Did you watch The Traitors? If not, and you don’t want any spoilers, shut this article down now.
For those of you still here, let’s sit down with the wondrous winner that is Meryl Williams. And yes, she is just as much of a livewire as you’d expect.
The 25-year-old joined fellow Faithfuls Aaron Evans and Hannah Byczkowski in taking home the £101,050 cash prize from The Traitors, the show everyone was obsessed with at the end of last year.
Keen to embrace every opportunity that comes her way, it was a cryptic message on social media that led Meryl to take part in the show…
“I got messaged on Instagram and it was literally a picture of a castle and two people standing in cloaks and I was like ‘what is this?’. My mum always said to me ‘just apply, just say yes to everything, every opportunity that arises’.”
Meryl certainly did that and more. While others quickly formed a gameplan they hoped would see them to victory, Meryl threw herself into each day with enthusiasm and excitement, happy to just last another day! Not that certain fellow Faithfuls saw it like that… Ahem, Maddy!
Speaking about what it was like when she was accused of being a traitor, the Edinburgh-based contestant admitted: “I took it very personally. It’s hard not to. They have no evidence, and it feels like this person is personally attacking you. Yeah, it was definitely frustrating. I think I was going a bit cuckoo.”
They may have been conspiring against each other in the stunning Ardross Castle, on the banks of the River Alness (on my to-visit list now), but away from the show, friendships were formed, with many of the group enjoying nights out since.
Meryl also admitted she adored host Claudia Winkleman, saying: “She was like a mum figure to us all. She was presenting it, but she was so involved in the game as well.”
She also has the best fringe in the business, as an aside.
The pinnacle of The Traitors experience came for Meryl when she was announced as one of the winners.
“I’ve gone over it a million times in my head before going to bed. It was surreal. It’s amazing.”
And on the American version of the show, hosted by Alan Cumming, she said: “I did properly get into that one as well. Oh my god, they are all doing the sheep mentality which I was a part of. I hold my hands up. I didn’t even realise till I watched it back. I was like ‘Meryl, you’re a sheep!’.”
Self-deprecating and oozing with energy, you can’t help but smile when Meryl is around. She has the type of personality that belongs on stage or on screen, which is hopefully where she is headed.
“I would love to do presenting. It’s something that’s been a dream of mine since I was a young age.”
In the meantime, Meryl has built up quite the social media presence, sharing videos on TikTok which not only showcase her eye for fashion, but also highlight the difficulties people living with dwarfism face when it comes to finding stylish clothes in their size.
Thankfully for Meryl, she has a handy seamstress gran who helps, and has herself become a bit of a social star.
“I’ve been very fortunate that, from the age of four months, my gran has been altering my clothes. Because of my condition, I love fashion and it defines who I am. People have always wondered about my clothes but now they can see.”
And after quitting her call centre job, a fashion line could be another avenue for Meryl to explore.
“It’s definitely something I would love to do, and a high-heel range as well.
“I love to wear high heels, but I have to buy size one and they are £120/£150/£180, so I would love to do a high-heel range for people with my condition but make it affordable.
“I think as well with my condition, it’s making people more educated about it. I think a lot of the time we’re not on TV, we’re not really publicised in a positive light, so I think it’s showing this condition and that I can do everything the same as everyone else.”
What’s On Scotland is on STV and the STV Player at 7pm on Friday, February 24.
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