James Charles: YouTube sensation brings Birmingham city centre to standstill as 8,000 fans flock to see him

'I can't believe this is my life,' writes vlogger as drivers abandon cars and onlookers report fearing a crush

Colin Drury
Sunday 27 January 2019 16:20
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YouTuber James Charles brings Birmingham to a standstill due to fan turn out

He is someone whose name may be lost on many people over the age of 30.

But teenage YouTube sensation James Charles brought Birmingham city centre to a standstill as thousands of fans flocked to see him.

Screaming youngsters flooded into the Bullring shopping centre for a meet-and-greet with the beauty vlogger, causing gridlock on nearby roads for almost three hours on Saturday.

Many drivers abandoned their cars overnight as tailbacks built up from 4pm onwards, the BBC reports, while onlookers said online that the crowds swelled so much they feared a crush.

Extra police were called in by the Bullring and escalators had to be shut down.

"You literally broke Bimringham," one fan wrote on Twitter.

A video posted by Charles – who comes from New York and was in Birmingham to open a new branch of Morphe Cosmetics - showed the chaos.

"There were 8,000 sisters [fans] at the mall," the 19-year-old said. "We keep breaking records every single time. I will literally never forget today."

He added: “I can’t believe this is my life.”

Fans had started queuing at 8am to meet the influencer – who rhas nearly 14 million followers online – but it is believed only 250 were actually allowed to meet Charles.

He left without saying goodbye to the crowds, saying it would have been a “hazard” to do so.

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West Midlands Police said the gridlock was caused by problems with traffic lights, but contractors Amey later said this was incorrect and the lights had been working all day.

The Independent has attempted to contact Bullring owners, Hammerson, for comment.

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