For this month’s YouTube Spotlight, I wanted to talk about two British YouTubers who started as strangers. One had already been an established YouTuber, the other one had merely been a fan and messaged said YouTuber many, many times on Twitter, and after meeting up, the rest is history. I am talking about Daniel Howell and Phil Lester, aka Danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil.
Individually, Dan and Phil’s videos are more comedy. Taking the forms of many types of media, including vlogging and collaborations with YouTuber names ranging from Tyler Oakley to Joe Sugg, the videos in themselves appear as a story about something awkward and funny that happened to them.
After meeting in 2009 and posting their first collab, “Phil is not on fire,” the two would soon become roommates and collaborators. Aside from their separate channels, Dan and Phil also have a gaming channel, DanAndPhilGAMES, that they created in 2014. The channel features singular videos of games, series like The Sims 4 and Undertale, as well as annually themed weeks and months. One of which is Spooky Week that lasted the week leading up to Halloween, where they played horror games. Or Gamingmas held during December, where they posted a gaming video every day leading up to Christmas.
In 2015, Dan and Phil released their book The Amazing Book is Not on Fire, where they talk about their childhood, meeting for the first time, and what life is like now. The book became a New York Times Bestseller, and the two went on to do their very first tour together to promote it called The Amazing Tour is Not on Fire in 2016. YouTube had made a movie for the tour, as well as a documentary on their then-YouTube Red service. The song they had sung for the show, “The Internet is Here,” was released on iTunes and was #1 in multiple countries and #2 in America. Shortly after the tour, Dan and Phil came out with Dan and Phil Go Outside, a photo book depicting their time on the road.
In 2017, Dan and Phil went on another worldwide tour called Interactive Introverts, where the audience chose what happened throughout the show. After the tour, they made the show available to buy on DVD and digital download.
Phil’s channel, AmazingPhil, was created in 2006. Since then, it’s racked up 612,000,000 views and 4 million subscribers while Dan’s channel, then-Danisnotonfire and now just Daniel Howell, has over 6 million subscribers with over 660,000,000 views after joining in 2006. Their gaming channel has 3 million subscribers and 622,000,000 views.
Aside from their YouTube contributions, Dan and Phil are frequently involved in Make a Wish UK. They released their TATINOF song “The Internet Is Here” as a charity single for Stand Up 2 Cancer. Dan is also a big advocate for mental health and has been vocal about some of his own mental health issues. They have also lent their voices to a few animated projects, including Big Hero Six and the Disney Junior show, The Lion Guard. Dan and Phil had a radio show with BBC Radio 1 in London from 2013 to 2014 and have created two games, The 7 Second Challenge (which has since been retired and is no longer available to buy and download unless you already have it on your phone) and Truth Bombs.
In 2019, both Dan and Phil posted their own individual “Coming Out” videos for Pride Month, being welcomed into the LGBTQ+ community with open arms and inspiring others.