Matty Gilbert (29), who has been dubbed the ‘Irish Viking’ by admirers, is taking over OnlyFans, the saucy subscription service which allows users to sell nude photos and steamy videos via monthly memberships.
Speaking exclusively to the Sunday World in his first ever interview, the Wicklow man revealed: “I blew up on TikTok and then people were constantly asking me to set up an OnlyFans. When I did women were offering to fly me over to the States and I was getting marriage proposals.
“People send you vulgar messages too. I couldn’t repeat half of the things I’ve been asked to do. A lot of my followers want nudes but there is a line, there are definitely things I won’t do.”
Encouraged by his fiancée Maria, with whom he has a one-year-old son, to join OnlyFans, Matty has only one regret.
“I set it up four months ago but I wish I had done it sooner. I have 3,000 subscribers and I charge $20 a month. Maria told me to go for it because the amount of money you can make out of it can change your life and it has.
“I think people think it is easy money but it is a lot of work, I put up daily posts and communicate with all my fans through direct messages. It’s a 24-hour job because they want constant attention and I have fans all over the world in different time zones.”
Now a bona fide social media star, the doting dad admits he accidentally became an internet sensation thanks to his eight-year-old daughter, Leah, who he shares with a former partner.
“My daughter set up my TikTok page and posted a few videos of herself. I decided to post a gym video and it grew from there. My first video was me flexing in the gym going from side chest to a double bicep pose and the follows flew in.
“In nine months, I grew from zero to 1.6 million followers. At the moment I’m gaining 10,000 followers daily.
“Every time I did a video where I had my top off or where the camera was panning up and down my body I got a lot of reaction.
“Eighty five per cent of my following is female and a huge percentage of those are American, my accent proves popular, women were begging me to do videos so they could hear my voice.”
Acting out scenes from Fifty Shades of Grey and steamy Netflix hit 365 Days, the barber shop owner can regularly be found half naked in his front garden.
“365 the movie was trending so I hopped on that train and put my own little twist on it. My most viral video is the Irish stripper that got 23 million views. I could be standing at the door with my top off holding wine glasses or I could be throwing water over myself.
“My partner Maria films a lot of my videos. God bless her soul. The neighbours think I’m on neighbourhood watch with my axe but they haven’t passed comment about my videos, I am sure they are saying, ‘there he is in the garden again’.”
Despite his growing success, the TikTok star has also been a victim of trolling.
“You do get a bit of hate — someone might call me a bell end. It just looks like jealousy when people post comments like that. I never get offended, and the majority of comments are positive.
“I am confident but I am not arrogant. I think it might take a little longer for Irish lads to sign on to OnlyFans. I think Irish people can be quite conservative, they think it is really explicit and that’s not the case. I think a lot of people are worried about getting slagged. You definitely need thick skin to go down that route.”
Speaking of his lockdown fame, the businessman said: “It has been fast and it has all been within lockdown, I posted my first video on TikTok in March and I got a viral video after two weeks.
“I don’t feel a whole lot different. We haven’t really left the house these last few months so I haven’t felt the ‘fame’ yet.
“Right now I am looking at having 10 million followers, it multiples all the time. I have definitely thought about clothing lines and gyms and real estate. I want to invest my money wisely.”
Fans will be crushed to hear that he plans to tie the knot with his partner this year.
“We were supposed to get married in Santorini in September and that got cancelled and we rebooked it for August of this year. Things are so uncertain at the moment but I really hope we can have our day soon. Maria has been such an incredible support to me. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her.”