Going through a divorce and finding time to heal are never easy, but having to announce it to millions of viewers? That’s a whole new level.

But the pair behind one of Singapore’s biggest YouTube channels are taking it in their stride.

Night Owl Cinematics’ (NOC) dynamic duo Ryan Tan and Sylvia Chan have ended their 10-year marriage, the pair announced in a YouTube video on May 31.

Ryan and Sylvia, who founded their YouTube channel and production company in 2013, revealed that they divorced in March.

The pair, now 32, had met at 16 and started dating five years later, Ryan recounted in the 45-minute video, breaking into tears at times.

But as NOC flourished, generating over 800 million cumulative views and landing the pair on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Asia list in 2016, they grew apart.

 Their tendencies to put their personal and romantic lives on hold for work was one of the reasons contributing to the divorce, they said.

The couple would “put a lot of commas” into their arguments and “never really finish the narrative”, according to Sylvia.

 “How do I go home and rant to my husband, Ryan, about my business partner, Ryan?”

However, they are “at peace” now, Ryan said.

He also described the toll fame had taken on him in a candid Instagram post, writing: “I never wanted to be recognisable and famous. All I wanted was to lead a simple life doing films.

“Of course, I am deeply thankful for the success we had found in NOC, and I guess it has become a double-edged sword.”

In a separate post dedicated to Ryan, Sylvia wrote: “It was the most exciting decade of my life walking side by side with you as your wife.

“Even our divorce, because it’s you, we took it in stride. Now, as family, what could possibly stop us?”

On the business side of things, NOC will remain the same, the duo stressed, with Sylvia as the “mummy” and Ryan as the “daddy” of the company.

 In fact, since their separation three years ago, their working relationship has improved, Ryan added.

 As for Porky, their dog, Ryan and Sylvia shared that they are currently living separately and taking turns to look after it.

The pair’s announcement was met with an outpouring of support from fans.

One wrote: “Life is hard and a breakdown of a marriage makes it harder. I wish nothing but the best for both Ryan and Sylvia.”

“I know that it must’ve taken a lot of strength for both Ryan and Sylvia to make this video but I must say that it’s so heartwarming to see the depth of your love for each other,” wrote another.

Blogger Xiaxue also chimed in to offer her well-wishes to the couple, writing: “On behalf of Singaporeans, I thank you both for sharing joy with us, making us laugh, making us cry, keeping us entertained, even when it was consuming your soul and your marriage… All the best for the future.”

Watch the full video below.

Text: Kimberly Anne Lim / AsiaOne / June 2020
Image: Night Owl Cinematics’ YouTube screengrab