Newsbeat

The ordinary people who went viral in 2019

Dave, Alex from Glasto, kombucha girl and hot junior doctor Image copyright BBC/Bethany Tomlinson/Ryan Samuels

In a year, you probably couldn't count the number of random videos you see on the internet and share with your friends.

Often it's people you'll never really think about again but are stored somewhere in the back of your brain.

Remember Ferdi Coming Fast? Or the student who rolled her eyes behind Nigel Farage? Those are a couple of the people who went viral in 2018.

There's been no shortage this year either...

The 16-year-old who knows more lyrics than you

Or Alex from Glasto, as he became known following this year's festival.

He's probably had the biggest viral moment of 2019 - when he was invited to perform Thiago Silva with Dave at Glastonbury during the summer, and completely made the stage his own. That moment now has more than 11m views on YouTube alone.

Afterwards, Alex was woken from just four hours sleep to be told he was number one trending on Twitter.

"I was like what?" the (still only) 16-year-old tells Radio 1 Newsbeat, while he's on the bus to see Aitch in Bristol. "Everything was just going crazy."

A day later he was filming an advert for Boohoo Man. The day after that he was flown up to Newcastle to record something for Amazon. Then he got a message on Instagram from PSG, saying they wanted to fly him out to meet the actual Thiago Silva in Paris. And then he signed a record deal - with the following three days spent in various studios recording a song and making a video, which came out as What Ya Know About That Bro?

It's fair to say he rode the wave.

And it shows just how quickly brands seek to capitalise when something like Alex from Glasto happens - although he's definitely not complaining.

"I've enjoyed every minute of it. There wasn't a dull moment - I wouldn't have carried on with it if I didn't find it fun."

It helped that Dave gave him "a bit of advice about what to do".

"Because even though I didn't think it, he knew it was all going to blow up," Alex says.

The rapper then got back in touch a month later to check Alex was still having fun with it all, after some negative reaction to all the attention Alex was getting.

"I knew hate was going to come," he tells us. "But I'm pretty strong-minded, I don't really take it to heart. I just wanted to have fun with it, but I guess people have their own opinions."

He says things have only really started to quieten down over the past month, which he's been using to focus on school.

But having built up a pretty large following, he says he'll sit down in the new year and think about what might come next.

The sad news though? There's definitely no Alex from Glasto Christmas song on the way.

"My friends keep asking," he laughs. "But no."

The woman who really doesn't like kombucha. Or does she? No she doesn't. Well?

In 2017 it was blinking guy or distracted boyfriend. In 2018 it was the yodelling kid Mason Ramsey. And in 2019, the (entirely made up) award for the Internet's Favourite Face goes to Kombucha Girl - aka Brittany Tomlinson.

The video of her trying kombucha for the first time was uploaded to her Tik Tok, but blew up "on Twitter... with very explicit captions", Brittany tells us over the phone from Dallas, Texas.

It quickly spread to Reddit, Facebook, Instagram...

"It blows my mind every day. People have done with it what they want - it's been hilarious. People are so creative," the aspiring stand-up comedian says.

Brittany was working at a bank at this point and despite finding it all really funny, felt she should tell her manager what was going on.

"I was like, 'This stupid video of me has taken off. But if you see captions associated with it, it's not me, this is other people taking it and running with it."

Unlike people who've gone viral in similar ways in recent years, Brittany says this isn't a "one-time thing".

"I have continuously been making content and I still am. So it's cool because one person will see that and then they'll go on my channel and see that I have a bunch of other stuff. So it's a really nice way to find people."

She's since had partnerships with a lot of different brands - and been sent a tonne of kombucha. But most significantly, she quit her job and is moving to LA.

"My lease was up when this all happened - the timing couldn't have been any better if I had planned it."

Who knows, maybe in a few years time there will be a Kombucha Girl Netflix special.

At the very least, we'll always have her amazing British accent impression, which she puts down to watching a lot of Love Island.

The junior doctor everyone thinks is really hot

That's Ryan Samuels, a 27-year-old junior doctor from the West Midlands who more than a few people on your Twitter timeline probably thirsted over during the election campaign.

Lots of people used their social media platforms to encourage their followers to register to vote.

But not everyone was as seemingly successful as Dr Ryan...

"Some of the responses were pretty hilarious," Dr Ryan tells us, before adding humbly: "I do think there's definitely a thing about being in uniform as well, which changes the whole picture for people.

"My friends and my partner and family thought it was quite amusing."

So, how do you get to look like Ryan?

"Four or five high intensity sessions per week, a bit of squash, and cooking everything from scratch."

We'll see how we feel about that in the new year.

The people we wanted to speak but didn't get back to us

Shoutout to Oven Mom, and the sad girl dancing on Tik Tok. You had a great year.

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