Jackie Weaver: who is the Handforth council Zoom star, what is her Authority podcast about – and how to listen

Weaver has found fame since the iconic Handforth Parish Council meeting went viral, including opening the BRIT Awards and launching a podcast

After the viral parish council meeting made her famous, Jackie Weaver has gone on to launch a podcast and open the BRIT Awards (PA Media/ITV)

Fans of Jackie Weaver were delighted when the internet star appeared on Lorraine to discuss her rise to fame on Thursday (20 May).

The 74-year-old went viral for her reaction during the chaotic Handforth Parish Council Zoom meeting, after the clip was posted on social media.

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The bizarre footage showed councillors insulting each other, while Weaver simply removed one of the more aggressive members from the virtual room.

During her Lorraine appearance, Weaver, who has since launched a podcast and opened the BRIT Awards, opened up about her newfound fame.

So, who is Jackie Weaver, what happened in the Handforth Parish Council meeting - and what is her new podcast about?

Here is everything you need to know.

Who is Jackie Weaver?

Jackie Weaver, from Cheshire, found unlikely fame after footage of a farcical parish council meeting she took part in went viral.

The online Zoom call broke the internet after a clip showed councillors trading insults and the chairman and vice-chairman being booted from the call.

Weaver, who is the chief executive of the Cheshire Association of Local Councils, had been called in to act as a proper officer to the meeting in December 2020.

But chair Brian Tolver accused her of having “no authority” on the call. Weaver subsequently removed him from the meeting and kicked out two others for their unruly behaviour.

After the hilarious incident, Jackie Weaver started trending on Twitter.

She has since embraced her newfound status as an icon, appearing on national TV and radio and using her platform to encourage younger people to engage with local politics.

Weaver even opened this year’s BRIT Awards in collaboration with Line of Duty stars Vicky McClure and Martin Compston, and comedian Jack Whitehall.

She told Lorraine the experience was “beyond scary”.

In her personal life, Weaver has been married to her husband Stuart, who appeared on Lorraine with her, for 37 years and they have three grown-up children.

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What happened during the Handforth Parish Council meeting?

Branded “Britain’s worst Zoom call”, the unruly parish council meeting has been viewed millions of times after it was shared on social media.

Weaver, as the meeting’s clerk, was tasked with controlling the increasingly angry situation.

The footage shows an unseen councillor mumbling a swear word under their breath, before Tolver refuses to recognise the legitimacy of the meeting.

He tells Weaver to “stop talking… you have no authority here.”

In response, Jackie Weaver removes Tolver from the Zoom call and places him in a virtual waiting room.

Following Tolver’s eviction, vice-chair Aled Brewerton, joined by an older unnamed gentleman, proceeds to yell at Ms Weaver to “read the standing orders…. read them, and understand them!”

When fellow councillor Susan Moore calls for civility, the meeting erupts into semi-hysterical laughter as Brewerton and Barry Burkill – another councillor – are removed.

Those remaining in the meeting vote to not allow the three men back in, with Cllr Cynthia Samson likening one to a “laughing hyena”.

Tolver later told the PA news agency that he did not regret how he had acted during the meeting, saying Weaver “had no status to speak other than when invited”.

It was the second time he had been removed from a meeting on that day, after he was previously kicked out of the Planning and Environment Committee half an hour earlier.

What is her new podcast about?

Weaver was praised by her handling of the situation by social media users after the extraordinary footage went viral.

Someone even designed T-shirts with the slogan: “You have no authority here Jackie Weaver.”

The “Zoom queen” has now launched a new podcast called Jackie Weaver Has the Authority, which will see her and a famous friend answer the public’s agony aunt questions.

It began on 18 May, with Weaver joined by famous personalities like Anton Du Beke, Jay Rayner and Jeremy Vine.

They will tackle issues important to listeners, from: “Is a holiday in the UK a staycation or a holiday?” to “Do dentists go to other dentists or do they do it themselves?”

You can listen and subscribe to the podcast here.