Joe Sugg on Strictly gives YouTubers hope for TV success

By Daniel Rosney
Newsbeat reporter

Joe SuggImage source, Getty Images

Joe Sugg says his success on Strictly Come Dancing has given other YouTubers hope of having successful TV careers.

The 27-year-old made it to the final of the show in December, losing to Stacey Dooley.

Speaking at a conference for vloggers this weekend, Joe said his appearance "was beneficial for the whole of social media".

He previously said he hoped going on Strictly would "build a relationship" between vloggers and broadcasters.

Joe was speaking at VidCon London.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Joe Sugg and Dianne Buswell are now a couple after meeting on the show

But that transition from social media to telly is not one all are capable of making.

"They need help," Lucy Loveridge told Radio 1 Newsbeat at the convention.

Lucy's the head of talent at Gleam Futures - the UK's largest agency for online stars.

"They've been in their bedroom [vlogging] and need a bit of coaching," she explains. "That investment is necessary."

Recently there's been an increase in traditional media booking online stars: Zoe Sugg (Joe's sister) took part in The Great British Bake Off for Comic Relief and Trisha Paytas appeared on Celebrity Big Brother.

BBC Radio 5 live also hosted commentary of the boxing match between YouTubers Logal Paul and KSI.

Media caption,
KSI v Logan Paul: The biggest fight of last year?

Holly Horne, who has more than 13m followers on social media app TikTok, says she's starting to be approached more by execs.

"Life is starting to get crazy," she explains. "Since I've blown up over the past few months there's been offers and I've said yes to everything."

The 22-year-old from Guernsey, known online as HollyH, posts comedy lip syncs and is the most followed Brit on the platform.

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tag someone that never listens when u talk 😂

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"I've had a couple of meetings over the past few days which have been insane," she tells Newsbeat.

When asked if she'll be taking part in this year's Strictly Come Dancing, Holly smiles and says: "Joe Sugg's manager is my manager so crazy stuff is going to happen."

Holly also said she'd like to move into movies and is working on a CBBC series.

It's the same on the other side of the Atlantic too.

"We're getting opportunities because of YouTube," the Merrell Twins tell Newsbeat.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Veronica and Vanessa Merell are based in Los Angeles and have had more than 778m views on YouTube

The 22-year-old sisters post comedy sketches and music covers to their four million subscribers.

"I'm not trying to brag but it's crazy the numbers we can bring," Veronica explains.

"Traditional media see the influence we have and want to get viewers."

"Because of YouTube" they've just landed a role in upcoming comedy film Limited Partners starring Salma Hayek and Tiffany Haddish.

"It gave us validation for the role because of the success our channel."

Cast of US sitcom Friends from 2001
Friends most popular programme

YouTube favourite website

  • 3 hoursAmount of time children aged 5-16 are spending online per day

  • 7/10Children have used Netflix during the past week

  • 10%Watch almost all programmes on TV

  • 58%Watch on-demand programmes on mobile phones

Source: Childwise

Younger audiences spend more time online than they do watching TV or films, with only 10% of young people getting "almost all" their TV programmes through a TV screen.

But, as Lucy Loveridge explains, there's a limit to what online stars can bring to TV.

"There's no T4 anymore and that was such a testing ground for finding and developing new talent."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
T4 was a Channel 4 weekend programme that ended in 2012, but helped develop the likes of Rick Edwards, Jameela Jamil and Radio 1's Nick Grimshaw

Riyadh Khalaf, a YouTuber who's made documentaries for BBC Three and hosts a podcast for Radio 1, says: "I only went on YouTube because I couldn't get a job on TV."

He says TV execs started to take notice when online sites started writing about him but "they didn't know where to put me."

"We are now proving to traditional media that if you develop us and train us we can be just as good as Davina McCall, Alan Carr or Graham Norton.

"There's a real democracy of talent, which is great."

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