Tom Scott (presenter)

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Tom Scott
Tom Scott avatar by Matt Gray.jpg
Scott in 2016
Thomas Scott[1]

Alma materUniversity of York
  • YouTuber
  • presenter
YouTube information
Years active2006–present
  • 4.68 million (Tom Scott)
  • 242 thousand (Matt and Tom)
  • 400 thousand (Tom Scott Plus)
Total views
  • 1.09 billion (Tom Scott)
  • 35.80 million (Matt and Tom)
  • 3.50 million (Tom Scott Plus)
Associated acts
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2014
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2017

Updated: 20 November 2021

Thomas Scott is an English YouTuber, educator, game show host and web developer.[2][3][4] He is best known for producing online videos for his YouTube channel, which mainly offers educational videos across a range of topics including history, geography, science, technology, and linguistics.[5] as of November 2021, Scott's main channel has 1.09 billion views and 4.73 million subscribers.[6]

Early work[edit]

Originally from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, Scott graduated from the University of York with a degree in linguistics.[7][8] While at university, in 2004, Scott produced a website parodying the British government's "Preparing for Emergencies" website,[9] 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"; as of December 2021, the site is still live.[10][11][12]

In 2009, Scott became the UK organiser of International Talk Like a Pirate Day,[13] and was subsequently nominated by his friends to run for student president at the University of York Students' Union, under the guise of his Talk Like a Pirate Day persona, "Mad Cap'n Tom Scott". Despite running as a joke, he won the election and served as the organisation's 48th president. When he was on a podcast called Corridor Cast he said that it was terrible as he didn't know what to do. So his team would fill in for him.[14][15] That same year, Scott and three friends formed the comedy troupe, The Technical Difficulties, with whom he hosted an eponymous radio show on University Radio York. The show later won the Kevin Greening award at the Student Radio Awards.[16]

After graduating, Scott made several appearances on British television shows both as a contestant and presenter. He 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,[17] and, in 2012, was a presenter 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.[18]

In 2010, Scott and the Technical Difficulties troupe began the "Reverse Trivia Podcast" series on the Technical Difficulties website wherein Scott would read the answer to a 1984 trivia question card while his fellow panellists attempted to guess the question.[19] The show concluded in 2014 after the commencement of Citation Needed.[19][20]

Scott received widespread coverage in 2013 for "Actual Facebook Graph Searches", a Tumblr site which exposed a potentially embarrassing and dangerous collection 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".[21]

YouTube career[edit]

Scott in 2011

Scott registered his main YouTube channel, Tom Scott (originally under the username "enyay", derived from the Spanish name of the letter Ñ, "eñe"[22]), on 17 May 2006. As of November 2021, his public videos have more than 1 billion views and surpassed 4 million subscribers.[23]

At the start of his YouTube channel, Tom uploaded several cooking videos in which he would cook food in odd ways.

Scott produces and uploads educational videos to the channel across a range of topics including linguistics,[24] history, geography, science and technology.[5] Also hosted on the channel was the series Citation Needed with The Technical Difficulties over eight seasons, from March 2014 to November 2018. In this series Scott would walk through a chosen Wikipedia article, while his fellow panellists attempted to guess facts about the article.[25] He additionally produced explanations of computer security issues on Brady Haran's YouTube channel, Computerphile.[26] He is known for wearing red T-shirts, originally worn out of a need for continuity during filming, and because Scott was wearing a red t-shirt in the primary picture he used on his personal website at the time, and used red as the accent color for the website.[27]

At the end of 2015, Scott launched a collaborative YouTube channel with his colleague and friend, Matt Gray, called Matt & Tom.[28] The channel hosted The Park Bench wherein the pair would sit on a park bench and discuss videos, their travels, and other anecdotes. The series was produced weekly from its inception until 24 March 2018, when they announced that the series would no longer be produced on a regular schedule due to time constraints.[29] In late 2018, 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.[30] As of 12 June 2019, it is airing their new series Two Of These People Are Lying, in which Scott has to guess which of the troupe is giving accurate information pertaining to a Wikipedia article whose title he has drawn from a prepared stack.[31]

In November 2018, Scott founded Pad 26 Limited,[32] a company offering content production, format development, and YouTube consultancy.[33]

In 2021, Scott challenged artificial intelligence education YouTuber Jordan Harrod to create a deepfake version of him for $100. In a collaboration video posted on his channel, Harrod succeeded to do so and also discussed the tech and dangers associated with deepfakes.[34]

2010 UK general election[edit]

"Mad Cap'n Tom" in 2010

In 2010, after losing a bet that the New Orleans Saints would lose Super Bowl XLIV, Scott ran for Parliament in the Cities of London and Westminster constituency as the joke candidate "Mad Cap'n Tom".[35] This was a role he had previously assumed in the 2008 race for presidency of the University of York Students' Union, which he unintentionally won.[36][37] Coincidentally, Scott stood against the Pirate Party candidate Jack Nunn, which was described on the BBC's News Quiz as "a split in the pirate vote".[38]

As part of his bid, he promised to scrap taxes on rum, have schools offer courses in "swordsmanship and gunnery", hand out free rolls of duct tape to "fix broken Britain", and put a 50% tax on downloads of Cheryl Cole MP3s due to his dislike of the singer.

