A Derry YouTuber hopes to perform his stand up comedy show before a home crowd next year.
Craig ‘Mini Ladd’ Thompson, who now lives in America, is currently on a 27 date tour of the United States called ‘Demonetized’.
The 24-year-old who is a major sponsor of City of Derry Rugby Club and their stadium, set up his YouTube channel in May 2011. He now has over 10 million followers across all social platforms and has been named as one of the UK’s top 100 influencers.
“I set up the YouTube channel during the Summer on 2011 and set myself a challenge to get 100 followers by the time I went back to school at Foyle College. I got 92 but I had done this for a few months and used my talents to become a cameraman lighting guy, editor and director.
“All of a sudden my creative brain sparked and I really went for it. Because I was spending so much time on YouTube, I put school on the back burner.
“I was constantly challenging myself and realised after a while I had a knack for it.”
His channel, which was initially dedicated to gaming-related content, took off and grew to over five million subscribers. His online presence has evolved into comedy and Craig now has two YouTube channels averaging over 40 million views per month
Craig said the experience of being on tour in the U.S has been ‘crazy’ so far.
“The tour started a few months ago and I have done 19 dates so far. It has been crazy and more than half the tour has sold out.
“I really want to try and do Europe next year, although it’s not guaranteed. I want to try and include the Millennium Forum - to be able to do a tour at home would be amazing.”
Craig has been so busy he is looking forward to spending a week in Derry at Christmas.
“I am so looking forward to some time off because I don’t get much time off. I won’t be vlogging when I’m at home, I’ll be spending time with family and will be going to watch the rugby on Boxing Day,” he said.
Craig is launching a clothing range next month and, proving there is no end to his talents, he will be releasing his debut single next year.
He has also been involved with the Thirst Project, a youth based water charity.
Craig raised $150,000 through live streaming challenges last year, which was used to purchase 15 wells for third world countries to provide clean drinking water for generations to come.
“I moved to Derry when I was 11. I was born in Dubai and also lived in Thailand and Singapore. Because of that I realised the wider spectrum of what is out there and I have seen people in an extremely impoverished position.
“My Mum would take us to Indonesia every six months or so to volunteer in an orphanage. I thought that If I ever got to a position of any kind of power I would try to give back and I am now in that position.”
He said he hopes to encourage impressionable young people to get involved and volunteer.
Craig added he is very passionate about the Thirst Project as clean water is ‘such a basic necessity’ and ‘something we take for granted’.
He aims to top what he raised for the charity next year to enable them to buy more wells.