A young YouTube star from Peterborough who left his job at Poundworld to promote his own videos has had his content viewed over 48 million times.
Gaming enthusiast Ashley Hall (24) is enjoying his dream job which sees him paid to upload light-hearted videos of himself and friends playing computer games such as Minecraft and Grand Theft Auto.
The videos have quickly gone viral and enabled Paston-resident Ashley to earn a decent salary and even pay money back to his parents.
Ashley began making spoof videos of a horror game called Slender Man in January 2013 which attracted a couple of hundred viewers.
Having started his own channel on YouTube, where people could see his work, Ashley decided in August that year to start making videos which were more fun.
Having teamed up with a friend who is known online as ‘iBallisticSquid’ they began to create light-hearted videos of themselves playing the combat game Minecraft which soon became hugely popular.
Ashley said: “We do not take anything seriously. It’s always fun. We just love having a laugh and talking amongst ourselves and make the videos entertaining.”
Ashley, who dropped out of his media studies course at Voyager Academy, took “a leap of faith” in leaving PoundWorld in January 2014.
But he was quickly rewarded with a contract in May from a games group called Polaris.
Ashley said: “It’s managed to keep a roof over my head, allow me to feed myself and have a happy life. It’s also helped me give back to my parents. It’s a decent pay.
“I’m playing on my PC pretty much every day - recording, editing, creating a design and using social media.
“Minecraft is a game which never ends. You can explore an endless map and battle against other players.”
Ashley’s love of video games was ingrained into him as a boy when he used to play classics such as GoldenEye and Sonic with his family.
Having temporarily veered away from gaming to become a frontman in a band, he is now loving life back in the virtual world.
It’s still not sunk in properly that I’ve had so many viewers.Ashley Hall
He said: “It’s definitely a dream job. I get to entertain people. People come online every day and say we have made them laugh and made them forget their problems.
“I was at a games convention called ‘Insomnia’. A mum told me her son gets bullied but my videos make him happy. That was the icing on the cake.
“It’s still not sunk in properly that I’ve had so many viewers. It’s just crazy!”
Ashley hopes to open a shop in the city and show people how he makes his videos.
He added: “I’m going to do this a long time. While YouTube is around, I’ll be around.”
To see Ashley’s videos, visit www.youtube.com/user/FearADubh