McDonnell at VidCon in 2010
|Born||Charles Joseph McDonnell
1 October 1990
Bath, Somerset, England, United Kingdom
|Other names||charlieissocoollike, coollike, charlieissoboredlike|
|Years active||2007 – present|
|Known for||Comedy, vlogging, music|
|Notable work(s)||The YouTube channel "Charlieissocoollike" and his secondary channel "Charlieissoboredlike", Chameleon Circuit|
|Home town||Bath, Somerset, England, United Kingdom|
|Signature phrase||"You've just had the almost imponderable joy of watching charlieissocoollike which makes you, like, cool!" -Voice over by Stephen Fry.|
Charles Joseph "Charlie" McDonnell (born 1 October 1990) is an English entertainer and musician from Bath, Somerset. As of May 2013[update], his YouTube channel, charlieissocoollike, has over two million subscribers. On 15 June 2011, his channel was spotlighted on YouTube's front page in the Entertainment category after being the first UK channel to reach a million subscribers. As of November 2013, his YouTube videos have 290 million views in total. McDonnell is a member of Chameleon Circuit and the now disbanded Sons of Admirals. In 2010, McDonnell released his debut solo album, titled This is Me.
Early and personal life
McDonnell was born and raised in Bath to parents Mark and Lindsey,He has two siblings: his brother, William, and his sister, Bridie. He was educated at Beechen Cliff School, a state comprehensive foundation school in Bath. He is an atheist. He lived in London with his friend and Chameleon Circuit Bandmate, Alex Day, who is also a blogger, YouTuber and Musician. In August 2012, Charlie announced in a video that he was in a relationship with fellow YouTuber Bryarly Bishop. In June 2013, both Bishop and McDonnell publicly announced on their blogs that their relationship has concluded, due to the difficulty of a long-distance relationship. In October 2013 Alex Day, Charlie's longtime housemate announced in a video titled "Housemate Divorce" on his YouTube Channel, Nerimon, that him and McDonnell would be selling their house in North London and going their separate ways, however Day and McDonnell insisted that they will remain friends.
After setting up the YouTube channel, "charlieissocoollike" in April 2007, McDonnell started posting video blogs (or "vlogs") to a small audience. He first came to prominence when his video titled "How To Get Featured on YouTube" became popular after it was featured on YouTube's UK homepage. His audience jumped from just under 150 subscribers to over 4,000 in two days.
In January 2008, in celebration of gaining 25,000 subscribers, McDonnell asked for challenge suggestions from subscribers, and he is completing them in a series of 25 videos titled "Challenge Charlie". He has completed all of these challenges as of March 2013[update], one of which was suggested by TV presenter, Phillip Schofield, and his daughter Molly, challenging McDonnell to perform the dance that accompanies the song, "Hoedown Throwdown", made popular in the film Hannah Montana: The Movie. McDonnell has since posted a wide range of videos on the site including his most viewed "My American Accent".
In 2008, McDonnell participated in a video-blog collaboration with four other YouTube personalities, titled "FiveAwesomeGuys," a spin-off project of the "FiveAwesomeGirls" which featured hayleyghoover and italktosnakes and ran from January 28 to December 31 of that year. In May 2009, McDonnell created an alternate YouTube account, "CharlieAtE3", which followed McDonnell when he traveled to E3 2009. In January 2010 McDonnell created another alternate YouTube channel, "charlieissoboredlike", for the videos he makes when he has "nothing better to do".
In June 2011, McDonnell became the first YouTuber in the United Kingdom to ever reach 1 million subscribers. McDonnell's videos currently end with an outro by Stephen Fry, now also inclusive with a "quali-tea" stamp. In May 2013, McDonnell hit two million subscribers.
On 8 March 2013, McDonnell announced that he would be making five short films, in preparation for the feature film that he is currently writing. The first short film, The Tea Chronicles, was announced on 10 May 2013 with a trailer, and was later released on 23 May 2013. A trailer for his second short film, Offline, was released on 15 November 2013.