Scott described his chances of winning in the safe Conservative seat of Westminster as "Somewhere 'twixt a snowball's chance in hell an' zero."[39] He received 84 votes (0.2% of the total), including the vote of Noel Gallagher, the former lead guitarist of Oasis.[40][41]

Other projects[edit]

In 2014, Scott co-founded Emojli along with Matt Gray. 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".[42][43] It closed in July 2015 after it became too expensive to maintain.[44] Scott followed this up in September 2015 by creating a full-size emoji keyboard out of fourteen standard keyboards to type every standard Unicode emoji.[45]

Other web apps Scott has created include "Evil" (a web app that revealed the phone numbers of Facebook users),[46][47] "Tweleted" (which showed posts deleted from Twitter),[48] "What's Osama bin Watchin?" (which mashed together an image of Osama bin Laden with YouTube Internet memes),[49] "Parliament WikiEdits" (a Twitter bot that tweeted whenever an IP address from the Houses of Parliament edited Wikipedia),[50] and "Klouchebag" (a satire of the social media rankings site Klout).[51][52]


  1. ^ Scott, Tom (17 February 2014). "Let's Talk About Names. In Iceland". Event occurs at 01:05. Beyond that, you have all the people who don't go by their legal name. Technically, even I don't – my legal name is Thomas Scott, but I go by Tom.
  2. ^ Seager, Susan (26 April 2020). "Op-Ed: The Hollywood sign is a public treasure, and no one should have to pay to use its image". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 May 2020. British YouTuber Tom Scott mocked the chamber's trademark...
  3. ^ Dovbnya, Alex (28 December 2018). "Reddit: Top YouTuber Accuses Brave Browser of Violating His Rights with BAT". U.Today. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  4. ^ Gutelle, Sam (25 May 2020). "YouTuber Tom Scott Pits Creators Against One Another In Game Show Based Around Lateral Thinking". Tube Filter. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Here's why you can't see what the world's 'pinkest pink' looks like on-screen". The Irish News. 19 July 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  6. ^ ""About" channel page tab of Tom Scott's YouTube channel".
  7. ^ Scott, Thomas (11 February 2019). How Auto-Tune Works. YouTube. Event occurs at 01:20. Archived from the original on 11 February 2019. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  8. ^ Gray, Matthew; Scott, Thomas (19 February 2016). North vs South. YouTube. Event occurs at 00:27. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Preparing for Emergencies - Homepage". Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  10. ^ "Spoof website will stay online". BBC News. 29 July 2004. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Scott, Tom (30 July 2004). "When zombies attack". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 14 September 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  13. ^ "Talk Like A Pirate Day UK Headquarters". Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Freeston, Dominic; O'Brien, John; Mosalski, Ruth (8 March 2008). "We have a pirate president!". The Yorker.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ "Only Connect, Series 3 Episodes". BBC. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  18. ^ Barnett, Emma (15 January 2012). "My life as one of Sky 1's Gadget Geeks". Sunday Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. OCLC 49632006. Archived from the original on 15 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  19. ^ a b "The Technical Difficulties on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  20. ^ The Big Lobster and Drive-through Booze: Citation Needed 1x01, retrieved 24 May 2020
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ Tom Scott; Matt Gray (25 June 2016). Tom Joined Snapchat And Surprisingly He Likes It (Vlog). Matt and Tom. Event occurs at 8:19. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  23. ^ ""About" channel page tab of Tom Scott's YouTube channel".
  24. ^ Tom Scott's Language Files, retrieved 17 October 2020
  25. ^ The Sweater Curse and Clothing Controversies: Citation Needed 8x06, retrieved 27 September 2019
  26. ^ "Tom's videos for Computerphile – YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  27. ^ Scott, Thomas; Gray, Matthew (28 December 2015), Why Does Tom Always Wear Red T-Shirts?, archived from the original on 7 August 2017, retrieved 9 August 2017
  28. ^ "Matt and Tom". Archived from the original on 5 December 2016. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  29. ^ Matt and Tom (24 March 2018). "A Break in the Bench?". Youtube. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  30. ^ Matt and Tom (30 October 2018), The Park Bench: 2015–2018, retrieved 31 October 2018
  31. ^ Matt and Tom (12 June 2019), Meatballs, Noseflutes and Judith | Two Of These People Are Lying 1x01 | The Technical Difficulties, retrieved 17 April 2020
  32. ^ "PAD 26 LIMITED". Overview (free company information from Companies House). Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  33. ^ "Pad 26". Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  34. ^ Haysom, Sam (19 January 2021). "YouTuber challenges scientist to create an AI version of him for $100". Mashable. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  35. ^ Tom Scott; Matt Gray (1 April 2016). The Ballad of Mad Cap'n Tom, Part 2 (Vlog). Matt and Tom. Event occurs at 1:48. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  36. ^ Grimshaw, Gerran (10 March 2008). "'Pirate' becomes new student union president". The Press. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  37. ^ "Mad Cap'n Tom Scott could be a competent President". Nouse. 13 March 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  38. ^ Orlowski, Andrew (30 April 2010). "Yarr! Election pits pirate vs pirate". The Register. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  39. ^ 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.
  40. ^ "Election Results 2010: Cities of London and Westminster". BBC News. Archived from the original on 23 August 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  41. ^ "Noel Gallagher – Newsnight 2011.10.11". YouTube. Newsnight BBC2. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  42. ^ Gray, Sarah (2 July 2014). "An emoji-only social network: Ridiculous … or brilliant?". Salon. Archived from the original on 30 July 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  43. ^ 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.
  44. ^ "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.
  45. ^ Kentish, Francesca (21 September 2015). "Guy creates emoji keyboard so we may never use words again". Metro. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  46. ^ 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.
  47. ^ 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.
  48. ^ 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.
  49. ^ 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.
  50. ^ Newman, Lily Hay (14 July 2014). "Here's How to Know What Edits Governments Are Making on Wikipedia". Slate. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
  51. ^ Pagels, Jim (27 April 2012). "Who Are the Real Klouchebags?". Slate. Archived from the original on 2 May 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  52. ^ 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.

External links[edit]