British viral sensation Jackie Weaver said her time in the spotlight “continues to feel like something that will not be here tomorrow”, as she reflected on a “weird” 2021.
As 2022 draws closer, the viral sensation reflected on her “weird” year, discussing why she would say no to Strictly, her phobia of frogs and the release of her book.
The 63-year-old took the internet by storm in February when footage of Handforth Parish Council’s heated Zoom meeting showed her booting out two troublesome council members and being famously told “you have no authority here”.
Ms Weaver said she does not consider herself a celebrity but has since released a book, been a frequent guest on television shows – including Channel 4’s Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2021 – and interviewed her Strictly Come Dancing “hero” Anton Du Beke for her podcast: Jackie Weaver has the Authority.
More than 10 months since she trended on Twitter and became one of the most popular memes of the year, Ms Weaver revealed she did not realise the meeting’s comedic potential at the time.
“It felt like a game of chess,” Ms Weaver told the PA news agency, explaining she was “very much aware” of the difficult characters sitting on Handforth’s Parish Council.
Of the aftermath, she said: “I had a colleague of mine on the Thursday night send me a text message which said, ‘you’re trending number three in the country!’ and I had absolutely no idea what they were talking about.
“Believe me: in my whole life, I’ve never done anything interesting – so the idea that the world is slightly interested (was) weird… it continues to feel like something that will not be here tomorrow.”
Ms Weaver has balanced her appearances as an internet star with the day job that landed her a spot at the infamous Zoom meeting, chief officer at Cheshire Association of Local Councils.
“If I gave up work, what is the rest of it for? ‘You’d be famous!’ (they say), but that’s not an end in itself – if you are famous, you want to do something with it,” she said.
“I think the most shallow thing in the world would be to meet people and say, ‘Hello, I’m Jackie Weaver. That is what I do.'”
I think the most shallow thing in the world would be to meet people and say, 'Hello, I'm Jackie Weaver. That is what I do.'
And despite committing to a double life, Ms Weaver has acclimatised to life in the spotlight – learning from the year she has spent with presenters and comedians.
“I’m beginning to understand a little better the world of celebrity… some are incredibly kind. Richard (Madeley), Jimmy Carr was lovely, he treated me very nicely,” she said.
“I actually now have a camera smile. Relax your face, and then go back into it – don’t try and hold it.”
She confessed there was one occasion she considered herself star-struck – and why it rules out a future for Ms Weaver on BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing.
Had great fun filming this last night. The production team made me feel like a star and the real stars made me fee… https://t.co/78n9Cac2rd