McDonnell is one of the founding members of Chameleon Circuit, a band known for creating music inspired by the British television series Doctor Who. Along with fellow vloggers Alex Day ("Nerimon" on YouTube), Liam Dryden ("Littleradge"), and former member Chris Beattie ("CowInParachute"), Chameleon Circuit released their self-titled debut album on 1 June 2009. In July 2010, their song "Count the Shadows" also appeared on DFTBA Records, Volume Two, a compilation sampler that was given for free in the grab bags at VidCon 2010. At the beginning of 2011, Chameleon Circuit, in their new line-up following the departure of Beattie and the addition of Ed Blann ("Eddplant") and Michael Aranda, began work on their second album Still Got Legs. It was released on 12 July 2011.
Sons of Admirals
In 2010, McDonnell, along with three other YouTubers, Alex Day (nerimon), Ed Blann ("eddplant") and Tom Milsom ("Hexachordal") formed a new project titled "Sons of Admirals". Their first single was released via YouTube on 14 June 2010 on McDonnell's channel. The group covered Cat Stevens' song "Here Comes My Baby" featuring all four members on vocals. The track peaked at No. 61 in the UK.
In October 2010 the band released an EP including "Here Comes My Baby"; an acoustic version of the same song; a cover of "Believe in Yourself", the theme of children's television show Arthur; the video of "Here Comes My Baby"; and a behind-the-scenes video. The band has been known to perform a cover of "You're Not There", written by Ed Blann, and a cover of Radiohead's "Creep".
Sons of Admirals was not a band in the traditional sense. They were all solo artists, but as well as having their solo careers, they came together to form one group. The idea of this came from the Admiral's Men, which was a Shakespearean group of actors that came together to perform, while still retaining their individual careers.
Sons of Admirals disbanded in May 2011, publishing a statement on their website that "the core goal of the group – to get into the charts, and to increase exposure for the group members' individual talents proved to run against too many of our beliefs and approaches to music and promotion".
A prominent feature of McDonnell's YouTube channel are the songs which he writes and performs himself, usually on a ukelele, but also featuring other instruments such as the guitar, melodica, and—in one song—a kazoo and a xylophone made of filled water glasses. The most popular of these is "Duet with Myself." On 1 December 2010, in response to many fan requests to do so, he released his debut album titled This is Me via DFTBA Records. The album features several songs from his channel that were remixed for the album, as well as several new, previously unreleased songs.
On 24 January 2012 McDonnell posted a video of him singing an original song Time To Reply on his YouTube channel, which received highly positive feedback.
Charlie's friend, Alex Day (a.k.a. nerimon), has released a number of tracks on YouTube as music videos, such as the highly popular Forever Yours, which peaked at number 4 in the UK charts. The music videos for a number of these were directed by Charlie, some even starring him or featuring him at some point in the video.
Charity and media work
On 30 September 2008, to celebrate his 18th birthday, McDonnell and Alex Day dyed and then shaved their hair off whilst live on BlogTV for a period of seven and a half hours in aid of Cancer Research UK.[dead link] They managed to raise nearly £5000. The broadcast viewership peaked at 4,500. Another friend, Jazza John McMillan-Clenaghan (known as "Rhymingwithoranges" on YouTube) promised to shave his head if they hit £4000 and did so about a month later with help from Kristina Horner (known as "italktosnakes" and "Monday" on the YouTube collab-channel "fiveawesomegirls").
In October 2009, McDonnell was named as one of a number of prominent YouTube users who would be participating in a project called "RNLI Shout". The aim of the project is to raise money to purchase a lifeboat for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
On 4 September 2010, McDonnell and fellow YouTuber Myles Dyer co-presented Stickaid, a 24-hour live webshow. Starting from 12:00 noon BST, the two hosted the fifth annual charity event from Middlesex University's Trent Park campus in London. Their goal was to raise £10,000 ($15,900), which they more than doubled. All the proceedings went to UNICEF.
The Science of Attraction
In November 2010, McDonnell was part of a group of YouTube videos called "The Science of Attraction" where he hosted a few experiments and had his body digitally swapped with somebody else's. He was a co-presenter with Kat Akingbade and Derren Brown. As part of the series, eight videos were produced.
