James Veitch

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‘This Is What Happens When You Reply To Spam Email’

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James’ TED speech recounts what happened when he replied to the once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity offered to him by ‘Soloman’ in a spam email. It became the fastest-ever TED to reach 10million views. James’ comedy take on internet and digital culture has also spawned a book, an online series, and three Edinburgh Fringe shows.


James Veitch is a comedian and writer. His TED speech on what happened when he replied to a spam email became an online phenomenon and the fastest-ever TED to reach 10million views.

Starting his working life, appropriately, as an Apple Store Genius, it is perhaps not surprising that James’ comedy takes a distinctly tech-orientated tone. His first Edinburgh show, The Fundamental Interconnectedness of Everyone with an Internet Connection, considered the wonderful, the bizarre and the frankly pointless aspects of the digital age. Described by The Guardian as being ‘ahead of the curve’ he entertainingly looked at a technology that could enable a surgeon to save the life of someone thousands of miles away, but that also allowed James to enrol a hamster for Eton. Further live shows encompassed everything gaming to dating using troubleshooting theory.

James has gone on to write a book, Dot Con: The Art of Scamming a Scammer, and produce an online show Scamalot. Both take as their inspiration material used in his TED speeches. His first, This is what happens when you reply to spam email, which looked at the weeks-long email conversation with ‘Soloman’ and his attempts to offer James a unique business opportunity, has racked up 30million views. He followed that up with The agony of trying to unsubscribe. Both take an amusing look at the problems of email and the internet that many of us no longer really notice.

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