Britain’s YouTube megastars: Gaming queen, and beauty expert among those who hit the big time
Their YouTube videos have seen them amass a combined total of more than 17 million subscribers, which roughly equates the population of the Netherlands.
But while the next generation of YouTubers are hot property online, with their loyal followings tuning in for their daily doses of content, their popularity has also spilled out into the real world.
Many of the social media stars have hit the big time, having launched their own merchandise ranges, apps and signing lucrative book deals.
Others have landed prestigious radio hosting slots and even launched their own beauty ranges.
Here, MailOnline looks at up-and-coming YouTubers who are captivating millions with their content creations – and how their turning their success to other ventures.
7M YouTube subscribers, gaming and Minecraft
LDShadowLady has more than seven million YouTube subscribers and is one of the UK’s top female gamers
LDShadowLady, also known as Lizzie, 30, is one of the UK’s top female gaming YouTubers.
Such is her popularity, that in 2018 when YouTube looked into the data of its most-viewed accounts, LDShadowLady as revealed as the second most-watched female UK YouTuber – behind none other than the singing sensation Dua Lipa.
She became enthralled by gaming from a young age, when she would sit on her father’s knee as he played video games and started to develop her own interest in Minecraft, World of Warcraft, Burnout games and The Sims.
She’s be running her channel since 2010, aged 17, having named it after her XBOX gamertag which was inspired by her favourite YouTuber at the time ‘NDTitanLady’.
LDShadowLady, also known as Lizzie, 30, is one of the UK’s top female gaming YouTubers
Her first videos are clips from Call of Duty games, as when she started on her channel she dreamed of becoming a Call of Duty YouTuber by making commentaries over gameplay videos and montages of her best gameplay moments.
With her first Call of Duty videos reaching 300 subscribers after a couple of months, in 2011 she switched to Minecraft videos, and after appearing in a video of another prominent YouTuber, she gained 3,000 subscribers overnight.
This boost saw her start posting more of her own Minecraft videos and she has grown in popularity ever since.
Her Let’s Play Minecraft series was a huge success, which she credits as the reason her channel has swelled to the numbers it has, with the top rated showing the most exciting and funny moments to gaming.
As a female gaming YouTuber, Lizzie told the Evening Standard: ‘I know that a lot of young females look up to me as an example so I want to show them that females can co-exist with males in the gaming scene.
‘The group of people I make YouTube gaming videos with includes a mix of genders and I feel it is important to show younger gamers that there doesn’t have to be a divide and we can all co-operate harmoniously.’
Outside of gaming, she has a cat called Buddy which sometimes features on her channel and she studied Computer Animation and Visualisation at Liverpool John Moores University.
4M YouTube subscribers, fitness and work-outs
Lilly Sabri, 32, is one of the world’s fastest-growing fitness influencers
Often referred to as the ‘female Joe Wicks’, Lilly Sabri, 32, is one of the world’s fastest-growing fitness influencers, with her channel beating that of the Body Coach TV (which has 2.82M subscribers).
Her posts about real-time workouts and challenges bring in a staggering four million subscribers to her YouTube channel.
But it took hard graft: Lilly spent five years posting online content and hosting face-to-face classes with little attendance.
When the world went into lockdown, her channel shot to success, going from 30K subscribers pre-Covid to 3.5M in just 12 months.
As well as workout videos, she also posts step-by-step guides and lessons on how the body works
‘During lockdown, I think people were looking for real-time, follow-along workouts where people had personality,’ Lilly told Metro.
‘People just wanted a connection and when they discovered me, it wasn’t just the one workout, all my hard work finally paid off and I could give people everything they needed in terms of being healthy, both physically and mentally.
‘I started uploading twice a day and doing lives at night and I felt like I was on a hamster wheel, but I had an opportunity to help people and when I kept being told, “You’ve saved me,” it just meant so much.’
As well as workout videos, the chartered physiotherapist and an APPI Pilates instructor posts step-by-step guides and lessons on how the body works.
She also likes to tell her viewers about the science behind workout sessions, divulging her knowledge of muscles, bones and movements to her loyal following.
Her dog Teddy also likes to make regular cameo appearances.
She also launched her Lean With Lilly app in June 2021, which already had up to 80,000 users signed up to it within 24 hours of going live.
1.2M YouTube subscribers, books and lifestyle
Hailed as the YouTube’s ‘resident librarian’, Jack Edwards’ loyal following love his book vlogs
The 24-year-old content creator has grown into one of the top book influencers and hails as YouTube’s ‘resident librarian’, with some of his most popular videos topping 300,000 views.
Whether it’s by talking about a particular book trend or showing his followers the best coffee shops to read in in New York, where he has recently moved, Jack is devoted to making his loyal followers avid readers.
