Strictly’s Zara McDermott’s government job briefing PM before Love Island fame

Sam Thompson and Zara McDermott get competitive

Zara McDermott once had a job involving government policy before her Love Island fame, in which she boasted that she “made the laws” and briefed the Prime Minister.

The Strictly Come Dancing 2023 star’s Instagram page at the time had consisted of plenty of glamorous bikini shots, interspersed with snaps like a 2016 selfie from 10 Downing Street in which she explained: “Office for the day. My job is better than yours.”

Once described as a “rising star” in the civil service, she went on to take a “career break”, which led to her appearing in Love Island – and the rest is history.

Yet an early Instagram Stories Q&A saw the star make claims about exactly what her “fast-paced” government role was really like.

“I joined in 2015 and I [first] got put on a placement in the Department of Energy and Climate Change,” she shared.

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“I won’t go into the ins and outs and bore you, but essentially the department had climate changes to meet and there would be various strategies in order to do so.

“For example, coming up with schemes where people can claim funding for using renewable energy i.e. using solar panels. It sounds kinda boring, but I loved it!” she insisted.

Zara then had another role within government involving working on documents to be viewed by the likes of the Prime Minister.

“I loved working in briefings and correspondence because it meant that if the Prime Minister or any Minister were to be asked a question on our specific team area, my job would be to work with the experts and draft a brief with their expertise, get it signed off my bosses and then send up to the Minister’s Office,” she wrote.

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“It was super fast paced – sometimes the deadlines would be only one hour, so I’d be running around the office speaking to as many policy officials as I could and pulling the briefs together.”

Zara added that she thrived on working in “high pressure environments” – and was equally enthusiastic about attending the Prime Minister’s debate in the House of Commons afterwards.

That gave her the opportunity to watch him “read through and refer to the brief that I’d been a part of creating”.

After taking a career break, Zara went on to become a familiar face in TV, appearing in Love Island, Made in Chelsea and even the celebrity edition of X Factor.

When she hit the Love Island villa in Majorca and was quizzed on whether she actually made the laws, she replied: “Yeah, in essence.”

However, all of that has since taken a backseat to her career in television, with the star – who also makes documentaries for BBC Three – boasting 1.7 million followers.

One post from earlier this year revealed that she would be working with Kate Middleton on her new campaign, Shaping Us, focusing on children’s development in the first five years of life.

From singing to reality shows to working for the Prime Minister and with royalty, Zara’s CV has been incredibly varied – and she will now get the chance to add to that further when she hits the dancefloor for the first time next month.

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