Archaeologists uncovered the skeleton of this neolithic dog more than a century ago in a 5,000 year old tomb on on the island of Mainland, Orkney, Scotland. Now, forensic scientists and artists have reconstructed the animal’s face. According to Historic Environment Scotland researcher Steve Farrar, this dog and 23 others found in the “Cuween Hill […]
From your apartment door to your bike lock, it’s not uncommon to carry a number of different keys on your keyring, but that doesn’t make it any more bearable when you’re fussing to find the right one or deal with the infamous pocket bulge. The KeySmart Pro’s smart design cuts down on key clutter and […]
Happy DNA Day! April 25 is a day to recognize deoxyribonucleic acid – better known as the molecule that holds the code to our entire genetic makeup. What better way to celebrate than with a complete ancestry test that’s about more than just satisfying idle curiosity about your family tree? The lab techs at Vitagene use […]
For musicians, clubgoers or anyone in the thick of a loud environment, earplugs aren’t just an option. If you plan on keeping your hearing through sustained exposure to levels over 85 decibels (roughly the sound of a blender), they’re a must. The good news is, most earplugs will muffle the sound. The bad news is, […]
Sad Planets, the collaboration between John Petkovic from Cobra Verde/Sweet Apple/Guided By Voices and Patrick Carney of the Black Keys, is gearing up to release their debut record. Akron, Ohio comes out this Friday, and today the duo have shared a video for the track “Just Landed,” which features J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. on lead guitar.
Last month, Sad Planets released a video for “Yesterday Girls,” which also had a bizarre nonsensical feeling to it. This new video, however, is a little more “Space Oddity.” The first lyric goes, “I just landed here, but it feels like a year ago/ Your skyline looks the same, but your lights have changed.” Even the vocalization feels Bowie-like.
The video depicts a woman’s fascination with astronauts from childhood through adulthood. One moment she’s a kid playing with Barbie dolls in space suits on the beach, and the next she’s waking up in a space-themed bedroom with a face full of makeup. Somehow, she manages not to get a fleck of contour on the white sheets. The next shot rolls into a bar, where a man in an astronaut suit seems to be out of place, or just really high. The woman finds him passed out somewhere, and takes him home. Match made in heav– I mean space.
Check out the video for “Just Landed” below.
Akron, Ohio is out 4/19 on Tee Pee Records. Pre-order the album here.
This visit to the “Jeopardy!” set came the day after a category that featured Trebek reciting rap lyrics went viral, making headlines due to his deadpan delivery of verses by artists like Drake and Lil’ Wayne.
Business Insider released a series of short videos produced from the footage captured in 2017. After Trebek’s announcement regarding his health status captured the minds and hearts of the show’s massive audience, Flanagan returned to the footage he shot that day to create a new, extended chronicle of his experience.
Some of the footage featured here was included in the previously-released videos, and some of it is being seen for the first time.
Following is a transcript of the video.Johnny Gilbert: This is “Jeopardy.” And now, here is the host of “Jeopardy,” Alex Trebek.Alex Trebek: Right on, Jacques. OK, John, do your thing.Gilbert: All right, this is “Jeopardy” show 7,541. VTR two, 22, 17, air five, 29, 17.Crew Member: 10 seconds.Gilbert: We said we had a couple of things to give away, and we do, and I said it was regarding “Jeopardy,” and it is. It’s a brand new app for “Jeopardy” for people on the move.Trebek: Do you want me silent, or do you want me to say something?Graham Flanagan: Can I ask you questions, like what you’re doing?Trebek: Yeah.Flanagan: So yeah, what are you doing?Trebek: I’m just going over the games that we’re gonna be taping today to familiarize myself with the words, the sense of each clue so that I do not make too many mistakes when I’m reading the clues as we tape them. Takes about an hour and a half to go over the five games.Flanagan: So you tape five shows today?Trebek: Yes. I get here at 6 in the morning. I go over mail and stuff. I get the games at 7:30, and after an hour and a half of work on them, I’ll go into a production meeting with our writers and the producers, and we’ll review the material to see if there are any conflicts. The games are selected at random, so there is the possibility that a clue in one game might be similar to a clue or a subject in another game, and we don’t want that ’cause if we allow that to remain, it might