Making videos about where no one wants to go.

What if told you that a bald English man is traveling to old soviets countries and makes awesome videos about it? Here is my first recommendation to spice up your YouTube algorithm!

Making videos about where no one wants to go.

I recently stumbled upon this channel: Bald and Bankrupt. Since then I can't stop watching his videos. Discovering stories and recurring characters.

This article is a quick selection of my favorites stories.

Remember that watching videos outside of your algorithm recommendation is at your own risk. You never know what YouTube as in-store next 😉.

Bald and Bankrupt logo

Who is he?

Arthur Chichester is the creator of this travel channel: Bald and Bankrupt. He is British, speaks Russian and Spanish, and likes to travel to remote places. As it says on his bio:

Get ready for vodka, babushkas and Soviet bus stops!

Why do 3.1 million subscribers care about his videos?

We can see 4 themes of why Bald as he calls himself managed to attract 3.1 million subscribers.

🇬🇧 Language is not a barrier
🤳 Handheld video style

🇬🇧 Language is not a barrier

As a fluent Russian speaker, he has no issue going around in old soviet countries. Speaking to locals and playing the tourist cards that speak well the language.

This is then reflected in the videos with direct translation in the video (no need to activate YouTube's feature for it)

He opened the door of a world that we could not take as simple English speakers. A world which I didn't know much about.


A booming category on YouTube is to film yourself going to dangerous or forbidden places.

He did this in a couple of videos by going to the Chernobyl zone. And also knows when to play on the edge by giving a slightly clickbaity title but ends up a fun-to-watch neighborhood tour video.

For his favorite destination: Ex-soviet countries, he is also going where you don't want to go but are still curious about.


His videos are mostly outside and we have to admit that soviet countries had quite some stunning constructions or landscapes. Which makes his videos visual.

From factories, statues, or buildings. You can only admire the beauty of old construction in colors or fifty shades of grey.

🤳 Handheld video style

People don't want more professionalism. The format is what they enjoy. He is taking us with him on his trip and we discover the story as his.

Comment under one video where he suggested getting a cameraman.

Channel Growth

Since starting his channel, he has traveled to many countries and regions of the world. Starting with India, taking a stroll through South America, and now focusing on Russian-speaking countries.

I was curious to see if any specific videos or topics were responsible for his 3M subscribers. But apparently, subscribers' growth has been steadily going up over the last 4 years, his first video was posted on June 12th, 2018.

Sociable Stats

His collection of stories are compounding over time and making his audience grow.

A great storyteller

What struck me is how his stories are told, often starting with one goal in mind for the day. The people he meets, places he goes to, and what he witnesses just make the rest.

Leveraging extraordinary recurring characters

On May 17th, 2019, he posted a video where he picked up a hitchhiker named Kolya.

He and the audience were so moved by this person, that he decided to create a merch product after him. After selling these, we went back to the area to see Kolya again and gave him the money generated by the sale.

Then he went back to this area and found him again.

Few people can place this country on a map: Moldova. He decided to go visit it and see why so few tourists go there.

What came out was a short and honest video about what he is seeing in the capital.

Cinematic Ending

While watching this video, I was more attracted by the comments mentioning the ending and could not wait to see what happened.

How is he monetizing his content?

How is he making money and fuelling his travel? Well quite simple:

What can you take away as a creator?

You don't need to go to radioactive places to make more views. It seems like the topic is already well covered on YouTube.

On the other hand, here is what you can apply to your videos:

  • Create unique stories. Tie them together with recurring characters.
  • Authenticity is key. No need to be perfect, as long as the story is great, the light can be off.
  • Do you have a special skill? Use it to your advantage, stop talking about it and start showing it.

I hope you enjoyed this first creator's spotlight. Let me know what you think about his videos on Twitter @chelucas