Ian Youngs,Culture reporter

Sidemen/YouTube KSI on InsideSidemen/YouTube

KSI is one of the seven members of the Sidemen

YouTube superstars the Sidemen have launched their own reality show, locking 10 influencers in a house for a week to battle for a prize worth up to £1m.

The first episode of Inside racked up more than four million views on YouTube within 24 hours, after being released on Sunday.

The contestants include Love Island’s Chloe Burrows, Made In Chelsea star Liv Bentley and YouTuber Joe Weller.

Inside is the Sidemen’s own spin on successful reality TV formats like Big Brother, and will provide competition for Love Island, which is back on TV screens on Monday.

The Sidemen – the seven-strong group of British internet stars, which includes content creator, rapper and boxer KSI – have more than 130 million YouTube subscribers between them.

Sidemen SidemenSidemen

The Sidemen have created and host the new show

Another member, Vik Barn – aka Vikkstar123 – told the BBC last week: “We’ve always grown up in the UK and watched reality TV throughout our whole childhoods, from Big Brother to Love Island to I’m a Celebrity.

“We were thinking, ‘OK, this year, what is our new project?’. Why not have a stab at our own spin on a reality TV show?”

Barn, who grew up in Sheffield, told BBC Radio Sheffield’s Toby Foster that Inside was “a bit more raw” than a regular reality TV show, and “a bit like our videos where you kind of hit record and see what happens”.

“I think we’ve found a really nice medium between something that looks really professionally produced, as if you’d see it on a big TV channel, but at the same time it’s got us in it and our spin and the kind of chaos that only I think we could curate.”

And unlike Big Brother, which famously asked inmates, “please do not swear”, there are no such restrictions on Inside.

Sidemen/YouTube Contestants on InsideSidemen/YouTube

The contestants try not to lose money from the £1m prize in a series of challenges

The Sidemen act as hosts and executive producers, putting their inmates through fiendish challenges that can see the £1m prize pot reduced.

The winnings can also be whittled away at the in-house shop, where contestants can buy luxuries – at a high price. Hot showers will deduct £100 from the fund every minute, while tea bags cost £100 and crisps and fizzy drinks are priced at £500.

“Depending on how that week goes, how much they indulge themselves, we will see how much money the winner or winners will take at the end of the show,” Barn added.

In the first episode, one challenge required the 10 contestants to keep their hands in the same position on a desk as rats, spiders and snakes were released.

“I mean, am I on an episode of Black Mirror, because this is bizarre?” Bentley asked in a diary room.

In the same task, Australian TikTok star Leah Halton had to decide whether to keep her hands in place as someone prepared to give her a tattoo. She did, and the tattoo artist stopped at the last minute.

Ratings battle

The first episode’s other challenge saw the contestants asked to rank each other based on traits like attractiveness and intelligence.

Inside will compete for eyeballs with ITV’s Love Island, which returns with an opening episode that asks contestants to rank each other on “boyfriend and girlfriend material”.

The first instalment of Inside has surpassed the 2.3 million viewers that episodes of the last series of Love Island attracted – although that was only in the UK, whereas Inside is available on YouTube around the globe.

The Sidemen are also hoping fans will sign up to watch bonus content on their subscription service leading up to the final on Sunday.

They are not the only YouTube stars launching their own big-money game show.

MrBeast, the world’s most popular YouTuber, recently announced Beast Games, with a $5m (£3.9m) prize – although that will be available on Amazon Prime Video rather than YouTube itself.



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