appear that we were favoring one contestant over the others.Flanagan: What are these notes you’re making? Just pronunciation?Trebek: Diacritical, knowing where to stress, because of the layout of the screen that contains our clues, some words that should be together are separated, one on one line, the other on another line, and sometimes just naturally we tend to pause at the end of a line. So we don’t wanna do that. I wanna run them together if they belong together.Flanagan: You’ve been doing this for so long. Is the five-shows-a-day taping just easy for you, or does it still seem like a hectic?Trebek: It’s a long day. It’s a long day, but it’s fun. I circle clues if I think that they bear discussing in the round table meeting we’ll have shortly.Flanagan: What types of things are worthy of discussion? What makes you circle a clue?Trebek: If I think it could be improved. If I think it’s repetitive regarding a subject that came up earlier, or if I just don’t like the way it’s written and I don’t feel comfortable reading it that way.Flanagan: So you pull out the dictionary a good bit?Trebek: Yeah, if there’s something that I wanna check on and I’m not quite sure, and if I can’t find it in the dictionary, I’ll get the researchers to look up something for me if I need it. In this case, it’s a foreign name. I have a pretty good idea how to read it, but I’m not 100% certain, and I don’t wanna appear on camera making a mistake. There’s always a viewer who’s gonna catch you on something.Flanagan: How many clues do you have to go over every morning on a taping day?Trebek: Well, five games, 350 clues I guess, approximately.Flanagan: So is your team of writers and researchers, have they been with you for a long time, or is there a lot of turnover?Trebek: There is no turnover here. Working for “Jeopardy” is an annuity. You start, and you go on forever. In the early days, we had some writers and researchers who left after just a few years, but mostly our writing staff has been with us for ages.Flanagan: All right, thank you so much for the time. We’ll catch you down the line.Trebek: OK.Flanagan: Thank you.Trebek: See you later.Flanagan: All right.Producer: Do you want some coffee or anything?Flanagan: I’m fine, thank you, thank you so much.Producer: Are you Norwegian?Flanagan: No.Producer: You look so Scandinavian.Flanagan: Thank you.Producer: Have you met Graham?Flanagan: Yeah, we just, I was in his office for a few minutes.Producer: Oh you were?Flanagan: Yeah.Producer: He’s ignoring you.Trebek: Here, shoot this. If you don’t do a good job writing clues for “Jeopardy,” this is what happens to your material. Here, take a shot at this. This is one of the original writers on “Jeopardy.” His name is Steve Dorfman. He’s been dead for how many years?Producer: 13.Trebek: 13 years, and I bet you we’re still using some of his clues. Do we still have some? Where’s Harry?Producer: I think he’s getting coffee.Trebek: Am I the only one at this table who has almost no interest in the Oscar telecast this coming weekend? I mean, it’s like it’s not happening. It’s not the event that it has been in the past.Producer: There’s no real clear front runners or big like, “Oh, my God.”Trebek: “La La Land” seems to be a favorite.Producer: Yeah, it’s a favorite, but it’s kinda like, it’s kind of a soft landing.Producer: I mean, if you give me a list of ones you’d like, we’ll have some nice ones printed up for you.Trebek: Why are we redecorating this area? I mean, you cleaned it up because you expected the head of Sony to come by and you wanted us to look good. We got new chairs. I don’t understand that. What was wrong with the chair I’ve been using for years with the big 12-inch gash in it?Producer: The stuffing coming out.Trebek: Yeah, what was wrong with that?Producer: You didn’t mind.Trebek: I didn’t mind. I’ve never complained about it. All right, have you got enough, I hope?Flanagan: Sure, yeah.Trebek: Now we can get rid of the fake game and write the real game.Flanagan: Thank y’all again.Trebek: All right, we’ll see you out there on the floor.Flanagan: All right.You guys ready for me to come in?Makeup Artist: Yeah, sure. Forgive me, please tell me your name again.Flanagan: Graham, like graham cracker.Trebek: OK, cracker. We don’t like crackers here.Flanagan: Is that right?Makeup Artist: My whole family is crackers.Flanagan: So do you have a long ride in to the studio, or do you live pretty close?Trebek: It’s a 30-minute ride in at 5:30 in the morning, and it’s an hour ride home at 5 in the evening. There’s a difference.Flanagan: What do you do on your commute into work? Are you reading anything? Are you just sitting quietly?Trebek: Listening to the radio.Flanagan: OK. And do you drive yourself in? Really?Trebek: Got my trusty