Scots comedian Gary Meikle says he was “too ashamed” to tell people about his bullying hell as a youngster.
The funny man, who has enjoyed a meteoric rise to online fame in the past year after his online rants went viral, has shared a reflective video with fans to inspire during the coronavirus lockdown.
The emotional film, which has racked up more than 19,000 views in less than 24 hours, features memories of his life including his chaotic childhood and struggles with bullies.
Gary bids to inspire fans to keep going when times get tough and never let people “tell you it’s too late”.
And he adds that he hopes the staff members at the children’s homes he lived in from the age of 14, who predicted he’d be “dead or in jail” by the time he was 40, were seeing his success.
Using a series of heartwarming pictures of him and his loved ones, Gary went on a trip down memory lane and told fans how a self-help book helped him on his journey to becoming one of the most popular comedians on the Scottish circuit.
Gary recalls how he moved around a lot as a youngster, so was “always the new kid” and ended up being bullied when he went back to Glasgow after a time in London due to his English accent.
After being “beaten the s*** out of by different groups of boys for the next three years” Gary said he was “too ashamed” to tell anyone of the trauma he was going through.
He said: “We moved back home to Glasgow when I was 10 I didn’t fit in so as I was massively bullied and beaten the shit out of by different groups of boys for the next three years.
“But I never told anyone as I was too ashamed.”
The granddad-of-one says it was the birth of his daughter Ainsley after a one-night stand when he was just 16 that transformed things, giving him a new “focus”.
But then he goes on to reveal the next 15 years were an even bigger “struggle” after Ainsley’s mum walked out on them, leaving him to raise the tot with the help of her grandparents.
The star, who toured The IBrow Guy show to more than 30,000 people across the globe last year, then credits self-help book ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’ which became his bible and sent him on his way to “headlining some of the best clubs in the UK”.
The 43-year-old has spoken openly in the past about the tough time he faced n the early years of life but it’s the chaotic childhood in the shadow of drugs, alcohol and petty crime that allowed him to turn things around and use his experiences as a regular stand-up comedian on the Scottish circuit since 2014.
And it’s his use of social media, which he says “elevated” him to where he is now and led to 2020 being his most “surreal” year yet.
Last year, Gary’s clips were viewed by more than 150 million people across the world after his videos went viral and he was named at the top of The List Comedy Hot 100 for 2019.
With a global audience in Dubai, Canada, Europe and the US, it was show at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall which the sensation hails as a “career pinnacle” in the Facebook clip.
Performing for a sell-out audience of 2,000 in the iconic theatre in his home city, the comedian donated all of the proceeds to charity Ronald McDonald House, which is another highlight of the footage.
As well as featuring pictures of Ainsley, his mum and his beloved new young granddaughter, who Gary describes as his “new best pal”, he takes the time to mention the prediction of a staff member in the children’s home he lived in who said he’d be “dead or in jail” by the time he was 40.
Gary said: “During the last year I’ve toured my debut show The IBrow Guy to over 30,000 people all over the world.
“But the tour pinnacle was playing to a 2,000 strong home audience in Glasgow where I donated every penny of my profit to Ronald McDonald House.
“This year I”m starting my now charity – don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t do it and it’s never too late.”
Gary shared the video with fans as he revealed it was the first time in over a year he’d had the chance to sit down and reflect.
He posted: “Given our current situation it’s given me the chance to reflect as prior to this I’ve not stopped moving for over a year! Here’s a mega self-indulgent wee look at my life in 60 seconds it’s actually been quite therapeutic – Like million’s of others I’ve had my livelihood ripped away from me but I’ll cope and be back bigger and better than ever with my new tour show ‘Surreal’.
“Also just wanna say thanks for the support you’ve all given me this last year or so I’m massively grateful to you all.”