Top 10 YouTube Channels

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Having a YouTube channel has become a firm staple in a social media identity, and is the perfect platform for the weird and wonderful to host their ideas, opinions and discussion. Watching YouTube used to just be a place for me to watch videos, but now catching up with my subscriptions has become part of my daily routine, which is why I bring you my top ten favourite YouTube channels that I like to watch regularly.

 These channels are in no particular order.

1

ABookUtopia

(Sasha Alsberg)

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Sasha is one of the biggest book vloggers in the BookTube community with over 250,000 subscribers. Sasha is so enthusiastic about books and every video of hers is like a little ray of sunshine. Sasha has serious bookshelf goals, and frequently updates us with her thoughts on the newest releases. Sasha is also affiliated with EpicReads and rounds up our book-to-movie adaptation news each month.

2

Liza Koshy

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Liza only started her YouTube channel six months ago, but already she has banked a million subscribers in that time. You may recognise her from her Vine account, where she has 4.5 million followers and over one billion loops. To add to her achievements, Liza’s most hilarious series Driving with Liza has earned her over two million views on one video alone. Make sure to check her out for hilarious videos, which are guaranteed to make you laugh out loud!

3

WhittyNovels

(Whitney Atkinson)

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Whitney is another book vlogger from the BookTube community, but also vlogs often about her hobbies, like journal-ing and music. Whitney also hosts the Cram-a-thon every December, speaks German and has just completed her first semester at college. Is there an end to her talents? I don’t think so! Whitney also manages to read a tonne of books each month which she also reviews on her channel.

4

ItsWayPastMyBedtime

(Carrie Hope Fletcher)

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Carrie is another vlogger with endless talents. Not only is she a YouTube-r, she’s a writer, a singer, an actress, a songwriter, a musician and also a Disney lover. Carrie has spent the last two and a half years performing in the West End as Eponine in Les Miserables, and has just published her memoir All I Know Now. Carrie is currently working on her first fiction book On the Other Side, due to be published this July. I’ve been watching Carrie for ten years, and with every video I fall more and more in love with her.

5

HailsHeartsNyc

(Hailey Leblanc)

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Hailey is another book vlogger from Canada, and one of my favourites. She is currently embarking on a creative writing and publishing degree, and frequently uploads videos detailing her book lists each semester. Hailey uploads book reviews, unboxings and discussions, and every year hosts Bookmas!

6

LaurDIY

(Lauren Riihimaki)

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Lauren started out primarily as a DIY channel, and has since included lifestyle and life hacks into her catalogue. She is one of the front runners in her field with almost three million subscribers. My favourites of hers are her organisation hacks, room decor and clothing DIY ideas. Also, check out Lauren’s Instagram page, as she has a serious eye for photography.

7

PadfootandProngs07

(Raeleen Lemay)

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Raeleen is another book vlogger that I frequently watch, who also reviews new releases, old favourites, and participates in reading challenges. Raeleen also provides us with recommendations on topics such as LBGTQIA and uploads a tonne of fun reading tags with her other bookish friends.

8

CrashCourse

(Hank Green, Phil Plait, Craig Benzine, Adriene Hill, Jacob Clifford, John Green)

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Crash Course massages my inner nerd. I frequently watch their playlists on Literature, Psychology, History and Astronomy, which all areas that I find really interesting. The channel has over 4 million subscribers and aims to help educate it’s subscribers with information and knowledge for free. If you are able to donate to help further the work Crash Course does, you can donate here.

9

Vlogbrothers

(John and Hank Green)

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I became a fan of John Green when I first read Looking for Alaska back in 2011, then I realised he had a YouTube account with his brother Hank that stood independently from his life as a writer. Both John and Hank vlog about topics that occur in their daily life, and fund and create projects like Crash Course, Mental Floss and so many more. Their subscribers call themselves Nerdfighters, as we fight to decrease World Suck.

10

Ariel Bissett

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Ariel is another book vlogger that not only uploads reviews of books, but also hosts the yearly YouTube-a-thon. In 2015, Ariel was one of the Man Booker vloggers, and frequently brings her opinions to her channel, as well as her love of George Orwell. Ariel is a writer herself, and documented her progress with NaNoWriMo this year, and her tips to lead a fuller writing filled life.

That concludes ten of my favourite YouTube channels. I hope you’ve found some previously undiscovered gems in this list, and let me know down in the comments of your favourite channels!

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My Top 10 Movie Musicals

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The “movie musical” is a genre that has become increasingly popular over the years. With West End shows more popular than ever, it seems every director is jumping on the all-singing, all-dancing bandwagon. Recently, classics such as Les Miserables and Into the Woods have taken the leap from Stage to Screen starring big names like Hugh Jackman, Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep. I’ve watched a fair few myself, taking pride of place in my illustrious DVD collection, so I’ll be ranking my favourites from ten to one. As always, I’ll only include films I’ve seen and can vouch for, and I’ll only include titles that have appeared on both the stage and the screen.

