Evening Standard: Why Twitter has gone crazy for web show The Fox Problem

Georgia Lewis Anderson is lopsided. The web-TV presenter only has one contact lens and one earring in. Luckily, her colleague Gemma Cairney appears unfazed by the situation, dancing exuberantly to keep spirits up and joking about wanting a beer — it’s 10am. “This sums us up,” says their producer, James Emtage. “Georgia stumbling around, Gem dancing, me telling them to get it together.”

Lewis Anderson, 24, or LA as she is known, and Cairney, 28, are two-thirds of The Fox Problem, an interactive show streamed live on YouTube from the Birdcage pub on Columbia Road, east London, every Tuesday night. Their co-host, Georgie Okell, is in New York, where she has taken over from Alexa Chung as anchor of Fuse News - this means they can truly be global, with her presenting via Skype, and gives them a better chance of realising their dream of Okell interviewing Lena Dunham naked in the bath.

The show is in its second series, with nearly a million views, and Sir Richard Branson is a fan - they call him "Branno" and recently interviewed him about space travel live from Necker Island, with Commander Chris Hadfield joining from Las Vegas. During the episode #thefoxproblem went viral on Twitter.

They describe the show, which they also co-produce as: "a party where you might have the best discussion in the corner and put the world to rights. Ollie Locke from Made in Chelsea is our resident barman, there's live music, but we want some decent conversation."

They met through a jumble sale that Cairney organised for Oxfam a few years ago and came up with the show because they felt there was nothing for them on TV. Cairney says: "We wanted to recapture the glory days of Nineties television. When I was younger I watched TFI Friday and felt like I was part of the Brit Pop scene. That seems to have disappeared. I feel like the conversations I hear aren't being reflected on television. To take it into our hands has been a dream."

The online format has been "a big experiment", says Cairney. "We knocked on a few TV doors," says LA. "But although we were professional I felt like they thought three girls in fluffy jumpers couldn't produce their own show. Luckily the social media company Telegraph Hill believed in the madness and got behind us."

Being online gives them freedom to experiment, as well as an audience in 18 countries worldwide. In series one they staged the first global air kiss.

LA explains: "What Jennifer Saunders said about TV not taking risks any more is true." She blames the recession and sees the biggest opportunities as being online. "I made my career in SB:TV, a YouTube channel. I couldn't have imagined it, but it led to me meeting people such as P Diddy."

They don't want to be defined by being three women. "If you have a panel show of three guys you don't think it's notable," says LA. "I think the new BBC rules that there must be a woman on panel shows is great and we should have quotas to get girls into politics. I don't understand why half the population aren't represented in the media we consume everyday. Society is still run by men. Oppression is everywhere once you start unpicking it. But I am meeting more inspirational women."

Cairney adds: "We need different types of women. I don't see my face represented on telly. I don't necessarily mean black, I mean someone like me."

Cairney was born in London but left in the first year of secondary school. "I went to primary school in Balham, grew up in a single-parent household. My mum got a deposit together to buy her first house but we had to move to Sussex for her job, as a marketing manager. We moved to Horsham. I was so angry about leaving London that I didn't speak for a week. I loved the hive of activity and colour so I found conservative suburbia difficult."

After seeing an advert in Bliss magazine aged 16, she auditioned for the Brit school, which has churned out stars such as Adele and Jessie J. "I met some of my best friends there."

After a drama foundation degree she ended up living off Brick Lane working as a tequila girl in bars. Then she fell into styling - "the party scene was people who ended up being famous so my portfolio was quite good. We shot Daisy Lowe in Richmond Park rolling in leaves wearing Vivienne Westwood, we went to Adele's house and shot her, Kate Nash was my best mate so I worked with her. East London was super-creative and collaborative."

Now she's just bought her first flat, a two-bed in Clapton. "When I got in I cried and rubbed the walls."

LA grew up in Kilburn. "I got a scholarship to Northbridge House school. My mum's a music teacher. We lived in a council flat but I went to a posh school so I visited friends in these amazing houses with swimming pools in Mill Hill, then it was back to Kilburn High Road."

She began presenting at Camden's Roundhouse then studied journalism at City University. That's when she saw a tweet saying Jamal Edwards was looking for presenters for SB:TV. "I was 21 and went from my last exam of second year to interviewing Kelly Rowland. We were this team of under-25s running an ever-growing YouTube channel amassing hits we couldn't control."

Lena Dunham is a huge inspiration. LA says: "We are obsessed with Girls and that spirit of women doing it for themselves." They have tried everything to get her on the show, including making requests of Chris O'Dowd when he was a guest on The Fox Problem and "looking at the show credits and tweeting everyone mentioned. That's when I thought we needed to calm down," says LA.

There have been a few technical hitches with the online format, such as the time they were interviewing Mel from All Saints on Skype and no one could hear her, but they all get on. Cairney gives fierce pep talks. LA says: "At the end of the first series I was getting emotional because I felt so proud of us. Gem said, ‘Imagine if you start the show crying. Pull yourself together, do you think Beyoncé would do this?'"

There have been no tears this season. The girls are on a high. Next they'd like to do a show in space, or, LA says, "somewhere it has never been done before, where all you need is wi-fi".

Georgia Lewis Anderson