Gogglebox: 20 things you didn’t know about the hit show

The Gogglebox families are as dear to us as our own, but how much do you know about the show?

Giles and Mary

by Kayleigh Dray |

Whoever thought up the idea of creating a television programme comprised entirely of watching families watching television, is quite frankly a genius in our eyes.

Channel 4's Gogglebox has been going strong for eight glorious years and our favourite 'boxers are basically part of our extended family now. We've watched the Tapper and the Michael kids blossom, the Siddiqui family grow with the arrival of Baasit's children Amelia and Theodore, and even said goodbye to original favourites Leon and June who have sadly passed away.

Despite it's legions (we don't use that term lightly – Gogglebox has around 4 MILLION weekly viewers) of fans, there's still a lot we don't know about what goes on behind the scenes of the hit show.

Do the Goggleboxers get paid? Can you apply to appear on the show? Where are the rest of the families who star on Gogglebox? And who pays for all of those delicious snacks?

CHECK OUT 20 things you didn't know about Gogglebox 2021

Gallery

Gogglebox: 20 things you didn't know about the hit show - STACKED

The Moffatt family on Gogglebox
1 of 20

Gogglebox creator Stephen Lambert has revealed that they DIDN'T have anyone audition to be on Gogglebox; in fact, they had to persuade the majority of their families to be on the show."Everybody on Gogglebox has been found and persuaded to be on the show and I think that's the key to why they are likeable and why the show works, because we get to know these people," he explained to Radio Times."We've never advertised for people on Gogglebox."

The Tapper family gogglebox
2 of 20

u2026 and they are: Stephen Webb (who originally appeared alongside Chris Butland-Steed) and the Siddiquis. The Tappers (pictured) made it up to 11 series, but were temporarily axed when Amy joined the cast of Celebs Go Dating, due to producer's 'no celeb' rules (Scarlett Moffatt, George Gilbey and Sandra Martin also lost their spots due to their star status).

June and Leon on Gogglebox
3 of 20

Gogglebox creators Stephen Lambert and Tania Alexander went to a bridge club to do a "street casting" for the show, and that's where they found two opinionated retired teachers. Aka our beloved Leon and June, who passed away in 2017 and 2020 respectively.Speaking about being selected for the show, Leon said: "We were among the first to sign up for it. Two pretty girls from the production company came into the bridge club and it started there."I've enjoyed all the coverage. It is fantastic how it has taken off. We cannot move in Liverpool for people taking photos."

Gogglebox Stephen Chris
4 of 20

Yup, producers also popped into a hairdressers and asked if anyone would like to be on telly. Unsurprisingly, Chris - who worked at the salon - was up for it, and up until series 10 we were treated to his and Stephen's witty observations.After series 10 finished in 2017, Chris revealed that he had quit the show to "pursue other opportunities", but Stephen has continued on the show with his husband Daniel Lustig.

Reverend Kate Bottley
5 of 20

Oh yes.Kate was officiating a wedding back in 2013 when she led a Flash mob in the aisles to the strains of Nineties hit "Everybody Dance Now".The video went viral - and it wasn't long before the Gogglebox creators were knocking on Kate's door.Speaking about her decision to appear in the show, Kate told The Telegraph: "I thought it was an opportunity to show that vicars are just normal people."

Giles and Mary Gogglebox
6 of 20

"A friend of a friend recommended [them] and then I think I got [producer] Lucy Whelan to call to see if they were interested," Tania Alexander explained to Radio Times. "Lucy came off the phone and said Giles is quite keen, Mary's not a pushover – we've got a bit of a battle on our hands there."The couple were eventually persuaded to join the cast after taking part in a fun 'taster' session.

The Siddiqui family Gogglebox
7 of 20

Giles and Mary aren't the only contributors who came recommended; the Siddiqui family were also suggested to the show's creators - and they obviously impressed them, as they've starred in each and every single series of the show!

Gogglebox family George
8 of 20

Gogglebox creators start shooting on a Friday and film throughout the week, but they spend the first four days assessing and cutting material; in fact, about 99.9% of what is recorded is cut from the final product.After working out which material they're going to use, the show's creators begin piecing the episode together just three days before the show airs, working through Tuesday afternoon, all day Wednesday, and throughout Wednesday night.On Thursday afternoon, they finalise the episode and have Craig Cash do the voiceover - and boom, the episode is made.

Steph and Dom Gogglebox
9 of 20

The majority of filming is planned around the people you see in the show, as a lot of them have full-time jobs and families to look after.They usually are expected to do at least eight hours of filming - split across two days.

Gogglebox family
10 of 20

It keeps things feeling more authentic to have the cameramen in another room during filming. That's why Gogglebox is filmed using two remote cameras known as "hot heads", with the TV crew controlling them from somewhere else in the house (such as the spare room or kitchen).

Gogglebox family
11 of 20

Yes, Gogglebox stars ARE paid to appear on the show - nobody knows how much they get, as it's one of the show's best-kept secrets. Some sites have reported that cast members receive "a small contribution to their expenses" of about £15, while The Sun has said they're given a £1,500 monthly family allowance - which explains why they always have such good telly snacks!