Ram truck, and here I come.Flanagan: What do you like to eat for breakfast every day? On a day of a taping, especially. Do you have a diet regime, routine?Trebek: A Diet Coke or a Diet Pepsi or a Diet Dr. Pepper. I used to have a lot of Milky Ways and stuff, but I will have an oats and honey nature bar sort of thing.Makeup Artist: He’s given up the Twix.Trebek: And a doughnut. No, I have some Twix.Flanagan: So you love soda and candy?Trebek: Yeah, to a certain extent.Flanagan: You look like a pretty fit guy. What’s your fitness routine?Trebek: There is none.Flanagan: None?Trebek: None, absolutely none.Flanagan: You don’t work out at all?Trebek: No.Flanagan: Wow.Trebek: Don’t believe in it.Flanagan: Why not?Trebek: I don’t believe in exercise for the sake of exercise. If I’m going somewhere, I will walk, but if I don’t have to go anywhere, I’m not likely to get on the treadmill and do exercise. But one of these days I’ll change, I’ll do it.Makeup Artist: Close your eyes. But with that being said, you do a ton of work around your house.Flanagan: Do you have a green thumb?Trebek: No, I have a brown thumb. I do labor-type demolition and… break things and fix them and get my hands dirty. Literally get my hands dirty.Flanagan: What are some of your recent projects or things that you’ve been working on around the house lately?Trebek: Helping to renovate my daughter’s house, which she just bought. It’s a fixer-upper.Flanagan: So what does that entail for you, like manual labor-wise?Trebek: Electrical, plumbing, drywall, demolition, carpentry, painting.Flanagan: Wow, so you like to get in there and actually do it?Trebek: Yeah.Makeup Artist: OK, sir, we are perfection.Trebek: Good to go? All right, thank you.Makeup Artist: You are so very welcome.Trebek: We’ll see you later.Flanagan: All right, looking forward to it. If you could give any piece of advice to your 20-year-old self, what would that be? If you could go back in time and give that person some advice, what would it be?Trebek: Try to meet Ava Gardner if you can.Gilbert: And now, here is the host of “Jeopardy,” Alex Trebek.Flanagan:Why is the show so beloved, and why has it lasted so long?Trebek: I think it’s a combination of the two parts of your question. It is beloved because it has lasted so long. People who are television viewers relate positively to “Jeopardy” because there are no great negatives about our program. We try to emphasize the positive. We favor learning. We want you and our contestants to demonstrate that knowledge is not only important, but it’s valuable in every aspect of your life. So we reinforce the positives, and you can’t go wrong with that.We’re here to have fun, or at least we hope you’re here to have fun. We make the assumption that you’re here because you’re fans of the show. Otherwise, why on earth would you decide to come out on a cold day and sit in a cold studio for three hours if you weren’t fans of the show? Maybe you’ll learn something. Maybe we will inspire you to try out as a possible contestants for “Jeopardy.” But if not, we have these commercial breaks with no commercials, so we can stare at each other, we can take naps, or whatever. Or we can talk. As Johnny indicated, if you have any questions, just raise your hand, and I will get to you, and you can ask a question, anything at all. No subject is taboo. And if I don’t know the answer to your question, I will make something up. Yes, sir. Proudest moment on the show, I do not have a proudest moment, to be quite honest. We’ve done over 7,500 shows, and I don’t even remember the ones we did yesterday. Young lady. Because I’m smart. And also because they’re written on a sheet of paper in front of me, and it takes me an hour and a half to read over all five games that we are taping today ’cause I don’t want to make a mistake in pronunc…pro…pru… in saying words properly. What was my first job? I was a bellhop at a hotel in Canada in my hometown where my father worked as the chef. I was 13 years old. I used to get a big tip. A big tip was 25 cents, and an average tip was 10 cents. Yes. My favorite drink? To be quite honest with you, it is low-fat milk. It’s almost on a par with chardonnay. I don’t drink liquor, but I do enjoy chardonnay, and I get up quite often in the middle of the night, and I’ll go to the refrigerator, and I’ll get a full glass of low-fat milk. I don’t know why, but I got into the habit. I’ve always liked low-fat milk. Favorite place to vacation: Yorkshire, England, a town called Howard, home of the Bruntings. My wife and I visited there before we got married, after we got married, after our first son was born, our only son was born, after our daughter was born. We walked the moors together like Heathcliff and Catherine in “Wuthering