• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Big Steve brings northern Sweden to YouTube

Oliver Gee · 27 Jan 2014, 14:13

Published: 27 Jan 2014 14:13 GMT+01:00

 
Big Steve is, you guessed it, rather big. In fact some say he's the biggest thing in Skellefteå besides ice hockey. Towering at 197 centimetres and with a glistening dome on top, the London-native sticks out amongst northern Swedes. 
 
But it's not just his size.
 
"There's not many black people up in Skellefteå"  he tells The Local with a chuckle. "When I got here there were rumours that the guy from the Green Mile was in town."
 
Big Steve, also known as Steve Babb, came to Sweden two years ago after finally giving in to the invites from a friend who lived in the northern Swedish town of Skellefteå.
 
"I thought he was in Switzerland, it was all the same to me," he admits.
 
Eventually, he made the trip to the small town of just over 30,000 residents. Since then, he fell into making YouTube videos, which is now his profession, much to the amusement of his friends back home.
 
"They think it's hilarious. I never did anything like this before, I never trolled the internet for videos and was never on YouTube unless to watch the odd video of a cat falling down the stairs," he explains. "But normally I tell people I work in marketing." 
 
Now, the giant boasts almost 70,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel, which posts one new video a week, some of which are nearing the holy grail YouTube stamp of one million viewers (such as this one where he tries Swedish moist snuff, snus).
 
 
They include the Brit trying new experiences (from jumping into frozen water to tasting Swedish foods) to meeting locals and learning about their lives and their traditions. The Skellefteå municipality, among others, have financed some of his videos, and his work promoting northern Sweden has seen him doing anything from giving talks to schools to showing up at discotheques.
 
The career is a major switch from his previous life as the manager of a health club in London. So what are Big Steve's tips for those wanting to start their own Swedish career?
 
"My advice is that it helps to learn the language, I'm getting there, but slowly. The trouble is, everyone speaks such good English that it becomes embarrassing for me. They correct my English on Facebook - I'm used to using slang, so they often correct me online."
 
But in real life, the Swedes aren't so confident, he says.
Story continues below…
 
"They're all a bit shy up here, they think because I'm from England I'll laugh when they speak English. They have to think a lot at times, but when they've had a drink they're pretty good," he says.  "And it took me a while to get my head around the word Skellefteå, but someone told me it sounds a bit like 'She left you', so I just go with that."
 
His other advice is to take education seriously if you're planning a move to Sweden.
 
"In England, education is secondary, but here it's everything. If you want to move to Sweden to do a certain type of job, you really should have all the right qualifications before you come," he tells The Local.
 
"But having said that, if I can start a life here, anyone can."

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Rare and horny ox spotted looking for ladies in Sweden
The ox in question. Photo: Pia Jäderberg

Unfortunately he isn't likely to be successful.

Russian bombers spook Sweden-bound flight
A Russian Tupolev bomber not related to the story. Photo: STR/TT

A flight bound for Stockholm from Reykjavik got a nasty surprise last week when its pilot spotted two Russian bombers from his window.

One dead after Malmö drive-by shooting
Police cars outside the hospital where some of the people shot were taken. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

UPDATED: One of the four men injured in a drive-by shooting in Malmö has died, police confirmed on Monday.

In pictures
How a Swedish hotel reunited this bear with his best friend
The bear having a croissant for breakfast. Photo: Kristoffer Kinnunen/Hotel Avalon

A Gothenburg hotel's attempt to track down the owner of this lost teddy bear turned into something much bigger.

Startup heavyweights back tech ace told to leave Sweden
Spotify founder Daniel Ek is one of the big tech names backing Tayyab Shabab (right). Photo: Ingvar Karmhed/SvD/TT & personal

Major names in the tech community have rallied behind a developer who was told he must leave Sweden within a month due to an admin error made by his former employer.

World Cup of Hockey
Europe sends Sweden home from World Cup
Tomas Tatar scores a winning goal against Sweden's Henrik Lundqvist. Photo: Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP

Sweden was kicked out of the World Cup of Hockey after losing to Team Europe in overtime.

Poetry can 'save Arab world' says Nobel Prize hopeful
The Gothenburg Book Fair. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Speaking at the Gothenburg Book Fair, Syrian poet and possible Nobel Prize contender Adonis said that religious fanaticism is 'destroying the heart of the Arab world', but sees salvation in poetry.

My Swedish Career
'As long as you hook Swedes on the first try, they'll be back'
Kerryn Beattie (left) and Craig Donovan (right), founders of the Nordic Kiwi Brewers. Photo: Nordic Kiwi Brewers

The Local speaks to a Kiwi expat who took on the tricky world of microbreweries in Stockholm and won.

Masked men on mopeds shoot four in Malmö
Censorgatan in Fosie is a relatively quiet residential area in Malmö. Photo: Google Maps

At least four people have been injured in a shooting in southern Malmö.

78-year-old crowned Sweden's best grower of oilseed rape
Gunnar Henningson celebrates his well-deserved victory. Photo: Svensk Raps

"This is one of the happiest days of my life,” said 78-year- old Gunnar Henningson, after being crowned Sweden's "Rapsmästaren".

Sponsored Article
Let's Talk: a personal Swedish language tutor in your pocket
National
Trump an 'embarrassment' Springsteen tells Sweden
Sponsored Article
‘I view the world in a different way now’
Gallery
People-watching: September 23rd-25th
Politics
Russian Sweden Democrat aide resigns over suspect deal
Blog updates

7 September

Svensk or svenska? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! My inbox is full of questions :-). Here’s one about when to use “svensk” and…" READ »

 

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
'Creating a sense of home': Collective living in Stockholm
National
Muslim teacher leaves job after not shaking male colleague's hand
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Travel
Why we adore autumn in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 21st
National
Stockholmers hunt killer badger after attack on neighbourhood hipster cat
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Six key points in Sweden's budget plan
The Local Voices
How a Swedish name finally made recruiters notice this Iranian's CV
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Gallery
Property of the week: Luleå
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
People-watching: September 16th-18th
Culture
Why Swedish TV has given these kids' trucks a sex swap
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Gallery
People-watching: September 14th
Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden’s ’a-kassa’
Politics
Why Sweden is putting troops on holiday dream island Gotland
The Local Voices
'What I mean when I say: I came here to blow myself up'
Society
VIDEO: Are Swedes that unfriendly?
Features
INTERVIEW: How Arthur the jungle dog opened hearts and minds
Gallery
Property of the week: Smögen, Västra Götaland
Society
Sweden's ancient forest tongue Elfdalian fights for survival
National
Where Sweden's foreigners are from
Gallery
People-watching: September 9th-11th
The Local Voices
Shakib, 23, works and pays taxes — but will Sweden let him stay?
National
Watch this Swede roll his kayak without spilling his beer. Respect.
The Local Voices
'Whenever I apply for jobs I’m treated like an unwanted stranger'
The Local Voices
Is Swedish bosses' ignorance keeping refugees out of jobs?
2,967
jobs available