Where are the stars of iconic British viral videos now?
We’re good at meming things to death in the UK. You know, the kind of videos that the rest of the world really wouldn’t understand, but live on in our collective conscience as perfect little nuggets of what used to be. Surely in no other country would you be guaranteed to get a smile or two by walking into a room full of randomers and making some obscure reference along the lines of “reversing dump truck without tyres”.
But where are the meme stars that have come and gone over the years? We celebrate them for two weeks and then they disappear, never to be heard from again. From the fish and rice cakes guy to one pound fish and every Ronnie Pickering in between, here’s what the stars of every iconic British viral video have been up to since.
Fish and rice cakes
This absolute classic did the rounds in playgrounds across the UK. How committed must you have to be to pursue the perfect male figure by eating solely fish and rice cakes?! What a sad little life.
The clip, from a BBC Three documentary called Baby Faced Bodybuilders, followed Danny Andrews, who was 16 at the time, and his preparations for the Mr Cumbria bodybuilding competition. This diet included having either fish, a rice cake, or both every two hours from eight in the morning. Well, as it turns out, the hard work certainly paid off for Danny.
Now in his thirties, he is properly ripped and seems to have finally achieved the perfect rig that he yammed so much fish and rice cake in the name of.
Speaking to Ladbible in 2019, Danny said: “Some people rip me saying I thought fish was brain food, but clearly it’s not. People ask if I was sponsored by Captain Birdseye. People have made memes and remixes on YouTube, also Scott Mills used to play it weekly, he even spoke to Jake Gyllenhaal about it.”
You thought you’d forgot Ronnie Pickering, right?
Wrong, Ronnie Pickering will live on in our memories for the rest of time. Ronnie Pickering shot to viral fame with the above clip engaging in a war of word with a moped driver, and it’s not really clear why. What matters is the fact that Ronnie seems to think that his reputation precedes him to the point that some random bloke on a bike will recognise his name – “Do you know who I am?!” Very fashion of him to match his Hollister hoodie with his red Citroen Picasso ?
So, what has our Ronnie been up to since? Well, he’s a regularly seen face in his home place of Hull, where he visits the pub and apparently enjoys the image that the video has given him. He has since auctioned the iconic Citroen Picasso for charity.
I wonder if Ronnie Pickering gets recognised in public
— Sian Morton (@Sian_Morton) September 1, 2020
Speaking to Hull Daily Mail, he said that he has no regrets about the whole situation and still finds it amusing: “I’ve no regrets about it at all. If I’d been violent I would have regrets and if there had been violence it wouldn’t have been as popular as it is today. People just won’t let it lie.
No matter where I go I get recognised and I just take it in my stride.” In 2018, he was knocked to the ground during a fight at the pub, which you can watch here. In January of this year, Ronnie was pictured sitting at a pub table that had been obliterated by an elderly woman crashing her car into it.
Pint in hand. Legend.
One Pound Fish
One Pound Fish and “Why you coming fast?” (we’ll get to him) are two examples of stupid British people collectively banding together to make people famous for very little reason. Muhammad Shahid Nazir was a humble worker at a fish market when he was filmed singing the above tune about selling fish for one pound. We can confirm from his Wikipedia page (yup) that the fish in question was mackerel.
Obviously, you know that a really fucking stupid music video followed which was essentially the exact same song as was sung in the market, just with Gangnam Style-esque thumping in the background.
Well, since then I’m saddened to report that things pretty quickly went downhill (or uphill depending on how you look at it) for Mr Pound Fish.
Arriving into the UK on a student visa, he started working as a fishmonger as well as becoming an internet celebrity, both of which were against the terms. He was thus ordered to leave the UK in December 2012 once his visa had expired. He has made two attempts to reenter the country in 2016 and the following year, but has been refused on the grounds that he violated his last visa.
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This year it was reported that One Pound Fish was injured along with 15 others after a scuffle broke out at a wedding in Pakistan. Apparently police had to show up, and people brought sticks to fight each other with.
He alleges that one of the wedding party started beating up his son after his son hit one of their cars with his motorcycle.
