Tom Scott (entertainer)

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Tom Scott
Tom Scott avatar by Matt Gray.jpg
Tom Scott in his signature red t-shirt in 2016
Thomas Scott

1984 (age 34–35)
ResidenceLondon, England
Alma materUniversity of York
  • YouTuber
  • web-developer
  • presenter
YouTube information
Years active2006–present
  • 2.02 million (Tom Scott)
  • 169,000 (Matt and Tom)
Total views
  • 430 million (Tom Scott)
  • 21 million (Matt and Tom)
Associated acts
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2014
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2017
Updated 30 October 2019

Thomas Scott[2] is a British entertainer, YouTuber and web developer.[3] Scott was formerly the presenter of Gadget Geeks on Sky One.[4] Originally from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, Scott graduated from the University of York with a degree in linguistics,[5] and currently resides in London.[1] His YouTube channel has more than 425 million views and 2 million subscribers as of November 2019.[6]

Early work[edit]

Scott began in 2004 by producing a website parodying the British government's "Preparing for Emergencies" website, including a section explaining what to do in case of a zombie apocalypse. This resulted in the Cabinet Office demanding the site be taken down; Scott sent a "polite response declining to take down the site" with the website still live today.[7][8][9]

In 2008, Scott and three other friends formed the comedy troupe "The Technical Difficulties", which they hosted on University Radio York. The eponymous show later won the Kevin Greening award at the Student Radio Awards.[10] A untitled game which played on the radio show was a form of reverse trivia, where Tom would reveal the answer to a trivia question and the other members of the troupe would have to guess the question. Over time, this evolved into a regular segment titled "Citation Needed", which after the run of the radio show was revived as a show hosted on Tom's YouTube channel. In 2009, three episodes of The Technical Difficulties were filmed for television broadcast. The Technical Difficulties continue to work on a variety of projects together, including a podcast,[11] and on a number of panel-style game shows hosted either on Tom's primary channel or on the Matt & Tom channel he co-hosts with Matt Gray.

He later captained the Hitchhikers in series 3 of BBC Four's Only Connect in 2010 but was knocked out by the Strategists in the semi-finals.[12] In 2012, Scott took part in the Sky 1 series Gadget Geeks alongside Colin Furze and Creative Technologist Charles Yarnold, where he was responsible for the creation of software solutions.[4] Scott received widespread coverage in 2013 for "Actual Facebook Graph Searches", a Tumblr site which exposed potentially embarrassing or dangerous collation of public Facebook data using Facebook's Graph Search, such as showing men in Tehran who have said that they were "interested in men" or "single women who live nearby and are interested in men and like getting drunk".[13][14] One year later, Scott worked part-time for UsVsTh3m for over a year.[15][3]


Tom Scott's YouTube channel was created in 2006, with its first video being of Tom and several friends cooking breakfast using a clothes iron. His first educational video was uploaded in 2009 and discussed the feasibility of removing one's fingerprints with pineapple juice. In 2013, Tom began his series on linguistic concepts, titled The Language Files, that would establish the format for all of his later series.

Other regular series on Scott's channel began following this, including Things You Might Not Know, Amazing Places, The Basics, and Built for Science. He also hosted a filmed version of Citation Needed with "The Technical Difficulties" over eight seasons, from March 2014 to November 2018.[16] Scott additionally produced explanations of computer security issues on Brady Haran's YouTube channel Computerphile.[17] He is known for his red t-shirts, originally worn out of a need for continuity during filming.[18]

At the end of 2015, Scott launched a collaborative YouTube channel with his colleague and friend Matt Gray called Matt & Tom,[19] known for its series The Park Bench wherein the pair would regularly sit on a park bench and discuss videos on Scott's other channel, occasions from their past, travels, and stories related to their jobs. The series was produced weekly from its inception until 24 March 2018,[20] when they announced that the series would no longer be produced on a regular schedule due to time constraints. On 30 October 2018, they officially ended the series; however, they stated that the channel would continue to be used for other projects. Shortly thereafter, the channel became a vehicle for videos of The Technical Difficulties, including "The Experiments" (2018), where the troupe piloted a number of game show ideas.[21]

Other projects[edit]


Scott, along with Matt Gray, co-founded Emojli in 2014. It was a parody emoji-only social network based on social networking application Yo, and was described by Salon as "an inside joke turned into reality".[22][23] It closed in July 2015 after it became too expensive to maintain.[24]

Web apps[edit]

Other web apps Scott has created include "Evil" (a web app that revealed the phone numbers of Facebook users),[25][26] "Tweleted" (which showed posts deleted from Twitter),[27] "What's Osama bin Watchin?" (which mashed together an image of Osama bin Laden with YouTube Internet memes),[28] and "Klouchebag" (a satire of the social media rankings site Klout).[29][30]


University of York[edit]

In 2008, Scott became the UK organiser of International Talk Like a Pirate Day,[31] and was subsequently run by his friends for president of the University of York Students' Union as "Mad Cap'n Tom Scott". Despite running as a joke, he won the election and served as the organisation's 48th president.[32][33]

UK general election[edit]

In 2010, after losing a bet that the New Orleans Saints would lose the 2010 Super Bowl, Scott ran for Parliament in the Cities of London and Westminster constituency as the joke candidate "Mad Cap'n Tom".[34] Coincidentally, Scott stood against the Pirate Party candidate Jack Nunn, which was described on the BBC News Quiz as "a split in the pirate vote".[35]

