The ordinary people who hit viral stardom in 2018

  • Published
Viral stars 2018
Image caption,
Shiggy, Harriet, Ferdi and Osh all went viral in 2018

Chances are, this time last year, you'd never heard of the eye-roll student or jumped out of a car to dance to a Drake song.

But people like Harriet Ellis and comedian Shiggy have filled the past 12 months with memes and viral content that has kept us laughing all year.

Social media would have been a duller place without them.

For most it was a brief moment in the spotlight, but for others it led to a bit of a career boost.

Here's how viral fame affected some of the biggest stars of social media in 2018.

The student who rolled her eyes all the way to stardom

Media caption,

Harriet Ellis shows off her best Farage eye-roll

Harriet Ellis had marriage proposals, was spotted by a fan in Tesco and even had a stranger offer to send her money (which she declined) after her moment of fame.

She was caught on camera rolling her eyes behind ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage during a TV politics debate.

"It was something that was genuinely, truly me and there's no better reason to go viral than by being yourself," she tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

"I wasn't being mean or doing anything embarrassing."

Harriet says the only real change to her life was getting more followers on Twitter.

But the 21-year-old says rolling her eyes at former politicians is behind her, as she heads in a different direction with her future.

"I don't want to get involved in politics again, I want to live a quiet life.

"I'm going to be a teacher next year, I just want to change the world through teaching, rather than through politics."

The singer whose ye is different to your ye

It's amazing where one Instagram post can get you.

For singer Osh, he instagrammed his way to a record deal with Sony Music.

He posted a video of himself singing his track My Ye Is Different - which went viral and was even made into a meme.

"At the time I didn't imagine it would do what it's done," he tells Newsbeat.

"But now that it has happened I'm not surprised because I realised that this song is good."

Warning: This video contains strong language

Figure caption,
Warning: Third party content may contain adverts

Osh released a full version of his track - complete with a music video - at the end of November this year.

He says he wanted people to "laugh and smile" when they heard the song, but he doesn't plan to stop the hard work now that he's found fame.

"If it's meant to be then it will be but if not then not. Just keep grinding," he says.

The tweet that may have changed your chips

Image source, Getty Images/Charlie Burness

Tried chips from KFC recently? If you have and were impressed with the taste, then Charlie Burness's tweet from 2014 might be responsible.

KFC found Charlie's tweet - which said its fries were so bad, the only reason people liked its food was for its chicken - and used it to promote its new chip recipe.

"Life is too short for bad food," Charlie told Newsbeat in November.

"Everyone knows they've got a reputation for not delivering on the fries. They're kind of soggy, like they've been reheated as soon as you get them."

KFC's new chips are now made from spuds with the skin left on and are chunkier.

We spoke to Charlie again in December and she told us she's actually not tasted the new ones yet.

The club couple who launched a thousand (well, some) memes

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Club photographers have a talent for capturing the best (and worst) of UK nightlife, but when David Wilkinson took a photo of Lucia Gorman in Milk nightclub in Edinburgh she just looked a bit, well, bored.

"When I took the picture, it was just a quick snap before I left to go home," he told Newsbeat in September.

"I don't like just taking pictures of people smiling. I like to notice the little details, so when I saw it I thought this definitely needs to go up.

"The day that it blew up it was my birthday, but I actually got more messages about the picture than I did about my birthday so it was quite weird."

Lucia told us she was probably ready to go home when the photo was taken, by which point she would "nod at anything".

And Patrick, the lad in the photo, said he just regretted wearing that shirt.

The man who banged his head and became a national icon, fast

Who'd have thought you could make thousands of pounds from getting hit by a cyclist? Well, not everyone gets hit like Ferdi Coming Fast.

Ferdi went viral after he ranted at a stranger who crashed into him on a pavement while he was changing a tyre on a car.

He appeared to confirm to Reece Parkinson on 1Xtra that he'd earned more than £10,000 since the clip went viral - although he's still working as a framer.

Ferdi has also released a single in which he not only tackles the problem of speeding cyclists, but recommends we forget that other pressing British issue - Brexit.

The comedian who danced his way into a Drake video

Image source, Drake / YouTube

OK, we know US comedian Shiggy isn't technically an ordinary person - but we just had to give him a shout out.

Cast your mind back to the summer of 2018 and you might remember people jumping out of their cars to dance to Drake's In My Feelings.

It was all started by Shiggy. He posted a video of himself dancing to the Drake song and encouraged others to get involved.

Celebrities - including Will Smith - took on the #InMyFeelingsChallenge and the craze went viral.

"It was honestly 100% spontaneous," he told Newsbeat at the time.

"It wasn't even meant to be this big or get to the level it's at where everybody is doing it."

Shiggy said seeing his mum do the dance he created was the highlight of the experience at the time.

Follow Newsbeat on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 every weekday on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra - if you miss us you can listen back here.