The Untold Truth Of Chicken Shop Date's Amelia Dimoldenberg

One of the hottest British chat shows these days doesn't air on television, but on YouTube: "Chicken Shop Date," the hilarious series created and hosted by Amelia Dimoldenberg. With her YouTube channel boasting 3 million followers, many episodes of "Chicken Shop Date" have racked up millions of views — her chat with Hollywood movie star Jennifer Lawrence, for example, has been viewed more than 7 million times, while her conversation with rapper Central Cee generated more than 10 million views.

The premise of the show is brilliant in its simplicity. In each episode, Dimoldenberg sits down to interview a celebrity in a different fried chicken restaurant. These interviews are far from average thanks to Dimoldenberg's unique approach, and she sends things off-kilter into some wildly awkward directions. "I almost see it as more of a comedy series than an interview series in a way," Dimoldenberg explained in an interview with CBS News.

As the show has continued to gain popularity, so too has its host, as evidenced by her high-profile role at the 2024 Academy Awards, which promises to be just the beginning. To find out more about this on-the-rise media personality, read on to discover the untold truth of "Chicken Shop Date" host Amelia Dimoldenberg.

Amelia Dimoldenberg's Chicken Shop Date began at a London youth center when she was a teenager

Amelia Dimoldenberg was born and raised in London's upscale Marylebone neighborhood (her father, Paul Dimoldenberg, is a longtime Labour Party councillor in Westminister). Her career as a media phenomenon can be traced back to one place: the Stowe Centre, a community center not far from her home. When she was just 17, one of her teachers encouraged her to visit the center because a new youth magazine called The Cut was about to be launched. "I was interested in journalism and creative media so this seemed like such a great opportunity," Dimoldenberg explained in an interview with Camden New Journal.

In fact, "Chicken Shop Date" began back in 2011 — not as the YouTube series it eventually became, but as a column in The Cut. As Dimoldenberg wrote in The Guardian, the column pretty much followed the same format as the show, with interviews taking place in shops serving fried chicken. Back then, the subjects of her quirky interviews were rap and grime performers. "It wasn't until three years later that I made the leap to video," she recalled. 

As the show gained traction and increased in popularity, so too did the star quality of the celebs Dimoldenberg interviewed, as she gradually built herself a fan base. "There's a universality to her humor," Nina Manandhar, who co-founded The Cut, told The New York Times – it makes sense the show gained such traction.

Her friends' interest in grime music paved the way for Chicken Shop Date

When Amelia Dimoldenberg took her first baby steps into the world of journalism with her "Chicken Shop Date" column for The Cut, she found a niche that nobody else seemed to be filling: grime music, a form of EDM-influenced hip hop that was popular in London during that time. According to Dimoldenberg, that particular music genre was one that many of her teen contemporaries at the Stowe Centre were heavily into. 

"I was super interested and wanted to know more about the music," she explained in an interview with Mixmag. "So as soon as they were like, 'What do you want to do at the magazine?' I said that I wanted to interview grime MCs, musicians, all the people everyone was talking about so that I could get to know them myself."

After interviewing a friend who happened to be a grime musician for her first column — in a nearby fried-chicken joint, of course — she began branching out by contacting publicists in hopes of landing further interviews. That experience, she recalled, forced her to become resourceful and creative. "Then I started doing that whenever I could, the magazine had some contacts with PRs so I would just be emailing, I'd get friends of friends, and just kind of do them whenever I could throughout college," she said of the column's early, embryonic days.

Her Chicken Shop Date persona is an exaggeration of herself

As fans of Amelia Dimoldenberg's "Chicken Shop Date" are well aware, the show's charm lies in its long, awkward silences, with Dimoldenberg deliberately attempting to make her guests feel as uncomfortable as possible while they both hunker down and enjoy some fried chicken. While that's become a hallmark of the show, the persona that she's adopted for "Chicken Shop Date," she told The Washington Post, is an extension of her actual self, channeling "that awkward, sarcastic, deadpan person at school," she explained.

As "Chicken Shop Date" has grown increasingly successful, Dimoldenberg has further delineated the on-air persona that fans have come to know and love. "Well, it's like an exaggeration of me," she told CBS News. "I'm probably a bit more serious in real life. And maybe not as awkward." That said, Dimoldenberg has been doing it long enough that she's got that persona down to a tee. "As soon as I'm in the shop, then I'm sort of like, 'Okay, it's time to be the girl from 'Chicken Shop Date,'" she said. 

When she first morphed from magazine columnist to YouTuber by recording her "dates" on video, she was actually just being herself; when viewers assumed she was playing a character, she decided to lean into it by amping her behavior up accordingly. "It's literally how it happened," she told MixMag, "people must have just assumed I was so bizarre or so weird it had to be a character."

She reported on London Fashion Week for Vogue

As a 17-year-old teenager, Amelia DiMoldenberg had one overarching desire, and she was not shy about letting it be known. As she recalled during an interview with The New York Times, she would typically introduce herself by stating, "Hi, I'm Amelia. I'm going to be the editor of Vogue." While legendary fashionista Anna Wintour continues to hold onto that job title, Dimoldenberg did inch a bit closer to that teenage goal when she was tapped to cover London Fashion Week for the famed fashion magazine back in 2018.

