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.

Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

    £50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

    Ashdown Group: Part time Network Support Analyst / Windows Systems Administrat

    £30 per hour: Ashdown Group: An industry leading and well established business...

    Ashdown Group: Trainee / Graduate Helpdesk Analyst

    £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Engineer with SQL skills

    £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas