Barber famed for 'fish and rice cake' video shares the darker side of viral fame and how he's taking control after nearly 20 years

Almost 20 years ago, before the age of TikTok and viral memes, one video had taken the nation by storm.

Danny Andrews was taking part in a BBC Three documentary called Baby Faced Bodybuilder back in 2005 when he shared his rather famous diet. As a 16-year-old on the show, Danny was preparing for the Mr Cumbria competition when he informed viewers of the food he was preparing - a portion of fish to have with a rice cake.

Going through the daily schedule, Danny from Barrow listed his diet and started with breakfast at eight in the morning, where he'd enjoy some fish and a rice cake. Two hours later at 10am he would have fish, at midday it would be fish and a rice cake, at 2pm just fish and just before he trains at four in the afternoon, he'd enjoy, you guessed it, fish and a rice cake.


Seen by millions, the video has been quoted, shared and enjoyed umpteen times, but there's one person who didn't always see the funny side, Danny himself.

"For the last 19 years I've been a viral meme," the 34-year-old told LancsLive. "I've suffered trolls, cyberbullying and I absolutely hated it.

"It affected me even getting girlfriends - I hated it!"

Explaining the thought process behind sharing his diet on the programme, Danny says he hadn't thought about what he was going to say, but his young age and the pressure of the television lights were the perfect recipe for a famous clip.

Danny detailing his extensive diet on camera
Danny detailing his extensive diet on camera -Credit:BBC Three/MontyPropps via YouTube

Explaining it, Danny said: "For a bodybuilding competition, you slowly bring down all of your carbs so my diet was changing every week. So I wasn't on that diet all the time and I didn't articulate it well because I was 16 years old.

"I was nervous as I had a camera in front of my face. So instead of saying I had eight meals a day and every other was with a rice cake, the reason why I'm eating fish is because it's lower in calories than chicken or turkey, so I can eat more of it.

"That wouldn't have been a meme though would it? But instead, I decided to dumb it down for the viewer."

Years ago, Danny says the attention and constant referencing of the video did bother him, but now he can see the funny side. "It used to really upset me," he said.

"Now, it's crazy. If you asked me if I could change it, this last year is the only time I would say no. I wouldn't change it for the world."

Now running his very own barbershop in Preston, Danny says he's been taking ownership of his own brand, meaning he can see the appeal of the viral video. He said: "Lately, the narrative has kind of changed and people are like, look at him now!

"It's clearly worked and it's being really positive, people are saying they love the meme even 19 years later."

Rather surprisingly, Danny states he never made any money off the viral fame he endured over the past 19 years, but is looking to monetise the brand soon. "For Secret Santa, a girl that works with me got me a fish and rice cake shirt," Danny explained.

"So I recreated the video and it got over 15 million views. So I was like Jesus, we've got to [monetise] and the day after that, I invested all of my own money."

Danny is in the process of creating his very own product to be launched on June 23 at 7pm, with the news announced on his website. To find out what the secret project is, you can register your interest on Danny's website.