YouTuber and make-up artist James Charles brought Birmingham to a standstill on Saturday when he had a meet and greet in the city.

BBC News has estimated that 8,000 fans showed up to see James Charles in person, after the make-up artist announced the meet and greet in the Bullring shopping centre.

He was greeted by three floors of screaming fans at the shopping centre at 11.30am on Saturday morning.

However, the day proved longer than expected for fans going out to see James Charles. Those who drove to the shopping centre ended up getting stuck in traffic when they tried to leave, with many stuck from 3pm until 7.30pm.

“I can’t believe this is my life.”

– James Charles

The BBC has reported that some drivers even opted to abandon their cars overnight.

Meanwhile, James Charles – who is just 19 years old – posted a video on Twitter of his meet and greet at the shopping centre, where swarms of screaming fans turned up to see him.

He posted the video with the caption: “I can’t believe this is my life.”

James Charles also retweeted photos of himself with fans, and praised his UK “sisters” for their eye make-up.

He later quote-tweeted a BBC news story about how his appearance brought Birmingham to a standstill, simply saying: “oops.”

James Charles then threw shade at a Mail Online article that referred to him as a “virtually unknown US vlogger,” saying: “’virtually unknown’ and ‘8000 screaming fans’ should not be used in the same sentence lol.”

The make-up artist and model has almost three million followers on Twitter, and has 13.8 million subscribers on YouTube.

James Charles: ‘Respect people’s privacy’

Last month, he made headlines after he posted on Twitter asking fans to stop showing up at his house looking for autographs and photographs.

“It is extremely disrespectful & makes me feel very unsafe in my own home. Respect people’s privacy, it’s really not that hard.”

– James Charles

“I will not hug you, I will not take a photo with you, and I absolutely will not sign your palette.

“It is extremely disrespectful & makes me feel very unsafe in my own home. Respect people’s privacy, it’s really not that hard,” he said.

James Charles meet and greet brings Birmingham to standstill
Eugene Gologursky/Getty

Charles launched his YouTube channel in 2015, and quickly amassed a huge following online.

Last May, he shared his coming out story in a YouTube video, telling fans that he came out to his parents when he was 12 years old.

He explained: “When I was younger, I think in around sixth grade, I was 12 years old at the time, I was hormonal. I had just gone through puberty, and just like every other boy I was going through that stage of life.

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“Clearly at this point, in my own head, I had figured out that I was not exactly interested in the sisters, and I was definitely down for the brothers.”

Coming out

He went on to explain that he started using a webcam chatroom to talk with bloggers he admired online, but soon realised that many were using it for sexual purposes.

Charles also explained that he never showed himself on webcam, and that one night, his father walked in on him on the website.

“All of a sudden, in the middle of doing my business, tickling the pickle, my door slams open and there is my father in the doorway looking very concerned, and there is me standing right in front of my computer which is in the same line of view as my door, butt naked, with the screen lit up right in front of me.

“There it was. The closet door was flung open and outran me. Unintentionally.”

– James Charles

“All he said was, ‘You need to turn that off and go to bed right now.’ So I said, ‘Got it sir, goodnight, love you the most,’ and I ran my little naked butt into my bed and shut my eyes and cried myself to sleep.”

The next day, his parents asked to see his internet history, which led to the revelation that he was gay.

“There it was. The closet door was flung open and outran me. Unintentionally,” he said.

Charles finished the video by telling his followers that he never used the webcam chatroom again after his parents asked him not to.

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