Son1 has one ambition in life – to be a famous Youtuber. I think it all started when he discovered Stampylongnose. Have you heard of him?
He also goes by the name Stampy Cat, but really he should be called the Pied Piper of Youtube. His channel is among the most viewed in the world, more popular than Justin Bieber or One Direction. Son1 and his friends seem to be able to spend hours watching videos that Stampy – real name Joseph Garrett, a 24-year-old from Portsmouth – has uploaded to Youtube of him and his mates playing Minecraft.
Don’t see the appeal? Neither did I – although I don’t mind Stampy. He doesn’t swear; and I’ve seen his mum doing the hoovering in the background and bringing him a cup of tea (he was living at his parents’ house rent-free until the income from his Youtube celebrity status allowed him to give up his post-university bar job). Apparently he’s now testing the waters in Hollywood.
Anyway … Son1 progressed from watching Stampy endlessly to making his own videos, which he (somehow) uploads to Youtube. And so we found ourselves in this brave new digital world where we have discussions about subscribers and views and technical things about which I have no clue. When The Young Animators Competition came along, requiring a 60-second video featuring the entrant and a few Youtube links, I knew I had to enter Son1.
Fast forward a few weeks, and – to his rapturous joy – he was shortlisted, the prize being a 5-day animation workshop in which 18 participants created their own animations at thejamjar, Dubai’s fantastic community arts space.
Now, I’m honestly not bragging here, as it’s highly unlikely his team will win (they were three 10-year-old boys, whose animation involves a space rocket, unicorns, a transformer and an army of malicious cheeseburgers). But at the weekend we get to go to a red-carpet screening of a children’s film I’ve never heard of at the Dubai International Film Festival, for a presentation ceremony.
Son1 is VERY excited. Not just about being one step closer to his dream of becoming a famous Youtuber, but mostly about the gala event (at which, I should imagine, the Young Animators part will be very short, while the audience scoffs popcorn). We talked about it at bedtime tonight. “Mum?” he said. “Will we get to walk on the red carpet?”
“Maybe – I’m not exactly sure. You’ll definitely get a certificate.”
It occurred to me he might be getting a bit carried away.
“Mum?” He sat up in bed. “Will we have bodyguards?”
I tried not to laugh but a snort slipped out. Stampy – you have a lot to answer for.