When ’embarrassing dad’ Nick Smith was told by his fed-up daughter to stop hijacking her TikTok account, he decided to go one step further and start his own.
What began as a laugh with mates turned into a winning lottery ticket – his videos became so popular that he was able to quit his job and turn lockdown with the family into the “best year of our lives”.
The Smithys are now one of Britain’s most popular influencers, sharing hilarious pranks and sketches and even launching their own range of merchandise.
However, their dream life was shattered earlier this year when their home address leaked online. Cruel trolls began sending dozens of unwanted takeaways to their south London home and even ordered escorts to turn up at their doorstep.
Now, the bubbly family are fearing for their future after their house and car were set ablaze in a suspected arson attack that “could have killed” them.
Here is the story of their incredible rise to fame – and the vile abuse that has turned their lives upside down once more.
Builder worked seven days a week before winning millions of fans
Before becoming a TikTok star, Nick, 33, worked as a builder and admitted times had been tough as he worked around the clock to provide for his family.
“Two years ago I was so deep in work and worried about trying to make sure everyone was alright, make sure money was coming in, and working seven days a week,” he told MyLondon.
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After joining TikTok in 2019, he began posting videos of himself along with his partner Jess Farthing, 30.
The couple have two daughters, Amelia, 6, and Isabella, 9, and last month Jess gave month to a baby boy. Jess’ half-brother Jack, 16, is a regular feature in the family’s videos, as is Nick’s son Ben, 13, who often lives with them at their Welling home.
Nick’s cheeky sketches soon proved a hit with followers and in the space of months, he’d soon racked up more than a million followers.
In one recent sketch, the group pull a terrifying prank on Jack’s girlfriend, Amy, shutting off the lights in her car at night and appearing as mask-wielding ghouls.
In another, they attempt to see which relative is the best driver – by loading their cars with their most precious belongings.
Nick, who has ADHD, said he was posting up to 15 videos a day during lockdown to keep the family and friends entertained.
“It kept me from having to think of new things to do with the kids during lockdown, and kept it solid at home,” he said. “It’s done the world of good for us as a family.”
Now, the Smithys have an amazing 2.8million followers on TikTok, and in February Nick was able to quit his job to focus on their influencer careers full-time.
While he has not disclosed how much money the family make from their internet fame, they have set up a clothing range with personalised ‘Smithy’ branding – and they also raised around £60,000 worth of gifts for the Salvation Army over Christmas
Nick has also revealed he hopes to build an 11,000 square ft ‘content warehouse’ where he, and eventually other creators, can film in.
He intends for the space to have a film set-style house, a massive ball pit, ziplines and an electric go-kart track.
Family tormented by unwanted takeways and escorts
The Smithys’ influencer dream began to sour earlier this year, however, when their home address was leaked online and seized upon by vile pranksters.
Nick was forced to install CCTV during a three-month campaign of terror, which left their oldest daughter, Isabella, too terrified to sleep.
In one horrific attack, a gang of yobs hurled rocks at the house – as their newborn baby was sat in the front window.
Documenting the abuse on TikTok, Nick said the family had been inundated with more than 100 takeaways that were pay-on-delivery.
In one video, he even revealed escorts were turning up at their door. The clip, from last month, shows a woman ringing the doorbell, asking “Can you open it?”
Nick says: “Who are you? What’s going on? Who’s this?” to which she replies: “You know who it is.” He then tells her: “I think you’re at the wrong house.”
He then says: “I’m fuming. They have ordered an escort, two escorts to the house. How sick in the head does someone need to be?”
Fearing the women had pimps, he warned followers that the family may have to move homes and that they had reached a “new low”.
“This is too much. We need to go. Windows, takeaways, prostitutes,” he said. “It’s just a new low. It’s not funny. I’m trying to make light out of a bad situation.
“My girls were in this room but that don’t matter to you, does it?”
Home and car torched in sickening attack
Refusing to bow to the cowardly thugs, the Smithys had remained at their home – but were forced to flee for their lives on Wednesday night after a terrifying suspeced arson attack.
In a dramatic video, Nick shows how the semi-detached house was blackened and caked in soot, while their Ford Mondeo lay gutted on the driveway.
He said: “We all got out the house OK, the kids are fine… the dogs are OK. The house is not OK. The kids are at a safe place.
“To the people who have done this, you could have killed our family and not only our family, my neighbours, my friends. It’s unforgivable.”
Nick shared a further video today from inside his daughters’ room, wiping his fingers against the wall to show the ash stuck to the walls.
With tears in his eyes, he said: “My girls were in this room, but that doesn’t matter to you does it? I don’t think you realise the consequences of what you’ve done.”
Chilling CCTV footage has now emerged that shows two thugs arriving on their driveway just after 11pm, forcing open the car window with a crowbar before setting it alight with flammable liquid.
Crews from three fire brigades attended the scene and got the fire under control after midnight.
The damage to the home is extensive as exterior soffits, fascia and guttering were destroyed, and part of the front of the house and hallway were damaged.
The cause of the fire is now being investigated by the Brigade and Metropolitan Police. There have been no arrests.
Since the attack, Nick has continued to share videos and believes the incident was fuelled by jealousy.
“I love seeing people do well,” he said. “We want to see other people prosper and do well and I know that there’s some people in life that are struggling and they don’t like it when other people are prospering or doing well.”
Vowing he would continue to share the Smithys’ life with fans, he added: “I just want to be with my family, and I want to be safe, and I want to protect them, and we need to step back, to readjust, reassess and find out what the best way to move forward is.
“At the end of the day, I’m not going to give up what’s making us happy.”
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