Viral star Francis Bourgeois drives a Metrolink tram en route to Victoria for AO Arena gig

Sadly, there was a serious lack of 'the angle' but a lovely bit of viewing nonetheless.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 11th March 2024

Viral train enthusiast and internet personality turned Gucci model, Channel 4 and now one-time Metrolink driver, Francis Bourgeois, was given the honour of driving a tram through Manchester city centre this past week.

Teaming up with the Bee Network as Greater Manchester’s brilliant public transport network continues to reinvigorate itself and better connect locals across all 10 boroughs, Francis Bourgeois decided to swap railways with tramlines for a change and help operate a real-life Manc route.

After a day out in the city, exploring Manchester and driving trams at the depot with Transport for Greater Manchester, Bourgeois got a feel for the driver’s seat before pulling into Victoria Station on the Bee Network tram to see none other than his mate Niall Horan at the AO Arena.

The solo artist appeared in Francis’ digital Trainspotting series last year and the pair got on like a house on fire, so it was the choice to go and see the former One Direction star was a no-brainer.

The Bee Network is genuinely the easiest way for most Mancs to get to the AO for any gig or event as the Victoria, Rochdale, Bury and Shaw lines pull right into the station.


From there, guests and gig-goers have to walk no more than a few metres up the stairs into the integrated arena entrance. It literally could not be easier and it’s also the most environmentally friendly way of travelling.

As a cultural landmark here in 0161, the Bee Network and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) are buzzing to be strengthening their partnership with the AO Arena more than ever this year.


Better still, we are absolutely here for cool little collaborations like this — especially when it means we get to bump into people such as Francis out in the wild, who we also got to see on our way to see Niall Horan ourselves.

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It was only a matter of time before we saw Francis Bourgeois in control of some kind of locomotive, we’re just glad it ended up being a Manchester tram.

As the unofficial train guy of the internet (rivalled only by Bob Mortimer’s funny online character, maybe), we couldn’t think of a better person to help big up the Bee Network.


As part of our trip to see the ‘Slow Hands’ singer, we also went to try out the AO Arena’s brand-new on-site bar and restaurant, The Mezz, and wow were we impressed.

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Featured Images — Supplied/The Manc Group