Shoot, upload and wait for stardom - all thanks to Youtube
As the video website turns six on Valentine's Day, Kunal Dutta and Isabel Hayman-Brown look back at some of its best-known stars and discover what happened to them after finding fame online
Kunal Dutta is a news writer and reporter. He has written for The Economist, The Guardian, The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, Independent Voices and More Intelligent Life.
Sunday 05 February 2012
Number of views: 415,666,226
Harry Davies Carr, aged three, and his brother Charlie, one, are the faces of probably the most famous amateur viral YouTube video. When Harry puts his finger into Charlie's mouth and gets bitten, Harry says "ouch" repeatedly and his brother begins to giggle. Their father, Howard, 43, said: "This was never meant to be anything more than a family video. We made in excess of £100,000."
Number of views: 9,130,132
Julia Boggio, 37, and her husband James Derbyshire, 38, from London shot to fame after they uploaded wedding footage of their first dance – an imitation of Dirty Dancing. Julia said: "After appearing on Oprah and dancing with Patrick Swayze, we had to interrupt our honeymoon in Australia to appear on one of their live shows in Sydney. I'm a wedding photographer so I've carried on with that. We have had a daughter, who'll probably be embarrassed about her parents' video."
Number of views: 214,755
Beckii Cruel was 13 when she first danced to Japanese manga music from her bedroom in the Isle of Man. Now 16, she has become a household name in Japan and appeared on BBC3. "It's nice because I have my life in Japan 6,000 miles away and here is where I lead a normal life. I'm doing my A-levels and my goal is to start a teenage magazine for girls."
Number of views: 4,116,984
Matt Lacey, 24, is an Oxford graduate. Two years ago he squatted beside some pot plants in a friend's garden and filmed "Gap Yah", which caught the public mood. "For an aspiring actor, YouTube is a great calling card. I've been put up for auditions and got further than I might otherwise. I now have one of the most accomplished agents in London. But will I still be doing this in 10 years? I hope not."
Number of views: 477,283
Sean Donnelly, 23, is a bin man from Loughborough. Last year he wrote a caustic three-minute rap critiquing the NHS White Paper. "YouTube creates a buzz but once everyone's seen it, that's it. Things haven't really changed for me. But I have a new rap about David Cameron in the pipeline and am due to release an album."
Number of views: 2,895,049
Peter Oakley, 84, was a radar mechanic during the Second World War. He lives alone in Derbyshire. In 2008, his weekly gripes as "geriatric1927" were viewed by hundreds of thousands of fans. "There are millions of people without grandparents who find small comfort in old, simple, stories. I have had my 15 minutes of fame – and enjoyed every minute of it."
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