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The "Outnumbered" Kids On That Viral Photo And Returning To Television

"This is 2016. I started when I was 6. It's been a decade. A decade of filming of me growing up. It's just as well, as I haven't got any home videos."

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On Boxing Day, Outnumbered is back for a special. To honour the occasion, BuzzFeed UK chatted to 17-year-old Daniel Roche (Ben), 15 year-old Ramona Marquez (Karen), and 20-year-old Tyger Drew-Honey (Jake) about their time on the show.

First things first, that photo. Five months ago, this Instagram featuring the three of them together went viral. People were simply amazed at how these former child actors had become very much full-grown adults.

Instagram: @__princess__mo__

"I didn't expect the photo to become really, really popular," Ramona says. "I just posted it on my Instagram, like, 'Oh, and this will be funny,' that my Instagram followers will probably be really excited about me posting photos of them."

But after Ramona posted it, the photo blew up. You probably saw it constantly over your Facebook or Twitter timeline, or read about it in many articles. Tyger didn't think much about it, nor realised how viral it had gone, until newspapers started ringing him up asking for a quote.

They do understand now why the photo went so big, though. Ramona says: "If I see a photo of someone that I knew in something when I was little now, I would also get that exact same thing, where I'm like, 'Whaaat, how does he look like that now?'"

"I understood because I'm the same," says Daniel. "I had those relationship with shows where you watch them young and you look at the actors now and you are like, this is mad."

Tyger was the most surprised by the reaction, but is also a bit cynical of the whole ageing phenomenon: "[People come] up to me and they are like, 'You look, like, so much older!", and yet I have been living in the same time, on the same planet, as you, so I have aged as well.

"Like, when was the last time you saw me? And they're like, 'about four years ago'. Well, yeah, I'm four years older! That's why I look like this!"

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Daniel also noticed many memes were taking the piss: "A lot of the memes kind of came from the ridiculousness of the attention it got – like, are you surprised that we're old? Wouldn't it be weirder if we had never aged?"

Can't believe this is what the kids from Outnumbered look like now

Outnumbered became popular for the things Karen, Ben, and Jake said to their parents and each other. In years since, many of their comments have been plastered over the internet, like this:

BBC / Via buzzfeed.com

"I've definitely stumbled across a GIF of Karen saying funny things," says Ramona. "I don't know at the time when I was filming it, the things I was saying. I guess that when you're a kid you do sort of say things, the brutal reality of things, and that's why Karen is funny, because she says it like it is.

"I guess I find it weird because I never thought of it at the time as being significant to anyone, so it is a bit strange, but I do think it is really nice and funny."

BBC / Hat Trick / Via spariaandfitz.tumblr.com

Daniel is used to seeing himself in this way on the internet. "You just acknowledge it and you appreciate it. Like, the fact that someone liked that enough to be posting about it in 2016 alone is just, you know, wow. You're just happy to have had such an impact.

"We laugh in my family about how most families have a scrapbook ... This is 2016. I started when I was 6, that's when we did the pilot. It's been a decade. A decade of filming of me growing up.

"It's just as well, as I haven't got any home videos."

There are certain lines that follow the cast around, like this exchange between Karen and her gran.

BBC / Via buzzfeed.com

Ramona says: "People always say that to me. I've seen that quite a lot."

Much of the show back then was improvised. "I started when I was 10 and I am 20 now," Tyger says. "I feel it has been half of my life. With Ramona, she's 15 now, and she started when she was 4 or 5. It has been more than two-thirds of her life. It's something that we do understand in a great deal of depth – how to be natural, and especially how to work on the set of Outnumbered and make Outnumbered work."

He credits the success to Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkins, who write, produce, and direct the show. "I think initially, even when it starts, they were probably in their mid-forties, 50-odd, and they had the psychology of, well, you can't accurately write the thought processes of a 5-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy and a 10-year-old boy, so we'll kind of give them the gist of the scene and we'll give them free rein."

As the kids have become older, there has been less improvisation in the show. They are old enough to be trusted with scripts, but some scenes are intended to be improvised in some way. The script is also flexible enough for feedback. “And that’s one of the best things about Outnumbered,," says Tyger. "The freedom to explore our characters ourselves, rather than always sticking to a script.”

"There's one bit in the [upcoming] special where me and Tyger get into an argument and we got told to argue for a few seconds," says Daniel. "It came really naturally, and we kept going. It felt as if I was 7 again."

Outnumbered started in autumn 2007. The cast have effectively grown up onscreen in a fake family.

Colin Hutton / BBC/Hat Trick/Colin Hutton

Hugh Dennis plays their father, Pete, and Clare Skinner plays Sue. What's that like? "The relationship between me, Dan, Ramona, Hugh, and Clare is a very kind of strange and unnatural one, to be honest," says Tyger. "We have this weird paternal bond but with a big help in largely being actually very good friends." Many members of the crew have been there since the show's first series.

Daniel says they don't really see each other much between series, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. "I have relationships with Tyger and Ramona that I can't really, can't think of anything as the same as... The fact that we're so natural with each other, having not seen each other for three years, it is like you are with your family, you know?"

Daniel has had to balance filming the special with being preoccupied with his other love, rugby – he's currently playing for the Wasps Academy. Does he see his future in acting or in rugby? "I didn't go into either of them thinking, Alright, this is going to be my job.

"I've been playing rugby for years and I have only blew up in recent years and so I've never dreamed of playing rugby professionally. It's still very unlikely because the academy systems are very elite but still, it is more of a possibility than it used to be.

"And even then, like, I'm not sure if I want to take it that far."

Daniel is sporting a black eye, but luckily he received it the week after filming. "It was my first game back from having been filming with Outnumbered, and BAM, I got this black eye.

"I was like, oh my god, if I had got this a week earlier I would have been in so much trouble."

Outnumbered will be on BBC One on Boxing Day at 10pm and then will be on the BBC iPlayer.

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