His series in which he reads the books celebrities have been photographed with – from Harry Styles to Bella and Gigi Hadid – was an instant hit.
The internet sensation started his YouTube channel to document the ups and downs of university, to reassure others that if he can find his feet, they can too.
Since graduating from Durham University with a degree in English Literature, Jack has gone from book vlogger to having a bestseller with his ‘ultimate university survival guide’ The Uni-Verse.
He focuses his content on making literature accessible to all and now also works in the publishing industry alongside posting videos about his current reads.
Matthew and Ryan
874K YouTube subscribers, LGBT community and relationships
Matthew and Ryan are a couple from Southampton, whose YouTube channel focused on equality and empowering those in the LGBT community
Matthew and Ryan are a couple from Southampton, whose YouTube channel focused on equality and empowering those in the LGBT community brings in viewers from across the globe.
Their ‘love is love’ message is a hit with fans, with the pair sharing all aspects of their lives on their channel.
Their content focuses on normalising same-sex relationships and encouraging conversations around LGBTQ+ issues as well as focusing on lifestyle, fashion, comedy sketches, and travel adventures in their van.
As their social media following continues to grow, having amassed nearly one million followers just on YouTube alone, the couple get mobbed by adoring fans while out shopping or on a theatre trip but said: ‘We’re used to it.
The Southampton-based couple have amassed more than 874,000 YouTube subscribers
‘Where it has happened gradually, it’s not been an issue for us. We enjoy meeting people.’
The pair met on the popular dating app Tinder in 2016, and decided to launch their eponymous YouTube channel ‘Matthew & Ryan’ together.
The content is always family-friendly and is particularly popular among the LGBT community with the gay couple offering advice and help on coming out and sexual orientation.
Since finding fame, the couple have appeared on a TV advert, hosted awards ceremonies and have even launched ‘Pots with Pride, a small pottery business.
Matthew’s dedicated pottery channels have amassed over 750,000 followers through both video and live stream content.
2.61M YouTube subscribers, comedy skits
Chewkz, real name Jesse Chuku is a 34-year-old London-based YouTuber
Chewkz, real name Jesse Chuku is a 34-year-old London-based YouTuber who is known for his comedy videos which compare American and British terms and accents.
One of his most-watched YouTube videos is about ‘when British people say water in the USA’, with more than five million views – its popularity has even seen Chewkz sell merchandise with the catchphrase ‘BO’OH’O’WA’ER’.
Before starting his channel in 2019, Chewkz moved to the US to pursue his dream as a professional basketball player and graduated with a psychology degree from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.
His Instagram now shows off his glamorous lifestyle including modelling shoots, movie premieres and hosting a slot for BBC Radio 1’s Christmas takeover.
One of his most-watched YouTube videos is about ‘when British people say water in the USA’, with more than five million views
577K YouTube subscribers, conversational and ‘icks’
James and Fuhad’s Shxts’n’Gigs podcast has received rave reviews since it launched it in 2019
James and Fuhad’s Shxts’n’Gigs podcast has received rave reviews and even charted at number three on Spotify since the pair of best friends from Northampton launched it in 2019.
Popularised for their viral ‘icks’ and ‘Twitter Hall Of Fame’ segments, Shxts’n’Gigs speaks to Gen Zers who can’t get enough of their full and unfiltered opinions on anything that comes to mind.
Their hilarious feature exploring the cringeworthy world of ‘icks’ (a small thing someone does that’s an instant turn-off) went viral, with them now being dubbed ‘the ick guys’ across social media.
Their viral ‘icks’ segments has seen their following skyrocket across all social media platforms, with tens of thousands on YouTube alone
It could be anything from someone chewing loudly to over-using a joke. The hosts react to examples that are sent in by viewers and roast themselves in the process.
Their conversation topics include current celebrity gossip, binge-worthy TV shows and the aforementioned ‘icks’, which has seen their following skyrocket across all social media platforms, with tens of thousands on YouTube alone.
585K YouTube subscribers, beauty and fashion
Ultra-glamorous Kaiser Coby is a YouTube beauty guru
Ultra-glamorous Kaiser Coby is a YouTube beauty guru who shows her loyal following how to achieve her flawless makeup and skincare routines, some of which have attracted millions of views.
The success of her channel has put her in touch with top beauty brands, who she now collaborates with, including The Body Shop, Max Factor, Avon, Nivea, Byoma and more.
She’s also documented having acne to help others struggling with the skin condition, as well as giving her tried-and-tested advice for those with blemish-prone skin.
Last year, the natural beauty launched her own makeup collection in partnership with vegan brand Nudestix, which includes liner, blush, highlighter and gloss.