Meet Norwich YouTube star JaackMaate whose proposal was seen by 50,000 people
PUBLISHED: 13:30 28 December 2018 | UPDATED: 10:14 29 December 2018
Norwich-based YouTube star Jack Dean has plenty of reasons to celebrate this Christmas.
The vlogger, who uses the handle JaackMaate on social media, has seen his YouTube following grow from around 170,000 to just over 1,000,000 subscribers in the past year.
And this week he has reached another major milestone, after getting engaged to his long-term girlfriend on Christmas Day.
Mr Dean gave up a job at a Norwich restaurant four years ago to focus on making a living from his YouTube videos.
This month the 25-year-old saw his subscribers pass over the 1,000,000 mark. His follower numbers have seen a meteoric rise since last November, when a video he posted online about fellow YouTuber Zoella’s £50 advent calendar went viral.
“It all snowballed from there,” Mr Dean said. “It is the case with many YouTubers, they get one good hit then if they play the game they can do really well.
“I was 50/50 about whether or not to put up the video [about Zoella], but it went crazy.”
His proposal to long-term girlfriend Fiona South, 23, also began with an advent calendar. Each window hid a riddle, the answer for which was the location of the day’s present.
Mr Dean said: “On day 25, the riddle said to go back and read the first letter of all the answers, and it spelt out ‘Fiona South will you marry me’.
“When I first posted the advent calendar online at the start of December people said day 25 was going to be a ring and I was worried she’d guess, but I think it was a case of hiding in plain sight.”
Mr Dean said his engagement won’t stop him vlogging. He posts two videos a week to his YouTube channel and welcomes celebrity guests on the weekly JaackMaate Podcast.
He said one of his next uploads will be a compilation of hidden-camera footage from his fiancée’s advent calendar riddle-solving and present-hunting, due to go online before the new year.
Back in January Mr Dean, who lives in Costessey, caused a stir in JD Wetherspoon pub The Glasshouse in the city after he recorded a gathering there for his friend’s 25th birthday and asked subscribers to order food and drinks to their table.
Earlier in December, he ended up in a Twitter spat with singer Ellie Goulding after he criticised her performance on The X Factor final.