Meet Adam Beales (19), the Derry YouTuber whose hobby has turned into a sell-out Irish tour
A Derry teenager’s YouTube hobby has turned into a lucrative career which culminates next month in an Irish tour.
Adam Beales, a former St Columb’s College head boy, had been considering applying to Oxford or Cambridge University but his plans changed when his personal video channel started attracting huge numbers of viewers.
An astonishing 1.8 million people now subscribe to follow his regular antics, challenges and pranks alongside his younger brother Callum.
Within half an hour of the release of one recent video – about living in plastic bubbles – it had almost 10,000 views.
“I always loved making and messing about with films, even from the age of seven or eight on my old Nokia phone, and the videos sort of developed from that,” Adam said.
The 19-year-old told The Irish News how his teachers had been keen that he try for the top universities. Their confidence in him was well placed as he scored highly in his A-levels last year, although he declined to reveal his exact grades.
“I decided not to go on to uni so that I could concentrate on YouTube."
While he declined to say how much he earns from the videos, only admitting that he’d made some pocket money, he is undoubtedly doing well.
Not alone do they attract millions of views, with Adam receiving a cut of the advertising, he has even started his own merchandising business.
“I set out to make family-friendly films so all the family can watch, can sit down on the sofa and enjoy them as a family. I’d say the demographic is from six to 14 years and then the parents,” he said.
Some of the more outrageous pranks have included filling his mother’s car with a huge balloon and replacing Callum’s shower gel with blue paint.
The films have also made Callum a star and he has around 800,000 subscribers to his own YouTube channel.
“Callum loves it but he takes it in his stride. I think he’s the most popular kid in his primary school,” Adam said.
After teaching himself how to shoot and edit videos through YouTube tutorials, Adam started posting videos on his own channel under the name 'TheNewAdamb99'.
The popularity of the fun films around the world has resulted in a collaboration with entertainment giant Disney.
His profile has also become so high that he was also asked to switch on Derry’s Christmas lights last December.
The next big venture is next month's tour. While the Derry show has already sold out, there are still some tickets for Belfast and Dublin.
“What we’ll be doing is a bit like the videos only on stage. We’re doing live interaction with the crowd and there’s a lot of exclusive content. It’s super, super exciting and it’s going to be a blast," he said.
“I think it’ll be like Saturday Night Take Away, only on juice."
As his popularity continues to grow, the young Derry man also hopes to venture further afield.
“It depends on the feedback from the tour but we’d like to expand into the UK, England, Scotland and Wales, maybe later this year.
“We’re also thinking of bringing out a book, maybe a graphic novel, but that’s a while off yet, maybe next year,” he said.
Adam Beales will perform in Belfast’s Ulster Hall on April 4, the Button Factory in Dublin the following night and a gig at Derry’s Millennium Forum on April 6.