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Joe Wicks among YouTube stars paired with emerging talent for new initiative

Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor
·4-min read

Joe Wicks, KSI and Yammy are some of the YouTube sensations who have paired up with rising stars on the platform to celebrate British talent.

They will be showcased on The Rise, a new initiative on the video sharing platform, which aims to elevate and showcase diverse creatives.

It features 10 of the platform’s most established figures alongside 10 up-and-coming talents, who they have each tipped as someone set to make their mark on the UK creative industry.

The Global Awards 2020 with Very.co.uk – Arrivals – London
KSI (Lia Toby/PA)

Fitness coach Wicks, who has been a sensation on YouTube throughout lockdown thanks to his PE With Joe classes, has paired up with Gabriel Sey, better known as The Active Black Dad.

Meanwhile musician KSI has paired up with comedian Yung Filly and gaming guru Yammy has teamed up with SJ Strum, a parenting and lifestyle channel, while Koby “Posty” Hagan, the founder of grime music outlet GRM Daily is paired with aspiring Manchester-based rapper Meekz Manny.

Robbie Lyle, the creator behind Arsenal football fan network AFTV, has paired with Expressions Oozing, a Tottenham Hotspur fan channel, while fashion guru Dina Tokio is paired with rising star Dr Amina Yonis, a researcher, educational consultant and teacher who holds a PhD in Cell and Cancer Research.

Star choreographer Sherrie Silver is paired with rising Afrobeats dance sensation A-Star, as scientist Colin Furze is paired with the channel Kids Invent Stuff, who bring the inventions of kids’ imaginations to life.

Jay Flynn, the creator behind Jay’s Virtual Pub Quiz, is paired with Jack Edwards, who is representing The StudyTube Project, a collective of creators who came together to make educational content during lockdown, while comedy and lifestyle creator Daniel Howell is paired with Jessica Kellgren Fozard to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and embrace the wider disability community.

Top (left to right) a member of Kids Invent Stuff, Colin Furze, a member of Kids Invent Stuff, Sherrie Silver, Afrobeats dance sensation A-Star, Jay Flynn, Jack Edwards, Daniel Howell, Jessica Kellgren Fozard, Gabriel Sey, Joe Wicks and Bottom (left to right) Yung Filly, KSI, SJ Strum, Yammy, Robbie Lyle, Expressions Oozing, Dina Tokio, Dr Amina Yonis, Koby 'Posty' Hagan, Meekz Manny, who have paired up for a new initiative, The Rise, which will showcase diverse creators (Henry Jay Kamara/PA)
Top (left to right) a member of Kids Invent Stuff, Colin Furze, a member of Kids Invent Stuff, Sherrie Silver, Afrobeats dance sensation A-Star, Jay Flynn, Jack Edwards, Daniel Howell, Jessica Kellgren Fozard, Gabriel Sey, Joe Wicks and Bottom (left to right) Yung Filly, KSI, SJ Strum, Yammy, Robbie Lyle, Expressions Oozing, Dina Tokio, Dr Amina Yonis, Koby Posty Hagan, Meekz Manny, who have paired up for a new initiative, The Rise, which will showcase diverse creators (Henry Jay Kamara/PA)

Ben McOwen Wilson, YouTube UK’s managing director, told the PA news agency: “People are sometimes dismissive of the creativity and the content that is available on YouTube, but I think what you have seen during this year is it absolutely holds its own with content that is being broadcast by the main terrestrial channels.

“That gave us a chance to really say ‘Let’s give these guys a platform and give them a brand, The Rise, which allows them to describe their own journey, but also reflect with some of personal pride to them, others on the platform who are making that incredible journey’.

Gabriel Sey (left) and Joe Wicks (Henry Jay Kamara/PA)alent for new initiative
Gabriel Sey (left) and Joe Wicks (Henry Jay Kamara/PA)

“We could have done so many of them, you throw a dart at a map of the UK and the incredible thing is wherever it lands in all of the nations or regions, you will find somebody who has been able to make a choice about a creative career that historically might not have been able to.”

He added: “With the idea of The Rise, rather than it being about those who are already successful, we want to use them to look back in and say ‘Here is somebody else who I am watching or following or spending a lot of time with’.”

Fashion guru Dina Tokio (left) and rising star Dr Amina Yonis (Henry Jay Kamara/PA)
Fashion guru Dina Tokio (left) and rising star Dr Amina Yonis (Henry Jay Kamara/PA)

Discussing the importance of showcasing a diverse variety of talent, he said: “If we are to live up the promise of being an open platform, it must be true for people that are breaking through.

“We can’t hold a mirror up and say ‘Look we have got more black creators than television or than radio,’ we can’t say that is the bar, that is not the bar, the bar is the UK.”