Viral videos of the week: Downton, The Lord of the Rings and Kim Wilde

Which were the five best widely shared media nuggets of the past seven days? These. These were


1. Downtown Abbey
A new series of Downton Abbey starts soon! In America, that is – families across the country have got the hog nuts, root-beer kegs and celebration bullets in already, in anticipation of the nationwide event that is series three airing on PBS over there. CBS News contributed to the hype with this extraordinary news report.


For Brits, it forms a handy reminder of the glories of this year’s Downton, with bits from previous series too – and some juicy behind-the-scenes footage. We also learn what CBS reporters think is a sensible thing to wear on an assignment, and that they pronounce “primer” to rhyme with “dimmer”. Captivating.

2. Neverending story
Just in time for the release of ‘The Hobbit – Oh God Here We Go Again, I Just Don’t Have Time for This Nonsense’ in cinemas, here’s Honest Trailers with their apparently much-demanded take on the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The Sean Bean death montage and the gravelly voiceover man taking requests at the end are among the extra-mile, cake-topping touches that make this an epic joy.

3. Sweary Christmas
That this video of Brighton’s doctored Christmas lights was hosted by The Poke didn’t stop people sharing it all week as if it were real – they wanted to believe that a disgruntled council worker had festooned Britain’s gamest seaside resort with mildly NSFW pictures and messages. Bless them.

Even if you know it’s been doctored, though, it’s still funny, and the aforesaid doctoring is mighty impressive. Ooh, get them with their digital manipulation of a shaky image!

4. Wooooooah-ooooah!
Here be the true spirit of Christmas. Kim Wilde had a corporate gig this week, playing the Magic FM Christmas party. On the way home, possibly a bit tipsy, she treated tube travellers to her immortal hit Kids in America.

“Is it actually her?” says a woman off-camera. Yes, it is. Utterly delightful.

5. Flipper
And finally, it’s not even new but we saw someone tweet it this week and we LIKED it, godammit. It’s hard-hitting footage of a penguin falling over.


After the Brighton lights fiasco, it’s hard to believe the audio for this is real. But we want to believe.