In her role as Vogue's "roving reporter" for LFW, Dimoldenberg wrote about (and vlogged) her experiences for the magazine and received an insider's look at all the parties associated with the annual event. 

In fact, while attending her first London Fashion Week party, she realized that nobody stayed at one event for too long because there were multiple other parties to attend as well. Popping from one soiree to another, Dimoldenberg experienced a variety of LFW nightlife. "It was all very upmarket," she wrote of one bash, "except when I overheard a girl telling her friends she'd just stolen a candle from the bathroom."

She tries to make each episode as awkward as possible

The biggest weapon in Amelia Dimoldenberg's arsenal, and one that she brings in spades to her "Chicken Shop Date" interviews, is awkwardness.

That approach, she explained, was simply her attempt to ensure that her celebrity interviews stood out from the zillions of others floating through cyberspace. "I wanted to be the antithesis of a bubbly presenter because I was bored of seeing that," Dimoldenberg explained in an interview with Complex. Knowing she was — at least initially — targeting her show at U.K. viewers, she dipped deep into the inherent Britishness of what she was attempting to get across. "The British sense of humour is sarcastic and deadpan ..." she said.

The way Dimoldenberg looks at it, those almost excruciatingly uncomfortable moments that take place within "Chicken Shop Date" are what deliver the authenticity that fans have come to expect from her show. "Awkwardness is part of life but it's [usually] edited out of what we consume," she told The Guardian

She branched out as a journalist for Vice

In 2016, while still producing episodes of "Chicken Shop Date," Amelia ventured into serious journalism for Vice. For those who only knew her from YouTube, the various articles she wrote while serving as an intern for the maverick news outlet offered a glimpse of her skills as a writer and journalist. Among the pieces she delivered was one focusing on a dating site targeting conspiracy theorists, a profile on a celebrity dog named Tuna, and a deep dive into concerns about North Korea having developed a hydrogen bomb. She also produced videos for Vice, such as the outlet's "Mystery Girl" series.

"I loved working at Vice, but it was f***ing hard: I was still at uni, I'd just turned 20 and I'd never worked in such a high-pressure environment in terms of having to write every day," she said in a 2019 Vice interview with Tom Usher, who worked at the desk next to here when they were both interns. "But when you submit your work, that feeling was so great, and our editor Jamie was so great. I really learnt so much from pitching ideas, and I met so many nice people," she said of the experience.

Dimoldenberg subsequently fell back on her interning experience for a 2017 piece she wrote for The Guardian, in which she offered the hard-earned advice that she'd learned from being a "serial intern."

She hosted a hilarious pseudo-documentary about Meghan Markle's family

As "Chicken Shop Date" became a force to be reckoned with on YouTube, Amelia Dimoldenberg began garnering the attention of more traditional British media outlets. After interning for Vice, she pitched British broadcaster Channel 4 her idea for an irreverent documentary about the oddball family of Meghan Markle, who was then preparing to tie the knot with Prince Harry. Nobody was more surprised than Dimoldenberg when Channel 4 bit. "I think it was the combination of my work for Vice, which was a bit serious, and the humour of 'Chicken Shop' that caught the attention of the commissioner," she told the London Evening Standard.

The result was "Meet the Markles," which followed Dimoldenberg as she met with several of Markle's relatives in order to introduce British television viewers to the actual people behind the salacious tabloid headlines — particularly Duchess Meghan's half-sister Samantha Markle, arguably the Markle clan's most active agent of chaos. 

"I was intrigued to actually go and meet these people in real life instead of just reading these things on Twitter, and find out about Meghan from the people who know her," Dimoldenberg explained in an interview with Radio Times. After embedding herself with various Markles, Dimoldenberg admitted she still hadn't managed to get a handle on the elusive "Suits" star who'd won the heart of Prince Harry. "She's a very complicated person," she observed. "I think that I'm still figuring out what I think about her."

She hosted a TV cooking show

After the success of "Meet the Markles," Amelia Dimoldenberg decided to make an unexpected left turn by branching out into the culinary arts with a whole new YouTube series, "Amelia's Cooking Show." 

Serving as a food-based addendum to "Chicken Shop Date" — which, granted, was already food-centric, given that each episode took place within a fried-chicken eatery — her cooking show took a similar approach. Joined by a different celebrity in each episode, she conducted an interview while she and her guest whipped up a meal together.

Not surprisingly, "Amelia's Cooking Show" boasted a unique hook that made it stand out from other cooking shows: she and her guest could only use five ingredients to cook the entire meal, with each ingredient boasting a special — and sometimes surprising — connection to the guest in that particular episode. Adding to the comedy was the fact that those ingredients were rarely compatible, resulting in some truly odd dishes. And, as Dimoldenberg pointed out in her episode intros, "The twist? I can't cook."

