back to top

This Is How Nine People Came To Dominate The UK YouTube Scene

How three couples, two housemates, and a young mother rose to the top.

Posted on

Nine of the most popular YouTube stars in the UK are heading out on tour together.

instagram.com

They are Zoe Sugg aka Zoella, Alfie Deyes aka Pointless Blog, Joe Sugg, Caspar Lee, Jim Chapman, Tanya Burr, Marcus Butler, Niomi Smart, and Louise Pentland aka Sprinkle of Glitter.

On Sunday they take their AmityFest tour to Birmingham, before heading to Liverpool and Brighton.

As well as their huge popularity, what makes this group so intriguing is how their burgeoning careers are so interlinked with their private lives.

youtube.com

There are three couples, a brother and sister, and two housemates within the group. One of the couples is engaged to be married.

They all spend vast amounts of their time together, and regularly pop up in each other's videos.

Between them they hold an incredible influence over the young YouTube audience in this country.

vine.co

As a result, some of them now have book deals, beauty ranges, and mainstream presenting gigs.

In a recent interview with BuzzFeed News, Zoe Sugg said there were large parts of their life the YouTubers don't share with their captivated audience.

However the group continues to shoot the majority of their videos in their homes.

Advertisement

And regularly share pictures from their holidays together.

instagram.com

All nine of the group belong to the same talent agency, Gleam Futures, which fiercely protects them and helps coordinate their group appearances.

gleamfutures.com

As BuzzFeed News has found through various interviews with members of the group, every aspect of their careers is now carefully choreographed and stage-managed.

These days, there are deals with Penguin Books and the BBC to be discussed; long gone are the days of making videos just for fun.

As their popularity grows, the group show no signs of breaking up, safe in the knowledge that they are stronger together.

instagram.com

Below we take a look at each of the AmityFest members and how they relate to each other:

1. Alfie Deyes aka Pointless Blog

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Numbers:

Almost 5 million subscribers across two YouTube channels, over 1.8 million followers on Twitter, 1.1 million fans on Facebook, and 1.9 million on Instagram.

Advertisement

Deyes, 21, is in a relationship with Zoe Sugg.

instagram.com

The pair recently announced via Twitter that they have moved in together.

They live in Brighton.

Deyes topped the bestseller list over the last month with his debut book, The Pointless Book.

instagram.com

This week he has been in New York doing signings and meeting fans.

2. Zoe Sugg aka Zoella

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Numbers:

A combined 8.5 million subscribers across her two YouTube channels, 2.4 million followers on Twitter, over 1.8 million fans on Facebook, and 3.2 million subscribers on Instagram.

The 24-year-old has a two-book deal with Penguin, and her first novel, Girl Online, is out next month.

instagram.com

Sugg also has her own beauty range, having made her name creating make-up tutorials from her bedroom.

She is seen as the darling of the UK YouTube scene and is currently starring in a new advertising campaign for the video-sharing site.

3. Joe Sugg aka Thatcher Joe

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Numbers:

Recently passed 3 million subscribers on YouTube, 1.4 million followers on Twitter, 1.37 million fans on Facebook, and 1.7 million on Instagram.

Advertisement

His YouTube name comes from the fact he apparently used to be a thatcher.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

The 23-year-old is known for his impressions, the YouTuber Innuendo Bingo game he developed with the other stars, and the pranks he and Lee play on each other.

The pair have quite the female following.

vine.co

4. Caspar Lee

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Numbers:

Over 3.2 million subscribers on YouTube, 2 million followers on Twitter, 745,000 fans on Facebook, and 1.85 million on Instagram.

Advertisement

5. Marcus Butler

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Numbers:

Over 3 million subscribers on YouTube, 1.7 million followers on Twitter, over 1.1 million on Facebook, and over 1.5 million on Instagram.

He is in a relationship with fellow YouTuber Niomi Smart.

instagram.com

The pair live in Brighton and have been dating for years.

Butler's channel is mainly filled with comedy sketches and challenges.

instagram.com

He also has his own clothing range.

6. Niomi Smart

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Numbers:

Almost 1 million subscribers on YouTube, 330,000 followers on Twitter, 662,000 fans on Instagram, and 11,000 on Facebook.

Advertisement

Smart provides fashion and make-up tutorials on her channel.

instagram.com

She only posted the first video to her channel seven months ago, making her a regular newcomer compared with the likes of Zoella, whose first video dates from 2009.

instagram.com

Originally a blogger, Smart has seen her channel rocket in popularity as she became fully embraced by the YouTube elite.

Here she and Butler go through old pictures of themselves.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

7. Jim Chapman

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Numbers

Around 2.5 million subscribers on YouTube across two channels, almost 1 million followers on Twitter, 660,000 fans on Facebook, and 1 million on Instagram.

He is engaged to fellow YouTuber Tanya Burr.

instagram.com

According to The Telegraph, he was encouraged to get into YouTube by his older sisters, who run the Pixiwoo make-up channel on YouTube, which has 1.7 million subscribers, and Burr.

He discusses a range of topics, including male grooming, cooking, and fashion.

instagram.com

He has been shortlisted for GQ's best-dressed man competition.

8. Tanya Burr

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Numbers:

Over 2.5 million subscribers on YouTube, more than 1 million followers on Twitter, 1.35 million fans on Instagram, and 500,000 on Facebook.

Burr describes herself as a beauty, fashion, baking, and lifestyle blogger.

instagram.com

She has her own beauty range called Tanya Burr Cosmetics, which has products stocked in Superdrug.

instagram.com

9. Louise Pentland aka Sprinkle of Glitter

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Numbers:

Around 1.75 million subscribers on YouTube, 933,000 followers on Twitter, over 600,000 fans on Facebook, and 1.1 million on Instagram.

A fashion and beauty vlogger, Louise is married with a child.

instagram.com

Her daughter, Darcy, appears in her videos.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

She is the only member of the group who is not related to, living with or in a relationship with one of the others.

instagram.com

It will be interesting to see how long the group continue to share so much of their private lives, and what will happen if one or more of them no longer craves the limelight.

instagram.com

For now though, these nine people, with their millions of fans, are some of the most powerful entertainers in the country today.

Richard James is acting head of news for BuzzFeed Australia and is based in Sydney.

Contact Richard James at richard.james@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.