Heights.” Even in a pouring rainstorm we’d do it. It’s romantic. And then we go to the doctors to get treated for flu and… Yes? The half hour I get to spend on stage with three very bright people. I don’t like spending time with stupid people. So I have very few friends.Stage Manager: Don’t, don’t, don’t.Trebek: He’s a friend.Flanagan: How did you get this job?Trebek: They phoned me one day and said, “We’re bringing ‘Jeopardy’ back on the air. We’d like you to host it.” And I said, “Will you pay me?” And they said, “Yes,” I said, “OK, I’m your man.”Flanagan: Has there ever been any point where you got tired of doing this job, “Jeopardy?”Trebek: No.Flanagan: It’s been so many years. What makes you keep wanting to come back to this format, to this game?Trebek: Well, they pay me well, and I enjoy doing the work, so there’s no downside for me. I really enjoy what I’m doing and have for the past 33 years. Do I have any? Do I have any plans for retirement? No. Do you know something I don’t? Not everybody likes me.Flanagan: How much longer do you want to continue to be the host of the show?Trebek: Oh, probably another 10 or 15 minutes. As long as my skills have not diminished to the point where I feel embarrassed because I’m making a lot of mistakes, and as long as the show retains its popularity, and as long as I enjoy the time I spend taping “Jeopardy.”Flanagan: Finally, yesterday you went legitimately viral as they say with the clip of you reciting the rap lyrics.Trebek: Started from the bottom, now we’re here. Started from the bottom, now the whole team here. Six-foot, 7-foot, 8-foot bunch, Young Money militia, and I am the commissioner. You don’t want to start Weezy ’cause the F is for finisher.Flanagan: So everyone’s been asking me since they knew I was coming out here if you would give us another quick recitation of some lyrics that are, they’re not like filthy or explicit, but of the biggest song in the world right now. It’s another rap song. I’ve got them printed out here. Would you be willing to recite this in the same? Trebek: Let me see.Flanagan: Sure.Trebek: If I can read it. Rain drops, drop tops, bankrolls on me keep me company. We did the most, pull up in ghosts. Dabbin’ on them like the usual, I’m young and rich, plus I’m boujee.Flanagan: We have one more if you have time for just one more. This is from Jay-Z and DJ Khaled.Trebek: Another one, Wraith talk, Wraith talk. Here we go, talking that safe talk. My swag different. My bag different. My wife Beyoncé, I brag different. Special cloth talk, major key.Flanagan: Alex, thank you so much.Trebek: I have no idea what I just read.Flanagan: Thank you so much, that was wonderful. Thanks for all your time. This has been a thrill.Trebek: Take care.Flanagan: Thank you.
Published: 23:47 EST, 24 February 2019 | Updated: 21:58 EST, 3 March 2019
Caleb Deschanel was nominated for an Oscar for the sixth time on Sunday night.
And Zooey and Emily Deschanel were both on hand to support their father on the Oscars red carpet, along with their mother Mary Jo Deschanel.
New Girl star Zooey looked fabulous in a red and black halter neck dress.
Talented family: Zooey [2L] and Emily Deschanel [far left] were both on hand to support their father on the Oscars red carpet, along with their mother Mary Jo Deschanel [far right]
The 39-year-old The Happening actress showed plenty of skin in the dress, which exposed both her shoulders and cleavage.
Zooey’s wavy brunette tresses were worn pinned up and with bangs.
The former Saturday Nigh Live host accessorized with a box clutch and gold drop earrings.
The look: New Girl star Zooey looked fabulous in a red and black halter neck dress
Big sister Emily meanwhile wore a black dress with spaghetti straps and white frills at the bottom.
The 42-year-old Bones star also wore her wavy brunette tresses pinned up.
Dad Caleb was nominated for his work on the feature film Never Look Away, his sixth Academy Award nomination, for zero wins.
Lovely ladies: The 39-year-old The Happening actress showed plenty of skin in the dress, which exposed both her shoulders and cleavage
Sibling rivalry: Big sister Emily meanwhile wore a black dress with spaghetti straps and white frills at the bottom
Deschanel’s category has been the source of much recent controversy.
In recent weeks, the Academy opted to eliminate four categories from the telecast – Cinematography, Film Editing, Live Action Short, and Makeup and Hairstyling – and present those awards during the commercial break.
That managed to draw the ire of many members of the Academy, and was protested in an open letter signed by the likes of Glenn Close, Robert DeNiro, Kerry Washington, Brad Pitt, Halle Berry and hundreds more.
All categories ultimately were aired live and unedited.