This was and always will be one of the more notable examples of classic early British viral fame, and it belongs to crazy Dave Mills, a farmer boy who filmed himself doing various farm-related activities such as taking out vermin. Featured on early soccer am, he lives a very limited existence on modern social media.
And by limited, I mean completely non-existent. Googling his name comes up with a few links to now-defunct message boards, but nobody really seems to know who the real Crazy Dave Mills is. Some YouTube comments suggest he may have died, others simply claim that they met him in the area he grew up, but there’s no confirmation on anything.
So, Crazy Dave, if you or someone who knows you is reading this, send us a message.
Ah fuck, I can’t believe you’ve done this
This is a bizarre interaction from start to finish, which is probably why it’s racked up so many millions of views since it was first uploaded in 2007.
Why did he react so monotonously to being punched in the face? Why was he punched in the face? Well, if freelance writer Paul Weedon, who also does “marketing stuff” by day has anything to do with it, we’ll never know.
Paul, who is the one being punched in the video, tells his followers in his bio that he is a former meme, but that’s all he seems to give away – there is nothing to be learnt from either the YouTube comments section or his Twitter. As a writer who has featured in Clash and Vice, I’m sure he’s just waiting for the time to be right before revealing what we all want to know – what on earth does the video even mean?
He occasionally makes references to it on his Twitter, but that’s as much info as we’re going to get.
Yes, that is him holding the sign and yes, he is the one that got punched.
It’s hard not to feel sorry for Peter Marsh, appearing on a relatively wholesome show and throwing a tantrum that was so legendary, it literally landed his face and catchphrase on t-shirts, mugs and birthday cards throughout the country. The altercation occurred when he lost to Jane, another competitor in the show, and started dressing her down in front of everyone after a particularly eventful episode during which he’d called a fellow contestant “fat”, and likened another contestant’s meal to a “plate full of vomit”.
One day I’ll do a thread on how Peter Marsh (the famous Come Dine with Me sore loser) was setup.
Pete lives in Oxfordshire with his husband Richard and, as you can imagine, he has no social media presence that we can find. He spoke to The Mirror, telling them that the show was edited to make him look worse: “What’s shown is not all that happens and people will believe what they’re shown.”
The only place you’ll be seeing Peter’s face again is on the side of a mug in the staff room.
Why you coming fast
Urghhh, this video. What was a stupid interaction was made into a completely unnecessarily viral hit just because the guy who got hit into got a bit shirty.
Obviously, it got the usual treatment of being made into a song and Boohoo even made a t-shirt with the slogan on it, and for a brief part of 2018 there was NOWHERE to escape.
It’s only @Josh_Denzel1 & @ferdicantseeme reppin’ the “WHY YOU COMING FAST” official tee ? Get it before it’s gone ? https://t.co/bv1kJ29tVS pic.twitter.com/D1042mBBhd — boohooMAN (@boohooMAN) November 27, 2018
At the time, Ferdi gained over 300,000 followers on Instagram, but then he suddenly disappeared.
His Twitter account @ferdicomingfast was suspended for violating their rules, whatever that means, and he hasn’t been heard from much since.
Look, the whole thing is fucking stupid and he’s probably gone back to fixing car wheels, or whatever he was doing when someone bowled into him.
The Wealdstone Raider
The Wealdstone Raider is a perfect example of the kind of bloke you get at any sporting event. Old, needlessly aggressive and pissed out of his head, but as it turns out he’s used his viral power for good and become a good meme.
Gordon Hill is a builder who was filmed at Wealdstone FC heckling at opposing football supporters the legendary phrase: “You want some? I’ll give it ya” and “You’ve got no fans”.
He has done various bits for charity since, including a Christmas single that sought to knock James Arthur from his throne. Nowadays it seems as if he makes his living from attending events as a special guest, as well as various stag dos around the country as you can see below.
When this feckin virus is done with us – I’m gonna be on it big big time like here on this stag do! You just don’t realise how good life can really be until you end up like we are now pic.twitter.com/Thm6UAuuhB — Gordon Hill (@OnlyOneRaider) April 5, 2020
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