YouTube star Joe Sugg.
Flooded with commissions for some of his work, the teenager launched a Bowl For Ukraine fundraiser which saw the prodigy raise over £200,000 in funds for Ukraine. Now Dad Richard claims the Instagram account was taken down by “Russian hackers” and his page was removed from the app.
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In a tweet sent by Richard, he said: “Hi Twitter people – we desperately need your help. Gabriel’s Instagram account has been hacked and everything is gone. Russian hackers. Please retweet – we desperately need your help. ‘Instagram to contact us – do your thing, lovely people on Twitter – he’s going to be devastated.”
Gabriel’s Instagram page, @clarkie_woodwork, is no longer on the Instagram app. Gabriel fans quickly rushed to respond to Richard, sending their best wishes and begging Instagram to restore the page.
Ruby Thompson wrote: “This is awful! Instagram accounts are always hacked! They need to sort this out x”
Sarah Dalton added: “@instagram @InstagramComms Please help us fix this mess ASAP!!!”
Steve Bond added: “I hope everything can be fixed, but he should take it as a big sign of his accomplishment the number of 12-year-old carpenters who can say they have been targeted by a Russian president because of their humanitarian work against their regime. I would wear that as a badge.”
When Gabriel first went viral, dad Richard – who has helmed TV shows such as Doctor Who, Outlander and War Of The Worlds – admitted he was initially ‘freaked out’ over nighttime fame of his son.
He said: “When I woke up the next morning after posting the tweet and saw how many followers Gabriel had on his page, I freaked out a bit, but it turned into something incredible.
“It’s not about mountain biking anymore – Gabriel just wants to do whatever he can to raise as much money as possible for children in Ukraine.”
The winner of Gabriel’s Bowl For Ukraine was announced on Easter Sunday (April 17) and they raised a total of £254,678 from 14,153 donations. Their original target was just £5,000.