The sad world of the online influencer

Walid Sharks is taking a nasty beating at the AO Arena in Manchester. It’s the second round of his fight against ‘Deen the Great’, and he has just been knocked down by a punch to the face. ‘His eyes are rolling right now,’ says a commentator. ‘He doesn’t know where he is!’ But Sharks doesn’t mind: he’s fighting before a sell-out crowd, with a million people livestreaming at home, and they’ll be loving the drama. ‘Hit ’is jaw off!’ someone in the stands shouts to Deen The Great, wishfully. Sharks isn’t a professional boxer, but a social media ‘influencer’. Being used as a punchbag is worth it to grow his internet

Louis Theroux’s podcast reveals a master at work

I always want to know more about Louis Theroux, which is odd, since I’ve seen so much of him already. I’ve seen him hanging out with Nazis, auditioning for Broadway and undergoing liposuction. I’ve seen him chased by scientologists and given the runaround by Jimmy Savile. I’ve even seen him evading the insistent romantic advances of an American sex worker. Why am I still interested? Perhaps it’s that his personality veers close to seeming like an act. The otterish earnestness, the jerky, mannequin physicality. The spectacles that feel like a prop. There is something in me that wants to lift the lid on the real Louis Theroux, to sweep the