Meet the York internet sensation whose viral videos have clocked up 600 million views

18 Sep 2017 @ 8.13 pm
| News

She’s an internet sensation whose videos go viral, who can see a single Instagram post shared 700,000 times, and who has interviewed everyone from Al Gore to Will Arnett.

And she’s from York!

Amber Doig-Thorne is an online superstar. Her Facebook videos have clocked up more than 600 million views since the start of 2016. A single 90-second prank film, Stealing Stranger’s Food, has been watched more than 39 million times.

To top it all, she’s just graduated with a BSC in Theoretical Physics from University College London. How does she do it?

Super lighthearted

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The 22-year-old actor, model and media personality says her goal with her addictively entertaining videos is simple: to make people laugh.

“I love the two recent videos I’ve released, How Girls Annoy Guys and How Guys Annoy Girls,” Amber told YorkMix.

“It’s super lighthearted and relatable to anyone who has a boyfriend/ girlfriend, or a friend of the opposite gender! I really enjoy all of the videos that I make and I like them all for different reasons.”

Prank videos include her eating other people’s food and trying on stranger’s glasses. But has a prank ever gone wrong?

“You never know how people are going to react to a prank but you have to just hope for the best.

“One time my friend pranked me, he tried to scoop me up into a trolley to push me down the street – but instead he rammed the trolley into my ankle and damaged the bone, I couldn’t walk properly for a few weeks!”

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York childhood

Recently Amber was flown out to LA by Paramount Studios to do some promotion work for the new Baywatch film. Then 20th Century Fox sent her out to South Africa to be in the new Maze Runner film – “those were by far the most incredible benefits I have had this far”.

But it all began in our own little city.

She was born in York, lived here until she was five, then moved with her family to New Zealand for two years.

Then Amber returned here and went to The Mount School, only leaving the city to do her degree in London.

“I’m an only child, so I grew up being very close to my parents,” she said.

“My mum is amazing and she does so much – she’s a hypnotherapist, magistrate and personal trainer. My dad is a builder and roofer, he has two businesses.”

She wanted to be an on-screen actor for as long as she can remember. “I remember being in pantomimes and school plays and thinking I would love to be on the big screen one day.

“I didn’t think it would be sustainable to act full time, so I followed my other passion by studying a degree in theoretical physics.”

Fell into the job

How did she go from physics student to video star? “I was quite lucky; I pretty much fell into this job,” she said.

After graduating from University College London “I started making videos – but it wasn’t anything serious.

“Then by September 2016, I made my own Facebook page and YouTube channel and decided to start making content as my full time job.

“That was the best decision that I could have made! My following was initially grown from viral prank videos, and then I branched out into comedy sketches, social experiments, interviews and vlogs.”

Amber says “creating social media content is my full time job, I absolutely love it”.

That means that attending premieres, screenings and occasionally getting sent abroad to work on promoting a new film are all things that count as part of my day to day job.

I don’t really give myself days off – I enjoy working too much!

Star interviews

The celebrity interviews came after her success as a video star. “I’ve worked frequently with several of the big production companies, who will reach out and ask if you’d like to interview one of their stars for a new film,” Amber said.

“I really enjoyed interviewing Will Arnett and Nina Dobrev. I was meant to be interviewing Zac Efron (Baywatch) recently but 20th Century Fox sent me out to South Africa to work on the new Maze Runner film so sadly I couldn’t do it in the end.”

What would be her advice for those wanting to become a social media star? “Be real, create relatable videos and most importantly, make sure to always give something back to your fans!”

Acting on the big screen

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In the coming months she’s writing “a comedic scientific book answering popular science questions that the generation of today regularly ask”.

She’d like to use her unique position “to show more young women that they could have a future in science”.

“My plan for the future is to continue building my social media following – however my end goal is to break into screen acting in movies and TV shows.”

But she still finds time to head back home.

“I try to return to York as much as I can, normally once every three or four months to visit my parents,” Amber says.

“I’m loving the new Vangarde centre, my parents and I regularly go there for a nice lunch – I also love walking along the bar walls.

“York is such a beautiful historical city, its nice to appreciate it.”