How Norfolk's YouTube sensation Tanya Burr caused chaos in London's Covent Garden
PUBLISHED: 12:46 31 May 2013 | UPDATED: 12:46 31 May 2013
You could be forgiven for assuming that One Direction or Beyoncé had been spotted in London's Covent Garden prompting crowds to gather in a bid to glimpse their idols.
But in fact, the masses had come together to meet Norfolk’s YouTube star, make-up artist Tanya Burr, who had arranged an impromptu get-together in the capital on Wednesday.
Such were the numbers of devoted fans that arrived to meet Tanya, 22, whose online make-up tutorials attract more than two million visitors each month, that the gathering had to be abruptly cancelled amid fears that people in the crowd could be crushed.
Tanya had posted details of her ‘meet-up’ on her blog at www.tanyaburr.co.uk and on Twitter, saying: “Meeting you guys is one of my favourite things to do, I feel like I’m chatting to an old friend and I always come away from meet-ups feeling so happy!”
She then included details of the meet, at Covent Garden from 4pm to 5.30pm on Wednesday, little realising that so many fans would turn up to meet the former Notre Dame sixth-form pupil.
“It was really crazy,” said Tanya, who lives in Norfolk but has been working with major cosmetic brands in London in addition to creating her video tutorials.
“I’ve had meet-ups before and nowhere near as many people have turned up.
“I haven’t met my subscribers since last summer and thought it’d be nice to meet them – I’ve got a really good relationship with them and I thought that about 50 to 100 people might come along.
“When I turned up at Covent Garden, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing: there were thousands of people there! I was so flattered and amazed that people had come to meet me but it quickly became clear that we’d have to cut the meeting short because it was getting out of hand.
“The crowd was so large, I was unprepared and I was worried that people might start getting hurt or crushed, so we stopped after about 25 minutes.
“I was so sad that people who came to see me didn’t get the chance to have a chat because I appreciate the effort they’d made and didn’t want them to go away without me saying hello. I’ll definitely organise something else soon – somewhere a bit bigger!”
Since her school days, Tanya has been building a huge online following – she now has more than 800,000 subscribers for her YouTube channel where she demonstrates basic and complex make-up techniques and 200,000 followers on social media platform, Twitter.
After sixth form, she completed a make-up artist course and began her career on a beauty counter in Jarrold’s, simultaneously recording videos for YouTube showing people how to recreate celebrity make-up looks in step-by-step tutorials.
After two-and-a-half years working in the city centre, Tanya left her job to concentrate on the growing success of her blog and tutorials, which have led to work with major beauty brands and a host of appearances in the media.
“It’s been a mad couple of months and I’ve got lots more planned,” she said. “I’m going away for a break for a couple of days but after that I’m so busy. I absolutely love what I’m doing and the fact that so many people enjoy it too is really overwhelming.”
Tanya also offered beauty buffs her tips for summer must-have make-up: “I think orange lipstick is the colour for this season – you get it on and it’s like summer has arrived: I wear Clinique’s Chubby Stick in Heftiest Hibiscus, which is really wearable.
“And neon and pastel nail varnishes are great for summer, too. But if you don’t feel daring, coral lipstick is an easy way to bring a bit of sunshine to your make-up.”
Follow Tanya on Twitter @tanyaburr.