Meet Felix Kjellberg - the new 'King of the Web'

His rapid rise has established him on Hollywood's radar

Swedish internet sensation Felix Kjellberg has been dubbed the latest 'King of the Web', so it is rather appropriate that after moving to the UK he has ended up living in Brighton's Regency Square.

The 24-year-old, whose online alter ego is PewDiePie, recently unseated Miley Cyrus as the world's most popular YouTube channel. He now has more than 15m subscribers - more than Sky and Virgin Media combined. His rapid rise has established him on Hollywood's radar as he appeared on the red carpet at the LA premiere last month of Harrison Ford's latest film, Ender's Game, with Italian girlfriend Marzia Bisognin.

The couple had been living with her parents in Italy but Kjellberg has now based himself in Brighton - a move he said was attractive not because of the proximity of the sea but because the UK's faster broadband connections.

Originally from Gothenburg, Kjellberg's recipe for success has been to film his reactions to playing action and horror video games and uploading the results on his YouTube channel, which he set up in April 2009 and called PewDiePie (think Cutie Pie, fans - or 'bros' as he calls them - say).

In 2011, Kjellberg quit Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden where he had been studying Industrial Economics and Technology Management to focus his growing YouTube celebrity status and it seems to have paid off.

More than 1,500 of his 'Let's Play' clips have been watched more than 2.7bn times. In October, when he knocked Miley Cyrus off her wrecking ball after the singer had temporarily overtaken him in the charts, Kjellberg racked up almost 200m views in that month alone and his fan base is global. Underneath a Q&A video where he revealed he was moving to England, girls from Czech Republic, the USA, Indonesia, Malaysia and many more countries left messages with dates when they first became a 'bro'.

Kjellberg's net-worth was estimated at £4 million when he had amassed 870m views - a figure he has more than trebled - with ad sales accounting for most of the channel's revenue.

Swedish columnist Lars Lindstrom said Kjellberg's popularity was down to being "a great comedian and a natural talent".

He said: "That Felix Kjellberg has a comic talent is indisputable. It is both amazingly awful and amazingly funny when a father bikes around with his son in the game Happy Wheels and both get crushed and bloody again and again and PewDiePie improvises absurd comments as the game continues. The secret is that he really loves to play these games and that he has fun doing it."

Kjellberg was not at home when the Independent tried to speak to him on Thursday but he told the Brighton Argus last weekend that while he may not yet be a household name in the UK, he gets mobbed on his travels. Discussing a recent trip to Singapore, he said: "They had to hold me back because there were so many fans. It was insane, the most unreal experience, literally like I was a rock star. I felt like I was part of The Beatles or something, people were screaming everywhere."

Neighbours at the 19th century sloping residential development that overlooks the burnt out remains of Brighton Pier were nonplussed by their superstar neighbour. A young couple arriving at the square's Hotel Una had never heard of Kjellberg, nor had a woman emerging from the same block of flats that he lives in.   

It may be a while before adults recognise him but an ever increasing number of 'bros' have taken Kjellberg to their hearts. Devoted fans have a chance to get even closer to their internet hero if they have a spare £210,000 - a sign in the window of Kjellberg's block of flats is advertising a ground floor flat for sale.

One elderly resident looked blankly when told who had arrived in Regency Square. "Mind you, I haven't heard of Miley Cyrus either," he smiled.

Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth GamesJust 48 hours earlier cyclist was under the care of a doctor
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
arts + ents
News
Orville and Keith Harris. He covered up his condition by getting people to read out scripts to him
People
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
arts + entsFilmmaker posted a picture of Israeli actress Gal Gadot on Twitter
Sport
Vincenzo Nibali rides into Paris on the final stage of the 2014 Tour de France
Tour de FranceVincenzo Nibali is first Italian winner since Marco Pantani in 1998
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel
arts + entsPrince Oberyn nearly sets himself on fire with a flaming torch
News
Danny Nickerson, 6, has received 15,000 cards and presents from well-wishers around the world
newsDanny loves to see his name on paper, so his mother put out a request for cards - it went viral
Arts and Entertainment
Zoe Saldana stars in this summer's big hope Guardians of the Galaxy
filmHollywood's summer blockbusters are no longer money-spinners
Sport
Red Bull Racing's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo (C) celebrates with Scuderia Ferrari's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso (L) and Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton
sport
Arts and Entertainment
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
art
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmComedy was dominated by the romcom at its most insufferable
Sport
Tour de France competitor Bartosz Huzarski’s legs have highlighted the gruelling nature of the race, after he posted a picture on Facebook showing extremely prominent veins stretching from his feet and all the way up his legs
Commonwealth Games
Life and Style
Elle Kaye demonstrates the art of taxidermy
food + drinkFood revolution taken a step further in new ‘edible taxidermy’ class
News
A rub on the tummy sprang Casey back to life
video
Sport
Halsall broke her personal best in the 50m butterfly
Commonwealth GamesEnglish swimmer is reborn after disastrous time at London 2012
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Life and Style
Workers in Seattle are paid 100 times as much as workers in Bangladesh
fashionSeattle company lets customers create their own clothes, then click 'buy' and wait for delivery
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Voices
The Express offices in the 1930s when writers (such as Orwell) were paid around £2 weekly
voicesWebsites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
A cut above: Katy Guest at The Ginger Pig
food + drinkThe Ginger Pig's hands-on approach to primary cuts
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Data Analyst

    £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable software house is looking ...

    Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

    £65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

    Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

    £40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

    SSIS/ORACLE DBA

    £400 - £401 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SSIS Administrat...

    Day In a Page

    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
    Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

    Edinburgh Fringe 2014

    The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried