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8 hilarious and heartwarming times Dundee went viral

After the re-emergence of the 'Dundee hardman', we look at other occasions the city and its people took the internet by storm.

Dundee has gone viral in various moments over the years. Images: Simon Rankin/Kim Cessford/DC Thomson/YouTube
Dundee has gone viral in various moments over the years. Images: Simon Rankin/Kim Cessford/DC Thomson/YouTube

The re-emergence of a much-loved Dundee viral video has sparked memories of other times the city has become an internet hit.

This week The Courier tracked down David McLean – famed for his “Dundee hardman” speech filmed in a corner shop when he was just a teenager.

The 40-year-old is now a science teacher in Perthshire.

The city and its people have found themselves at the centre of several viral moments over the years with videos constantly being shared to new audiences across social media.

Here, we share some of the most memorable.

1. Dancing plumber

Mark Topen was left red-faced back in 2014 when one of his workmates secretly captured him dancing while trying to fit a radiator.

The tradesman was pulling out the moves to Chicane’s Saltwater, oblivious to the fact he was being recorded.

The clip was posted on social media and the original version has been viewed more than 1.5 million times.

2. ‘The boys that run Dundee’

The scene of the viral video at Ancrum Court. Image: Gareth Jennings/DC Thomson

In April 2023, a group of youths became unlikely internet sensations after posting a rap video shot at Ancrum Court in Lochee.

From rapping about running away from the police and buying guns to struggling with their dogs, the contents of the video prompted a huge response – with fans loving their claim of being “the boys that run Dundee”.

The video gathered more than a million views on X – formerly Twitter – with celebrities like Gail Porter and Reverend and the Makers sharing or commenting on the clip.

3. Dundee chicken crosses the road

The moment a chicken crossed the road in Dundee. Image: Signals Dundee/TikTok

It was the old joke that came true on a Dundee street.

Brian Paton from Signals Driver Training posted a hilarious video of a lesson being interrupted by a chicken crossing the road in April 2023.

The video showed the bird breaking free from its owners on Lawton Road – with the learner driver forced to give way.

The footage had racked up more than half a million views within hours of being shared on TikTok.

4. Pianist Stan Urban amazes station crowd

Doctor Who star Karen Gillan was one of many who shared a video of piano wizard Stan Urban playing at Dundee railway station in 2019.

The 79-year-old was filmed wowing passers-by with his skills.

The clip has since had more than 23 million views on one Facebook page alone.

In November 2023, Stan – who has performed with Chuck Berry and Mick Jagger – progressed to the next round of ITV show The Voice.

5. Dundee student’s bacteria jewellery

This is not so much a case of one clip going viral – but a Dundee student’s entire work.

Chloe Fitzpatrick has amassed millions of views and likes on TikTok for her videos showing her unique bacteria jewellery creations.

One of her videos, which shows her making a bracelet using bacteria from dog hair, has been watched 3.5 million times.

She told The Courier in 2022: “It’s about having a mix of disgusting and beautiful.”

6. Royal Blood’s Big Weekend meltdown

Dundee found itself at the centre of a social media storm in May 2023 when rock band Royal Blood slated revellers at Radio 1’s Big Weekend.

Not impressed with the Camperdown Park crowd’s reaction to their heavier brand of music, frontman Mike Kerr said: “We’re having to clap ourselves because that was so pathetic.”

A clip from the BBC coverage was shared by The Rock Revival on X and has since been seen more than 35 million times.

Many took the chance to criticise Royal Blood for not trying harder to win the Dundee masses over.

7. Dundee FC ‘outta nowhere’

Gary Harkins and Jim McAlister were already popular names at Dens Park when their ‘talents’ were taken to a wider audience in 2014.

After Harkins had scored to put his side 2-0 up in a 3-1 win at Motherwell, McAlister performed wrestler Randy Orton’s finishing move, the “outta nowhere” RKO, in a celebration that had clearly been thought up on the training pitch.

The club’s clip of the celebration has since been viewed 1.5 million times.

The WWE superstar even gave his approval on his X account, helping it reach an even bigger audience.

8. Danny Dyer can’t get his nut around Dundee’s stadiums

Continuing the football theme is one of the most commonly shared Dundee viral videos of all.

Danny Dyer travelled to the city back in 2006 as part of his Sky One show, The Real Football Factories, where he went on the trail of hooligan firms across the UK.

Upon arriving on Tannadice Street, Dyer could not believe how close the grounds of Dundee’s two professional clubs were.

Dyer said in the clip: “I’ve never seen anything like that before in my life.

“They’re so close, it’s ridiculous. I mean, I can’t get me nut around it, it’s amazing.”

The footage was used by Dundee when they unveiled the signing of former United player Paul McMullan in 2021.

Let us know your favourite viral Dundee moments – comment below or email