Ah, the internet. It's a funny old thing, isn't it? One minute you're sharing a snap of yourself and some pals on a night out, the next thing you know, over a year later you've become a meme and gone viral (for the second time) – and are having to take the rough and the smooth that accompanies online notoriety.
Now, the four men - Jamie, Connor, Kevin and Alex - who were unknowingly thrust into the centre of attention on the basis of their tight-fitting outfits, worn on a lads night out in Birmingham back in 2019 (which then saw them christened as the "four lads in jeans"), have spoken out about the ups and downs of their newfound fame.
Talking on Good Morning Britain, they discussed why they think their photo was picked up and meme-ified the way it was, and sadly revealed that they've also been the subject of trolling and abuse. Heartbreakingly, Alex shared that alongside the jokey and more-lighthearted comments, the group had also been subject to harassing phone calls.
"My work number got released so I started getting loads of prank calls," he told hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid. "That really affected me. With personal and work, you wanna keep it separate… so it did have a massive effect on my mental state to be quite honest."
Meet the latest global internet sensations!
Jamie, Connor, Kevin and Alex have become a viral sensation after a picture of the 4 of them on a night out resurfaced.
The lads talk to @piersmorgan and @susannareid100 about their surprise success. pic.twitter.com/VXqJOccDwl
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) January 18, 2021
He added, "I had to come off social media because they went into my mum's comments trolling. It wasn’t nice." The group have also spoken out in the past (during an interview with The Tab) about how they've been falsely associated with upholding racist views, based solely on the way they look.
Kevin, however, noted that the tides seem to have turned in recent weeks though and that now "Only until now, the last couple of weeks, it has sort of all turned and we are all suddenly getting a lot of love."
In general, it sounds as though the four friends are now making the most of going viral and said they had future work opportunities hopefully lined up off the back of it (and rumours are even doing the rounds that they could be appearing on a future season of Love Island).
Jamie also recently reposted the now infamous image on his Instagram account, along with the caption: "REPOST 🚨 give the people what they want 😂🙏🏻 ."
Connor, a tattoo artist, re-uploaded the photo too and wrote, "If you can’t beat them, join them? 🤷🏽♂️ Who would of known what a shit storm this photo would cause."
They all seem like nice enough fellas from the interview, so here's hoping the always unnecessary trolling comes to an end now.
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