She rebranded celebrities in a spoof series

After her unexpected foray into the food arena, Amelia Dimoldenberg once again surprised her fans with her next venture for Britain's Channel 4. Following the buzz from her standalone special "Meet the Markles," she then starred in another of her own series, "Celebrity Rebrand." In the six-episode limited series that debuted in 2021, Dimoldenberg attempted to create a rebranding strategy for various famous folks — regardless of whether or not they actually needed it. 

Positioning herself as an expert in celebrity branding, Dimoldenberg offered her somewhat dubious branding advice to such stars as British comedian Jimmy Carr, actor Rosie Jones, and U.K. television personality Romesh Ranganathan.

As Dimoldenberg explained in an interview with Beyond the Joke, "Celebrity Rebrand" was a bit outside of the wheelhouse she'd established with "Chicken Shop Date," yet also fit in securely within her oeuvre. "It is a different show, but still feels like it's part of my comedy world, so that is why I wanted to do it," she said, insisting that she had a special gift for repositioning the brands of celebrities. "Whenever I see someone, I always have ideas in my head of how someone could be doing things differently," she said. "I think I have always had a passion for it."

She's been a brand ambassador for a skincare line

Beyond her comedy ventures on YouTube and British television, Amelia Dimoldenberg made a big leap into the mainstream when she was hired by Olay to be a brand ambassador for the company's line of skincare products. 

Discussing her new role as skincare spokesperson with Glamour, she revealed her very specific views on how to take care of her own skin. "I am quite relaxed with my beauty routine, but do what works for you and do what doesn't take too much time," she said, admitting it wasn't in her nature to spend hour after hour moisturizing and applying makeup. 

She did, however, concede that the calm moments that she would spend doing skincare proved to be helpful to her overall sense of well-being. "It's that one time in the day when you're not with your phone and it helps you create a routine," she said. "It's that time with yourself, to give yourself some tender, loving care."

She teamed up with Hot Ones for 'the biggest crossover in the history of chicken-based interview shows'

The premise of Amelia Dimoldenbeg's "Chicken Shop Date" bears some similarity to that of fellow YouTube interview series "Hot Ones," the show on which celebrities answer questions while chowing down on increasingly spicier hot wings. Given the affinity between the two series, it was seemingly only a matter of time before Dimoldenberg and "Hot Ones" host Sean Evans combined forces.

That occurred in October 2023 when Dimoldenberg sat down with Evans on the set of "Hot Ones" for a conversation which she described via X, formerly known as Twitter, as "The biggest crossover in the history of chicken-based interview shows." For her part, Dimoldenberg was visibly nervous as she revealed that she wasn't much of a fan of spicy food, and fretted about how she'd fare against the show's legendary Wings of Death. "I'd rather be on a first date than here right now, that's for sure," she admitted. The wing sampling went about as poorly as she'd anticipated when the first — and mildest — chicken wing proved to be far hotter than she expected. "I thought it would be less heat than that," she said, "so that's ... alarming."

Evans returned the favor when he joined her as her date on "Chicken Shop Date."

She's interviewed celebs on red carpets

All those poultry-fuelled interviews on "Chicken Shop Date" had provided Amelia Dimoldenberg with both the skills and the visibility to prepare her for interviewing celebrities in a whole other milieu, outside of chicken joints. As a result, she was invited to the red carpet for the London premiere of "Barbie," where she interviewed the movie's actors while costumed as TV Anchor Barbie.

As "Barbie" star Margot Robbie observed, Dimoldenberg killed it. That led to an even bigger assignment when she was hired by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to be its 2024 Oscars ambassador. In that capacity, she brought her unique interview style to the event's red carpet. "It's kind of wild," she said of her high-profile new role during an interview with "Good Morning America." "I never thought, 10 years ago, that I would ever be on the red carpet for the Oscars."

Among her many highlights on the Academy Awards red carpet: playing "Rock, Paper, Scissors" with the Rock himself, Dwayne Johnson; Billie Eilish describing her award show look as "substitute teacher;" and Dimoldenberg's addendum to actor Amber Midthunder's observation that being at the Oscars felt "unreal," quipping, "It's unreal but then very real at the same time."

She's ready to conquer America

In April 2022, it was clear that Amelia Dimoldenberg had attracted the attention of Hollywood when she signed with top talent agent CAA. With that kind of representation, and with the buzz she received from her irreverent interviews on the red carpet at the 2024 Oscars, her career appeared to be on the verge of blowing up. 

"My career has really taken off over the last two years, and it's very daunting," she admitted in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "When you're starting out, you feel pressure to do things just for the money because it means you can pay rent. But now, I think the key to my success is knowing when to say no. My creative integrity is paramount." Crossing the pond and making it big in America, she explained, had become her ultimate goal, and she expressed her hopes that she'd be able to make an impact stateside. "It's the dream, isn't it, to break into American pop culture?" she said. 

Meanwhile, she also answered a burning question that was likely on the minds of anyone who'd watched her consume all that chicken on her YouTube show. "People ask me all the time, 'Do you really eat the chicken?' Absolutely I do. I genuinely, really love chicken and chips," she declared.