In the autumn of 2009, McDonnell featured with three other YouTube users on the BBC Switch documentary series Chartjackers. The programme documented their attempt to achieve a number one single in the UK Singles Chart within 10 weeks, by crowdsourcing resources provided by the online community. McDonnell was cast in the series for his familiarity to young British YouTube viewers and to "act as a Pied Piper to the teen audience".
Over the course of Chartjackers, McDonnell solicited lyrics, music, performers and stylists to record the final single and video via a YouTube channel named "ChartJackersProject". An unofficial charity single for Children in Need, the completed song was titled "I've Got Nothing" and was sung by vocalists Miranda Chartrand and Adam Nichols. McDonnell edited the single's official music video, which was shown nationwide on British music channels such as 4Music and Viva. "I've Got Nothing" was released exclusively through the iTunes Store at midnight on 9 November 2009 and reached No. 36 on the UK Singles Chart. Sales of the single raised a total of approximately £10,000 for Children in Need.
In July 2010 McDonnell was signed up alongside KateModern star Emma Pollard and X Factor contestants Nicola and Fran Gleadall to present a TV show run by Piers Morgan called FirstTV, an offshoot of First News newspaper. On First TV he did a few challenges like trying to break a Guinness world record by typing the alphabet on an iPad keyboard quickest and he got asked to tell a joke. However, after filming four episodes of FirstTV, McDonnell decided to leave the show because he did not enjoy presenting pre-scripted work.
In October 2013, it was announced that Charlie was to play the main voice role along with BAFTA award-winning Danny Wallace in Mike Bithell's indie video game Volume via an Announcement trailer. The game is set to be released in early 2014 for PS4, Vita, PC and Mac.
McDonnell was interviewed on BBC News about his rise to internet stardom. He also participated in the Euro 2008 Zeitgeist Google conference, where he spoke about YouTube along with Mia Rose ("miaarose") and Peter Oakley ("geriatric1927"). This was a conference to honour online users of popular websites. He featured as a guest on Robert Llewellyn's web series Carpool in the episode released on 15 May 2009. McDonnell has also made guest appearances on Lily Allen and Friends and The Gadget Show.
On 6 June 2010, McDonnell presented the YouTube Audience Award to The Inbetweeners as part of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Television Awards. In mid-July 2010, McDonnell appeared on KTLA with Hank Green, known on YouTube as one of the Vlogbrothers, and iJustine to promote VidCon 2010, the first international conference for online video makers. That October he made a programme with James Max of LBC 97.3 about how to make money on the internet. In December 2010, McDonnell filmed a series of behind the scenes videos for Doctor Who Confidential during the filming of the Doctor Who Christmas special "A Christmas Carol".
Astronomer Phil Plait wrote an article for Slate.com ("Charlie Talks Saturn," December 8, 2012) to rave about McDonnell's ongoing series of science videos, including "Fun Science: Saturn," on which Plait gave him some assistance. Plait found McDonnell to be a "science nerd" and a "really nice guy" who makes "engaging, silly and fun" videos that reach lots of young people who "need to find their own love of science."
A February 13, 2013, New York Times article, "Blogging with Video, Hoping to Go Viral," noted that McDonnell, described as "a musician and professed nerd with soulful eyes," is one of the most successful vloggers, who viewers find "genuine and responsive."
In June 2013 McDonnell reached 2 million subscribers on his main YouTube channel.
McDonnell also announced that he would produce, star and direct at least 3 short films, the first "The Tea Chronicles" received mixed reviews by fellow youtubers and the public. He is currently filming his second film.
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- "The YouTubing teenager getting four million hits a month". BBC. "Charlie has used the website to broadcast his homemade videos and currently gets an amazing four million hits a month."
- "James Max speaks to Charlie McDonnell – 3 Oct 10". LBC Podcasts. "Listen back to the Business Hour with James Max as he was joined by the most popular YouTuber in the UK – Charlie McDonnell, AKA Charlie Is So Cool Like."
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- Charlie McDonnell's channel on YouTube
- Second Charlie McDonnell's channel on YouTube
- Official website
- Charlie McDonnell on Twitter