At 33 years old, Charlie McDonnell has this physical status:
After setting up the YouTube channel, charlieissocoollike on 3 April 2007, McDonnell started posting video blogs (or vlogs) to a small audience. She first came to prominence when her video titled How To Get Featured on YouTube became popular after it was featured on YouTube's UK homepage. Her audience jumped from just under 150 subscribers to over 4,000 in two days.
In January 2008, in celebration of gaining 25,000 subscribers, McDonnell asked for 25 challenge suggestions from subscribers, which sparked her series of Challenge Charlie videos. She completed all of these challenges by March 2013, one of which was suggested by TV presenter Phillip Schofield and his daughter Molly, challenging McDonnell to perform the dance that accompanies the song 'Hoedown Throwdown' from Hannah Montana: The Movie.
In June 2011, McDonnell became the first YouTuber in the United Kingdom to reach 1 million subscribers, and in May 2013, her channel reached 2 million subscribers. Most of McDonnell's videos end with an outro by Stephen Fry. In 2014, McDonnell's YouTube Channel, charlieissocoollike, was listed on New Media Rockstars Top 100 Channels, ranked at #63.
On 6 March 2019, McDonnell announced on Twitter that she had quit YouTube to focus on screenwriting instead. She currently streams on Twitch.
Short films and screenwriting career
On 8 March 2013, McDonnell announced that she would be making five short films. In a video published on 27 October 2014, she announced her last two films would actually be one film, split into two parts.
On 27 July 2020, Don't Look Deeper, a 14-episode series co-created by McDonnell and Jeffrey Lieber, premiered on Quibi. McDonnell wrote several episodes of the series.
McDonnell was one of the founding members of Chameleon Circuit, a band known for creating music inspired by the British television series Doctor Who. Along with fellow vloggers Alex Day (Nerimon on YouTube), Liam Dryden (Littleradge), and former member Chris Beattie (CowInParachute), Chameleon Circuit released their self-titled debut album on 1 June 2009. In July 2010, their song Count the Shadows also appeared on DFTBA Records, Volume Two, a compilation sampler that was given for free in the grab bags at VidCon 2010. At the beginning of 2011, Chameleon Circuit, in their new line-up following the departure of Beattie and the addition of Ed Blann and Michael Aranda, began work on their second album Still Got Legs. It was released on 12 July 2011.
In 2014, McDonnell and Dryden publicly denounced members Blann and Day, who both suspended their online presence following separate reported incidents of sexual abuse. McDonnell, Dryden and Aranda appeared together at VidCon 2014 for photo signings. In 2017, Aranda wrote in a Reddit AMA that "it's safe to say that Chameleon Circuit is dead for now. I know that the last time Charlie and I spoke about it, [she] didn't feel interested in writing new music in general."
In 2010, McDonnell, along with three other YouTubers, Alex Day, Ed Blann and Tom Milsom ("Hexachordal") formed a new project titled "Sons of Admirals". Sons of Admirals was not a band in the traditional sense; they were all solo artists, but as well as having their solo careers, they came together to form one group. The idea and nominal inspiration for the band came from the Admiral's Men, which was a Shakespearean group of actors that came together to perform, whilst still retaining their individual careers.
Their first single was released via YouTube on 14 June 2010 on McDonnell's channel: the group covered Cat Stevens' song "Here Comes My Baby", featuring all four members on vocals. The track peaked at No. 61 in the UK. In October 2010 the band released an EP including "Here Comes My Baby"; an acoustic version of the same song; a cover of "Believe in Yourself", the theme of children's television show Arthur; the music video of "Here Comes My Baby"; and a behind-the-scenes video. Sons of Admirals disbanded in May 2011, publishing a statement on their website that "the core goal of the group – to get into the charts, and to increase exposure for the group members' individual talents proved to run against too many of our beliefs and approaches to music and promotion".
A prominent feature of McDonnell's YouTube channel were the songs which she wrote and performed herself, usually on a ukulele, but also with instruments such as the guitar, melodica, and —in one song— a kazoo and a xylophone made of filled water glasses. The most popular of these is "Duet with Myself." On 1 December 2010, in response to demand, she released her debut album, entitled This is Me, via DFTBA Records. The album features several songs from her channel that were remixed for the album, as well as several previously unreleased songs. In December 2016, she teamed up with Project for Awesome to release A Very Gideon Christmas, an exclusive Christmas EP sung from the perspective of and with the imaginary inflections of her cat Gideon.