My Top 10 YouTube Channels of 2020

I spend many a happy hour exploring YouTube. It’s completely replaced TV for me and means I can indulge in any niche interest. Here are my faves from 2020 in no particular order. Enjoy!

Sam Pilgrim I was first sent a link to Sam from a friend during lockdown where he’s demonstrates some bike skills he suggests you can learn anywhere. Anyone who’s ridden a bike can appreciate the man’s skills. He makes it all look so easy.

Lucas Brunelle Another link sent from a friend. A mix of cycling and philosophy. Wild and rebellious, he elevates riding a bike on a road to a new level. A mountain bike attitude and technical skills on a road bike. Provider of plenty of metaphorical ‘hide behind the sofa’ moments as he pulls off crazy-bold moves on two wheels all over the globe. Skitching, ignoring traffic lights, one way streets, lane directions and generally treating traffic rules as mere guidelines for mortals. Live fast, die last. Legend.

Anjunadeep More house music hits than misses on this channel. I mainly listen to the DJ mixes - deep grooves and lush tunes duuuude. If you’d like a recommendation for a place to start . .

Sean Tucker Philosophy crossed with photography - definitely not the place to visit if you want to find out if the latest FUT-23456XJER MK2 II is better than the FUT-23456XJER MKI. Sean produces thoughtful pieces that delve into the ‘why’ of photography for instance his great video on photography and introversion. He also features guest photographers and their life stories. His interview with Rachael Talibart really struck a chord with me. Check him out - you won’t regret it.

Ali Abdaal Ali Abdaal is a medical student that studied at Cambridge University. He is also a successful entrepreneur producing courses on various platforms and running his YouTube channel which has over 1 million subscribers. I guess being ranked 1st in his year gives him permission to produce videos on study techniques, but he produces a wide range of videos on technology, productivity, finance and general life hacking/philosophy. He is responsible for introducing me to Notion, which I’m using to organise the articles on this website.

Indie Projects Theo and Bee left their jobs to spend years travelling the world in vans and living in a houseboat. Theo was a videographer originally, so there are some great production skills on show. They document not only their travels but also all the work on their mobile homes, with the build of their Mercedes Sprinter and renovations to their houseboat featuring over the last few years. The last few months has followed their efforts to renovate a barn on a piece of land they own in Portugal. I find this channel intersting because it demonstrates just how differently you can live life if you so choose. Inspiring stuff.

Eamon & Bec This Canadian pair live a cheerful, optimistic, chaotic life. Eamon has a ‘say yes to most things’ type attitude which has led them to start living in a van, which they then travelled all over the world in. Starting in Canada, they ended up in Morocco at the start of 2020. Obviously life then changed and they had to abandon their van and return to Canada. Not ones to sit around and wait, they immediately started the build of another van and after realising they still couldn’t really travel anywhere, have now bought a cabin by a lake in Canada which they are renovating. Watch for Eamon’s great sense of humour and impulsive ‘just do it’ attitude.

Fully Charged A channel started 10 years ago by Robert Llewellyn (Kryten in Red Dwarf) when he realised after purchasing a Nissan Leaf, that the electrification of transportation needed to happen. It’s now grown into two YouTube channels with great productions on everything from electric car reviews to nearly all green technology. Especially worth watching for Roberts rants! The fact checking isn’t always the best, but overall very educational if you want to start learning about the latest green engineering and technology.

Mat Armstrong On the surface this isn’t really my kind of channel, but I think it appeals to the 17 year old in me. Matt buys damaged cars - normally performance, luxury or otherwise interesting, and sets about repairing them on his driveway. The boy isn’t scared of a challenge and it’s very inspiring to watch him fix up a Bentley Continental for instance, and then drive it to Monaco (Bentley even contacted him and invited him around for an inspection!). It’s interesting how even seemingly difficult problems can be solved with some hard work, perseverance and the power of the internet. He’s now gone ‘full time’ on YouTube and rented a unit so has time to work on even more insane projects that any normal person would run a mile from. I think part of the reason I enjoy this channel is because as with some of the other channels, his approach to life is so different to the ’normal’. He documents some of his life and the choices he’s made and it’s clear he’s not adverse to taking risks which right now are paying off.

Peter McKinnon Peter started life working in a photography shop in Canada and now runs a YouTube channel with 5.2 million subscribers! His enthusiasm for all things photography is infectious. With enough budget for a crazy amount of ’toys’, he’s always up to something exciting. Quad bikes, jet skis, One wheels, speed boats, they all feature. Even if you aren’t a fan of his photography style, there’s still plenty to enjoy and learn here. As a photographer it’s always inspiring to watch the way someone else creates and can yield new results. It’s also interesting to run some possible numbers on some of his ventures. Take his Lightroom presets which he sells for $30. These are produced as a by product of his hobby, cost nothing to duplicate and very little to distribute. Lets assume just 1% of his 5.2 million YouTube subscribers purchase them. That’s 52000 people * $30 = $1.56M!

Shiey Shiey is a Lithuanian based explorer. Most of his videos are long form documentaries of his adventures which include riding freight trains all over Europe, walking/camping his way to Chernobyl and climbing buildings, bridges and antennas. If you’re scared of heights this isn’t the place for you. He never uses any safety gear and happily balances his way around the rails on top of the tallest building in Kiev (for example). He’s also been chased, detained and arrested by various security guards, policemen and soldiers. His videos are so immersive. Watching him lying under a noisy freight train a few metres away from the wheels for hours and hours, unsure when, or even if it’s going where he wants is exhausting. Watching him trying to cross a freezing river in the dark a few miles from Chernobyl is worrying. Watching him balance along a railing on top of a tower block in strong winds was inducing just a slight sense of height induced fear. Compulsive and exciting viewing. Get on it!