As part of his bid, he promised to scrap taxes on rum, have schools offer courses in "swordsmanship and gunnery", and put a 50% tax on downloads of Cheryl Cole MP3s due to his dislike of the singer. He described his chances of winning in the safe Conservative seat of Westminster as "[s]omewhere 'twixt a snowball's chance in hell an' zero."[36] He received 84 votes (0.2% of the total), including the vote of Noel Gallagher, the lead guitarist of Oasis.[37][38]


  1. ^ a b "North vs South". Matt and Tom's Park Bench. 19 February 2016. Event occurs at 00:27. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  2. ^ Tom Scott (17 February 2014). Let's Talk About Names. In Iceland. YouTube. Event occurs at 1:04. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Web Toys and Games". Tom Scott. Archived from the original on 10 July 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  4. ^ a b Barnett, Emma (15 January 2012). "My life as one of Sky 1's Gadget Geeks". Sunday Telegraph. Archived from the original on 15 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  5. ^ "How Auto-Tune Works". Things You Might Not Know. 11 February 2019. Event occurs at 01:20. Archived from the original on 11 February 2019. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Tom Scott". YouTube.
  7. ^ "Spoof website will stay online". BBC News. 29 July 2004. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  8. ^ Sherriff, Lucy (27 July 2004). "Emergency advice parody misses Gov UK funny bone". The Register. Archived from the original on 5 November 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  9. ^ "When zombies attack". The Guardian. 30 July 2004. Archived from the original on 14 September 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  10. ^ Barnard, Mike. "Student radio talent celebrated at the Student Radio Awards 2008". Milkround. Archived from the original on 2 May 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  11. ^ "The Technical Difficulties - Podcast and Web Show". Archived from the original on 6 January 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  12. ^ "Only Connect, Series 3 Episodes". BBC. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  13. ^ "Actual Facebook Graph Searches". Archived from the original on 25 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  14. ^ Garside, Juliette (23 January 2013). "Facebook's Graph Search tool causes increasing privacy concerns". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 8 February 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  15. ^ Scott, Tom (30 August 2014). Emojli: Behind the Scenes and Why You Should Never Build An App. Archived from the original on 26 June 2017. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  16. ^ The Sweater Curse and Clothing Controversies: Citation Needed 8x06, retrieved 27 September 2019
  17. ^ "Tom's videos for Computerphile - YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  18. ^ Matt and Tom (28 December 2015), Why Does Tom Always Wear Red T-Shirts?, archived from the original on 7 August 2017, retrieved 9 August 2017
  19. ^ "Matt and Tom". Archived from the original on 5 December 2016. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  20. ^ Matt and Tom (24 March 2018). "A Break in the Bench?". Youtube. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  21. ^ Matt and Tom (30 October 2018), The Park Bench: 2015-2018, retrieved 31 October 2018
  22. ^ Gray, Sarah (2 July 2014). "An emoji-only social network: Ridiculous … or brilliant?". Slate. Archived from the original on 30 July 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  23. ^ Solon, Olivia (30 June 2014). "Emoji-only social network Emojli is the new Yo". Wired UK. Archived from the original on 31 August 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  24. ^ "Investors tried to throw cash at this startup that was actually just a joke". Archived from the original on 2 May 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  25. ^ Butcher, Mike (24 May 2010). ""Evil" app shows how Facebook users make their mobile numbers public". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 19 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  26. ^ Arthur, Charles (6 October 2010). "Is your private phone number on Facebook? Probably. And so are your friends'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 15 February 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  27. ^ Fletcher, Dan (20 July 2009). "Tweleted: Making Mischief on Twitter". Time Business. Time Inc. Archived from the original on 15 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  28. ^ Gross, Doug (9 May 2011). "Make Osama watch 'Friday,' suffer other indignities". CNN Tech. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  29. ^ Pagels, Jim (27 April 2012). "Who Are the Real Klouchebags?". Slate. Archived from the original on 2 May 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  30. ^ Kosner, Anthony (30 April 2012). "Hate Klout? Tom Scott Mixes Meaningless Metrics with Feminine Hygiene in Response". Archived from the original on 2 May 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  31. ^ "Talk Like A Pirate Day UK Headquarters". Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  32. ^ Grimshaw, Gerran (10 March 2008). "'Pirate' becomes new student union president". York Press. Archived from the original on 5 October 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  33. ^ Freeston, Dominic; O'Brien, John; Mosalski, Ruth (8 March 2008). "We have a pirate president!". The Yorker.
  34. ^ Scott, Tom (1 April 2016). "The Ballad of Mad Cap'n Tom, Part 2". Archived from the original on 5 February 2017. Retrieved 30 December 2016 – via YouTube.
  35. ^ "Yarr! Election pits pirate vs pirate". Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  36. ^ McDermott, Kerry (29 April 2010). "England's fringe candidates fight for votes". BBC News. Archived from the original on 26 August 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  37. ^ "Election Results 2010: Cities of London and Westminster". BBC News. Archived from the original on 23 August 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  38. ^ "Noel Gallagher - Newsnight 2011.10.11". Youtube. Newsnight BBC2. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2018.

External links[edit]