WINNERS FOR THE 91ST ACADEMY AWARDS
A Star Is Born
Green Book – WINNER
Happy times: Green Book won top honor Best Picture
Christian Bale (Vice)
Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) – WINNER
Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born)
Viggo Mortensen (Green Book)
Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate)
Olivia Colman (The Favourite) – WINNER
Glenn Close (The Wife)
Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born)
Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
Yalitza Aparicio (Roma)
Sweet: Olivia Colman tasted first Oscar gold with Best Actress win for The Favourite
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mahershala Ali (Green Book) – WINNER
Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born)
Sam Rockwell (Vice)
Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) – WINNER
Amy Adams (Vice)
Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)
Emma Stone (The Favourite)
Marina de Tavira (Roma)
Alfonso Cuaron (Roma) – WINNER
Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman)
Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War)
Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite)
Adam McKay (Vice)
Double trouble: Alfonso Cuarón won Best Director and Cinematography for Roma
Free Solo – WINNER
Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Minding the Gap
Of Fathers and Sons
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Black Panther – WINNER
Mary Poppins Returns
Mary Queen of Scots
Bohemian Rhapsody – WINNER
We Are The Champions: Bohemian Rhapsody won four including Film Editing
Black Panther – Ludwig Goransson – WINNER
If Beale Street Could Talk
Isle of Dogs
Mary Poppins Returns
Bohemian Rhapsody – WINNER
A Quiet Place
Bohemian Rhapsody – WINNER
A Star Is Born
Black Panther – WINNER
Mary Poppins Returns
Wakanda forever! Black Panther won Best Production and Costume Design
A Night At The Garden
Period. End Of Sentence. – WINNER
Bao – WINNER
One Small Step
LIVE ACTION SHORT
Skin – WINNER
Golden: Guy Nattiv and Jaime Ray Newman accepted Best Live Action Short for Skin
Isle of Dogs
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – WINNER
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Cold War (Poland)
Never Look Away (Germany)
Roma (Mexico) – WINNER
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
BlacKkKlansman – Written by Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee – WINNER
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
If Beale Street Could Talk
A Star Is Born
Purple reign: Spike Lee earned his first ever Oscar in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for BlacKkKlansman
Green Book -Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly – WINNER
MAKEUP AND HAIR
Mary Queen of Scots
Vice – WINNER
Avengers: Infinity War
First Man – WINNER
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story
All The Stars (Black Panther)
I’ll Fight (RBG)
The Place Where Lost Things Go (Mary Poppins Returns)
Shallow (A Star Is Born) – Lady Gaga – WINNER
When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs)
Touching: Lady Gaga won Best Original Song for A Star Is Born hit Shallow
Who is Alfie Deyes? “That’s a tricky one,” he – Deyes – says. Not because he doesn’t know who he is, but because I’ve told him I’m asking on behalf of my mum, who’s never heard of him: how would he explain his job to her? “I think I’ll just say: ‘I’m a 25-year-old content creator who loves making things happen, whether that’s things that people expect, or things people don’t expect.’”
I say I’m asking for my mum, but if I’m honest I wasn’t 100% sure who he was myself; and if you’re over 35, chances are you don’t know, either. It’s not hard to get up to speed with his work, though, and by the time we meet I feel I know Deyes pretty well. I’ve shared some of the lovely life he has with his lovely girlfriend Zoe, also a content creator. I’ve met some of their lovely friends, their dog Nala, a black pug (no lovely for you, Nala, I’m afraid), and the lovely orange Aga in the kitchen of their lovely home. I know that Alfie won’t be working out until the summer this year, just doing a bit of bouldering at the local climbing centre. I know he used to have a special place under the mattress where he stuffed his bogeys, and that he wees sitting down.
I know all this because Alfie Deyes is a YouTuber, a vlogger, which means his whole life is pretty much laid bare on the internet. He started posting videos 10 years ago, when he was still at school in Brighton. “I just picked up my little family holiday camera, put it on a stack of books, made a couple of videos, didn’t tell any of my friends – and over six months, I grew an audience of 1,000 or so.” One day he was at the cinema with friends, and some boys came over and asked if they could get a picture with him. “My friends were like, why? And I’m like, super excited.”
Now, a decade on, Deyes is YouTube royalty and an A-list influencer: 11 million subscribers, 5.4 million Twitter followers, 4.3 million on Instagram. My then 17-year-old niece, I discover, once stalked Deyes around New York. The teenage daughter of a friend got a selfie with him in Amsterdam. The teenage son of another friend says he’s “moist”, which I think is not good.
And now Deyes is branching out, no longer just vlogging about his beautiful life. At 25, he needs to think about his future, his next phase, and so he’s expanding into new projects, ones he’s also super-excited about. This is why he has reached out to the Guardian, inviting me to spend the afternoon with him in his new offices in Brighton, where he still lives and works. Deyes does a lot of reaching out. He also says “literally” every other word, almost literally. (It must get complicated at the climbing centre, bouldering, when he is, like, literally reaching out.)
In person, Deyes is tall, welcoming, smiley. His teeth are so perfect, I try not to stare. The offices – let’s call it an innovative hub – are on the fourth floor of an unassuming block not far from… well, I’m not actually allowed to say where, for fear that my niece and others will set up camp outside. Alex, our photographer, is asked to disguise the skyline if it appears in any pictures, in case a determined fan has advanced navigation skills and manages to pinpoint the location. Deyes and Zoe used to live in Brighton town centre, but it got too much with all the hordes outside, so they moved to a seven-bedroom house somewhere… well, I’m not even allowed to know where that is, and they’ve managed to keep it secret. This is impressive when you consider how well we (I now consider myself a follower) know it on the inside.
Zoe – Zoe Sugg AKA Zoella – is also a YouTuber, fashion vlogger, influencer, novelist and more, as well as the sister of Joe Sugg, the YouTuber and Strictly Come Dancing finalist. Deyes’ sister Poppy’s at it too, they’re a social media mafia. Sugg has a bigger audience even than Deyes: nearly 12 million subscribers, 12.8 million Twitter followers, 10.2 million Instagram followers. Even I had heard of her (though I doubt my mum has). When they together launched a pop-up clothes shop in London, so many people turned up they had to leave because of security fears. Are they their generation’s Posh’n’Becks? “No!” protests Deyes. Brighton’s Kim and Kanye? “No, I’m just a normal 25-year-old, no way. If you said to Kanye he was like anyone else, he would be upset.”
Anyway they are, Deyes says, “like, very like, individuals. Our YouTube channels are very separate. We’ve always had our own platforms doing very different things, before we even met.” They do share the office hub, though, as well as the house and the pug, but today, Deyes tells me, Sugg is in meetings all afternoon.
Oh! This is odd: I was warned in advance that Sugg was away this week and would not be able to speak to me. There was a chance she might answer some questions by email. It’s probably just a mix-up: Sugg and Deyes are, after all, represented by different PR companies. Nothing says individual like a separate PR company.
The office space of the couple’s new shared creative agency, A-Z Creatives (even their initials are perfect; Z rhymes with bee here, by the way, not bed), is exactly what you’d hope it to be. The walls are painted fashionable greys and oranges, there are exposed ventilation pipes, meeting rooms, hubs within hubs, a studio, a kitchen that is designed more for photography than actual cooking, a Brighton theme with nods to city landmarks, a couple of break-out areas modelled on beach huts. (Deyes’ parents have a real one, on the beach, which you may or may not be able to see from the window.) The agency offers brand partnerships, creative producers, social-media managers and in-house legal and finance teams.
I’m offered a canned cucumber water from the fridge. Perfect, thank you. Cucumber water is what they drink in Pls Like, Liam Williams’s BBC Three mockumentary about YouTubers, or “self-manipulating content puppets”, as he calls them. The show focuses on the careers of vlogger Charlie South Mouth, who is maddeningly rich, happy and popular – but not as popular as his girlfriend, Millipede, who vlogs about beauty and fashion. They aren’t a million views away from Deyes and Sugg. Williams, who wrote and stars in Pls Like, won’t go so far as to say the characters are based on them, but admits he watched Deyes and Zoella’s channels while doing his research.
Deyes has never heard of Pls Like, so I show him a bit in which Millipede gives Charlie a fun little quiz about herself, with questions such as “What’s my blood group?”, for her vlog. Deyes watches and says he doesn’t mind people taking the piss: “I take the piss out of myself half the time.” And if Charlie is based on him, that’s fine – “I mean, he’s a good-looking guy, so that’s a compliment.”
Our first meeting of the afternoon is a merchandising one, with merchandising manager Sofia. Under discussion is a new range that will reflect the new brand. I’m not allowed to know what the brand is called, or see the logo, but I will get my scoop, you’ll see – even if it is a spoon-fed one. Deyes tries on hoodies in front of a full-length mirror, while Sofia comments on the size and cut and colour. Deyes takes photographs of himself to send to the merch WhatsApp group, because Lottie, another important member of the team, is on holiday. Plus he’s filming the whole thing, because this meeting will probably end up in a vlog one day, in time-lapse, to show the fans the whole process. Once a merchandise garment has been decided on, Deyes will roadtest it on his vlogs, before branding it up and dropping it on to the website.
Deyes explains the effect this stealth approach can have. “Like, when we released this backpack. I was testing that backpack for so long no one even noticed, because it doesn’t have a logo on. Then I released it and everyone in my comments was like, ‘Oh shit, you’ve literally been using that for ages!’” Sometimes it works the other way, his audience getting very excited when there’s nothing to get excited about. “Literally. Like I’ve had a non-branded item, and they’re like: can’t wait for you to drop those socks. I’m like no, no, no, they’re literally just my socks.”
Throughout the merch meeting, Nala is snuffling around under the table, hoovering up dropped shards of mini-poppadoms. She does well out of this, judging by her girth, if I’m allowed to say that of a pug.
The new range is going to be better quality and more expensive than the stuff Deyes currently sells as PBmerch (PB stands for Pointless Blog, the name of his main YouTube channel). He’s comfortable raising the prices. “I just want it to mature and fit with me now: 25-year-old Alfie,” says 25-year-old Alfie.
Another thing this more mature, 25-year-old Alfie is doing less of is the PointlessBlogVlogs about his life, and Sugg, and his friends, and Nala, and what sweets they’re eating or where they’re going for coffee. Instead of every day, he’ll make just a couple a week. He’s also getting into longer-form content. There have been a couple of interviews, one with a former London gang leader, Karl Lokko, which is actually frank and pretty revealing, but at 1 hour 41 minutes baggier than an XXL hoodie. Another, a conversation with a flat earther, you might argue doesn’t merit 53 seconds, let alone 53 minutes, but Deyes pretty much runs with it. Hey, maybe the earth is flat.
There’s also a new series, The Secret’s Out, in which he and other YouTubers – Sugg and her brother Joe, Mark Ferris, the gang – sit around the table and discuss secrets sent in anonymously by fans, as well as chucking in a few of their own. That’s how I know about the sit-down weeing and where Deyes used to smear his bogeys. OK, it’s not exactly Newsnight, but it’s more highly produced than Deyes’ other vlogs, with episodes lasting on average around 40 minutes. The first episode of The Secret’s Out has had, at the time of writing, 981,155 views. Newsnight, with average viewing figures of 350,000, would kill for 981,155 views.
That’s what it’s all about: views. More viewers for your video means more ads being seen, means the more you earn. Different types of video can do better than others, so a beauty channel (Sugg’s, say) could earn more than one with a less obvious focus like Deyes’s; if you’re watching a makeup tutorial you’re quite likely to click on a makeup advert, and the share of the pie is bigger. Longer videos can run more ads, increasing the potential for clicks if the viewer sticks with it. Then there are multi-channel networks (MCNs), third-party service providers that will target and bring in higher-paid ads. But broadly speaking, views are good. Deyes gets a lot of them, even if he won’t say what his monthly YouTube cheque is.
There are other ways YouTubers can earn. Deyes will be launching a membership button soon: you pay £5.99 a month for exclusive content, early access, livestreams, the ability to get closer to the man himself. Then, especially for influencers, there are the paid partnerships, which is what our next meeting is about, with Alan, the brands partnerships manager.
Audi has reached out and invited Deyes to an event in Marbella, driving a new model. It would like Deyes to take over its social media while he’s out there. Contract-wise, there are no set deliverables yet, says Alan, but Audi is coming in next Tuesday and this is all about developing a long-term relationship. Audi is a perfect fit: it’s aspirational, and Deyes loves the brand. The event is on the 13 and 14 February, but he’s already spoken to Sugg about celebrating Valentine’s Day another time.
There’s an email from Grenade, which makes fitness products, bars and protein powders. They – Deyes and Alan – originally reached out (brand management is where all the reaching out goes on) to Grenade, said Deyes loved the products, but Grenade wasn’t exploring any commercial opportunities at the time. Now it’s looking for a “brand ambassador”. I picture one of Deyes’ ambassador receptions, noted in influencer society for their exquisite taste, a waiter coming in with a pyramid of fitness bars on a silver platter…
But I keep this thought to myself. Deyes is too young to remember a Ferrero Rocher campaign. He’s excited because Grenade has previously worked only with fitness influencers, and now it is reaching out to him, a lifestyle influencer. “That’s brave – I like that,” he says. He might have to start working out again, he says. “I haven’t gymmed since Christmas.”
Dave comes on the phone, and Deyes loudspeakers the call for my benefit. Dave is the business manager, and has been part of the whole journey of growing and building the team. Deyes wants to talk to him about a workshop event he’s planning, here in Brighton, for about 40 or 50 people, in which he and others can share some of the things they’ve learned: for instance, how to hire a team, get good lawyers, file a tax return, not give away where you live. “I want it to be really mind-opening to anybody that is in this space, who is thinking inside of the current box that they’re in, and helping them see outside of the box,” he says, to clarify.
Dave’s totally on board. “I think the day will not just open their minds but also open their hearts,” he summarises. Deyes wants to help because when he was starting out, 10 years ago, there was no one who had done it before to guide him. Does he feel the stress, the constant pressure to produce new content, in order to keep up the views, that you hear about from so many YouTubers? “There is, for sure, pressure,” he says. “But my audience know me as an individual, not as a presenter. They know me so well that if I’m, like, tired and having a week off and can’t be making videos, they know me well enough to know there’s a solid reason as to why.” So they are loyal and won’t abandon him. Maybe uploading his entire life is less self-manipulating content puppetry and more of a cunning strategy. Or an insurance against burnout.
Deyes has business interests away from the social-media bubble, anyway. He’s building a property empire; as well as the seven-bedroom house he shares with Sugg and Nala, he owns a few flats he rents to students. They don’t know that Alfie Deyes is their landlord; his parents look after that side of things. How many flats? “A couple.” A couple’s two, so two then? “A bit more than two.” Between two and six, that’s as narrow as we get. My niece, the former stalker, is now a student in Brighton; I wonder if she is his tenant.
“Another thing that we’re working on that is not public, you guys have got the first on this…” he begins, then pauses, as if he’s having second thoughts about letting it out. He’s opening a bar. Alfie Deyes: pub landlord, that’s my Guardian scoop. Perhaps he should have saved it for The Secret’s Out, on the membership button. There’s no name yet, or location; Brighton, obviously. Deyes is “very, very optimistic that it’s going to be really, really cool”. I worry about crowd control and traffic jams after the pop-up adventure.
We’re wandering round the hub now, doing the tour, the beach huts, chilling areas, a display of magazines, one – Blogosphere – with Deyes on the cover, lots featuring Sugg. Are they competitive with each other? No, he says. Even though she has more followers? “I’m happy for her – that’s awesome. But again, we both do very different stuff.”
And here is Zoe! Not at all away but very much here, in the flesh, doing her very different stuff, in a huddle with her own team. She’s preparing for a product meeting with a retailer tomorrow, so it’s a meeting about a meeting. What’s it like, living and working in the same space as Deyes, I ask her. “Horrible,” is the answer, but not from her – one of the others chips in. They laugh. I feel like I’ve literally reached out and been left dangling and rejected. I really don’t think Sugg wants to speak to me.
Back to Deyes. I’ve enjoyed my afternoon with him, his energy and industry as well as his teeth. If he makes a mistake, he learns from it, like the time he made a crass video about living on £1 a day and was, quite rightly, crucified for it. Do all these other projects mean he’s preparing for life after YouTube? “No. I love YouTube more than ever at the moment, especially now I’ve started creating different styles of video.” Will he still be doing it at 40? “I hope so. I’d like to think there’ll be a video style that I enjoy making.”
What about the influencers’ influence? Once children dreamed of being astronauts, ballet dancers, pop stars and footballers; now they want to be vloggers and YouTubers, if they aren’t already. “Isn’t that insane,” he says. “It makes me definitely proud, the amount of years I’ve had YouTube as my job and people have gone: ‘How’s that a job? That’s not a job’. And now people are like ‘OK, it’s a job.’ People finally understand and I like that.” If he’d been born 10 years earlier he would have gone into dentistry (of course!), or eco science, or perhaps accounting. But because of YouTube he’s a multimillionaire who causes traffic jams.
Does he want kids? “Definitely, at some point. Not like soon soon, like ‘this year’ kind of vibe. But I definitely want kids in the future.” Do you hear that Nala? Your days may be numbered. But Nala has snuffled off to join Sugg’s team.
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