Racking up over 7,000 Facebook live viewers multiple times a week is no easy feat, but it helps if you wear your heart on your sleeve, have something to say – and have a couple of cool dogs as well.
Adrian Zammit has taken Maltese social media by storm; but as his star rises, the Marsa construction worker has to contend with some new realities.
“People come up to me and ask to take a picture with me. They ask me to say ‘what’s the cat’ – and to make the ‘miaow’ noise as well, of course,” Adrian tells Lovin Malta.
The popular catchphrase – inspired by his next-door neighbour and her pet cat is just one of the many elements that keep people coming back to his phenomenon of a show.
Adrian’s Monday, Wednesday and Friday live streams from his kitchen are followed by all levels of society. During the show, he openly shares his mobile number and urges people to call him – preferably with an “intelligent” comment, though he’ll accept otherwise.
However, he can barely answer his mobile anymore – it’s constantly ringing with pranksters trying to get a quick laugh.
“I get a lot of phone calls, people who joke, and some people who are down and they want to laugh a bit,” he says.
Yet he still answers a lot of the calls, especially when it’s someone he can make a difference for.
“Sometimes I spend the whole night on the phone with some people I’ve never even met if they are down… I understand it, I’ve been through what they’ve been through and been depressed before.”
“I honestly prefer spending some time with them to make them happy and hear them laughing and keep them on the phone and not in their own thoughts… sometimes I make stories up just to keep them on the line.”
And it’s not just his phone that’s been blowing up – people have been sending him gifts and donations.
Some of the new items he’s utilised on his show, from a plastic gun-cum-nunchucks, a kitty doll or a dinosaur, were gifted to him by fans.
“A lot of the items are presents from viewers – did you see the last one, the cow?” he smiles.
“I accept the toys, but once someone gave me a laptop. I didn’t accept that, I already have a laptop, plus someone else can use it more than I can, so I told them to give it to someone who needs it,” Adrian said.
Though he’s getting more live viewers than Prime Minister Robert Abela’s breaking pressers or even the daily COVID-19 updates, he said it’s essential to always remember where you came from.
“Ġorġ tal-Laħam told me that. Never forget those who were there when you started. He’s a wise man,” Adrian said.
And as for all the people following him, pranking him or turning to him when they need a shoulder to lean on, he is clear.
“Whoever is enjoying the show, continue to do so. And whoever is feeling down, just think of me and say ‘I can’t be as down as that guy’ and hopefully, you feel better and laugh a bit,” Adrian ended with a laugh.
Before the coronavirus hit, Lovin Malta met up with Adrian Zammit for a boozy and pastizzi-filled discussion about racism, Marsa and all things Malta. Check it out below.