10

Sweeney Todd

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The infamous story of Benjamin Barker, AKA Sweeney Todd, who sets up a barber shop down in London which is the basis for a sinister partnership with his fellow tenant, Mrs. Lovett. Based on the hit Broadway musical. – from IMDb

The Burton/Depp/Bonham-Carter conglomerate has been a bit hit and miss (let’s not talking about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), but Burton definitely got a hit with his re-imagining of the Tale of Sweeney Todd. The cinematography is sufficiently creepy, with fantastic performances from Sacha Baron Cohen as Pirelli, Jamie Campell Bower as Anthony, Ed Saunders as Toby, and Alan Rickman (RIP) as Judge Turpin.

9

Les Miserables

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In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after breaking parole, agrees to care for a factory worker’s daughter. The decision changes their lives for ever. – from IMDb

One of the more recent movie-musicals to hit the screen, and one of the most incredible all-star casts since Love Actually. The only reason this film doesn’t chart higher on the list is because it’s so long! The stage musical itself is generous in length, but I often don’t watch the DVD because I don’t have time to watch it in it’s entirety. Anne Hathaway and Samantha Barks give standout performances, and it’s interesting to observe these stars singing live, which has never been done in a movie-musical before.

8

The Sound of Music

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A woman leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the children of a Naval officer widower. – from IMDb

On paper, this film shouldn’t work. Singing nuns, seven children, clothes made out of curtains, yodeling, goats and Nazis! But there’s something familiar and warm about the Sound of Music, and Julie Andrew’s portrayal of the naive and feisty Maria. In my house, it’s practically tradition to watch this ever Christmas.

7

Love Never Dies

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10 years has passed since a fire broke out in Paris – leaving only a mask behind… As the love story continues in Coney Island, NY. – from IMDb

This musical is my guilty pleasure. It seems like someone has turned Phantom of the Opera into a sticky soap-like fan-fiction, and is loosely based off of The Phantom of Manhattan by Frederick Forsyth, the unofficial sequel to the original novel by Gaston Leroux. I’m not quite sure what Andrew Lloyd Webber was on when he wrote this musical, but there’s something beautifully bizarre that keeps me coming back.

6

Billy Elliot

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A talented young dancer has to learn to fight for his dream despite social and parental disapproval. – from IMDb

So this is a slight cheat here. Billy Elliot the original film had music in it, but wasn’t necessarily a musical. It was adapted to stage in 2005 and most recently, the live production was streamed out to hundreds of cinemas around the country, and was released on DVD. I’ve seen Billy Elliot in London four times, and I love having a piece of it to watch at home.

5

The Phantom of the Opera

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A disfigured musical genius, hidden away in the Paris Opera House, terrorizes the opera company for the unwitting benefit of a young protégée whom he trains and loves. – from IMDb

Okay, slight cheat numero dos. I haven’t ever seen The Phantom of the Opera film starring Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum (can you blame me? I’ve only heard bad things), so I prefer to watch and listen to the 25th Anniversary Live performance with the Holy Trinity (Karimloo/Boggess/Fraser). I know some parts were tweeked from the stage version normally shown in London, but I really enjoy watching the Holy Trinity at their best.

4

Into the Woods

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A witch tasks a childless baker and his wife with procuring magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse put on their family tree. – from IMDb

This film was my most favourite of 2015, with another all-star cast, all of whom had fantastic voices and an imaginative reworking of Sondheim’s classic tale. Meryl Streep’s performance as the Witch particularly stands out, and Corden and Blunt’s chemistry leaps off the screen, perfectly complimented by Anna Kendrick as Cinderella. The list is endless for reasons why I love this film.

3

Rent

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This is the film version of the Pulitzer and Tony Award winning musical about Bohemians in the East Village of New York City struggling with life, love and AIDS, and the impacts they have on America. – from IMDb

This film was what kick-started my love for Rent. I know this ensemble doesn’t contain entirely the original cast, but having most of the originals there made it so much more special. The screenplay was also written by one of my favourite writers Stephen Chbosky who famously wrote The Perks of Being a Wallflower (book and screenplay).

2

Jersey Boys

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The story of four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons. – from IMDb

My Jersey Boys obsession has been a recent discovery, as last year I saw the musical for the first time when it came nearby on tour. There’s something so electric and charming about these four guys and their dynamic that keeps their story timeless. The movie is directed by Clint Eastwood and instead of casting well known actors in the roles, Eastwood decided to cast actors who had played the roles on the stage, including John Lloyd Young, who won a Tony for his performance as Frankie Valli on Broadway.

1

Mary Poppins

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A magic nanny comes to work for a cold banker’s unhappy family. – from IMDb

Mary Poppins is probably one of the greatest musicals ever written. Originally adapted from the book written by PL Travers, into the Disney Classic we know and love today. The story was then adapted onto the stage, starring a young Carrie Hope Fletcher, and closely resembled the book, rather than the sugary-sweet practically-perfect Mary that we were closely affiliated with. To me, Julie Andrews is at her best in this role and is my all time favourite movie-musical.

What do you guys think about my top ten? Have I missed any out? And do you agree or would you rather see a different film take the top spot? Let me know in the comments.