Moffatt family Goggelbox
12 of 20

That's right; the Moffatt family also have a younger daughter, Ava, who rarely appeared on the show because filming usually took place after her bedtime.

The Siddiqui
13 of 20

That's eight; Sid has a wife and two daughters, but they didn't want to appear on the show. Instead we just have him and his two sons - but, every so often, one of his grandchildren will pop up for a special appearance.

Steph and Dom Gogglebox family
14 of 20

Speaking with Times magazine, the pair explained that, when their eldest son, Max (now 18), was four months old, they noticed that he was making "little jerky movements".Steph recalled: "We took a video of him and showed it to the GP, who immediately referred us to the paediatric consultant at the local hospital who said, 'I think we have a problem and I need you to come in first thing Monday morning. Bring a bag.'"It soon transpired that Max has autism and epilepsy, changing the family's lives forever.The teenager now spends term time in a special residential school, but, in the holidays, he spends his time with his doting mum and dad, as well as his younger sister, Honor.Steph said: "We drink socially to enjoy ourselves, but when the kids are at home, it is family time."They are the most important people to us in the world."

Moffatt family Gogglebox
15 of 20

The no-nonsense Durham lass was a disability advisor for students - and, as if that weren't impressive enough, she's also a trained ballroom dancer. Since leaving Gogglebox, Scarlett has gone on to star in I'm A Celebrity and has presented on Streetmate, Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway and Radio 1.So take that Twitter trolls!

The Tapper family
16 of 20

Channel 4 had initially considered Nikki for another programme, Jewish Mum Of The Year."I'd just recovered from breast cancer and my mum nominated me," Nikki explained to The Sunday Post."But I ended up not going on it – actually Jonathan didn't want me to do it."The researcher, who came round and met the kids, must have kept my number and phoned out of the blue saying she was helping out with this small four-week programme."Yup, Gogglebox.However they almost didn't appear, as she explained: "I didn't understand how it would be done and I didn't think Jonathan would have any interest in being on TV."

The Malones
17 of 20

The family were approached at a dance school called Studio 25 to appear on the Channel 4 programme, where Tom Jr teaches and Julie helps out on reception."Tom Senior said no," the mum explained to Manchester Evening News. "We explained about the rottweilers and the staffie but they still wanted us."They came over and had a chat, and took a video of us chatting. Three weeks later someone rang and said we like you, and Tom changed his mind."We're so glad they changed their minds, because it's not just the human members of the Malone family we love; the family had FIVE dogs who often appear on the show, named Dave, Lucy, Frankie, Izzie and Joe. In May 2018, the Malone family posted a heartbreaking tribute after their beloved dog Frank passed away.

Gogglebox
18 of 20

A whistleblower came out in 2014 to claim that the show was a "fix", with producers passing jokes to the sofa stars and reshooting scenes to make them funnier.They told The Star: "Sometimes we are told: 'Louis Walsh is going to say something shocking on X Factor so we want you to react to that.'"If you can't think of anything, the producers come up with a joke. If you fluff it they film it again."However the banter is REAL, a Channel 4 spokesman later revealed, saying: "The Gogglebox cast are filmed for two to three nights per week. We film them watching live television and some that has been recorded."The production team do not influence the comments. The reactions are genuine."

Gogglebox
19 of 20

Yes, the USA does have its own version of Gogglebox - and they're not the only other country to get in on the action. In fact, there have been a whopping FIFTEEN international versions of Gogglebox - think the USA, Australia, Canada, China, Ukraine, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, Israel, Germany, Finland, Norway, Belgium, and France.

Gogglebox
20 of 20

That's right; there are no application forms or auditions - it's all been organised so that the show only has ordinary, no-nonsense people on their screens.But, you know, there's no harm in trying.

Jenny and Lee
©Channel 4

How do you apply to be on Gogglebox?

So, at the mo, it's unknown whether or not Studio Lambert (the production company for Gogglebox) are looking for newbies. But, what we do know is that every series there is at least two newbies introduced to us.

Past Goggleboxers have been told the best way to get in contact is by emailing: applyforgogglebox@studiolambert.com

What are Studio Lambert looking for?

Studio Lambert look for entertaining viewers with "strong and entertaining" opinions about TV shows.

WATCH What happens backstage on This Morning? The cast reveal ALL

READ MORE TV news

What ever happened to the Love Islanders of series one?

Alison Hammond's career timeline: from Big Brother to the big time

Axed Real Housewives of Cheshire cast - where they are now?

Needless to say, a winning TV formula that's cheap and easy to produce and yields MEGA viewing figures has generated it's own fair share of spin offs.

Gogglesprogs ran for two series in 2016 and 2017, showing us just what kids thought of current affairs and reality TV – with some surprising nuggets of wisdom that could rival the grown 'boxers.

Vlogglebox rounded up some of the younger cast and some new faces for their take on the biggest viral content and online videos of the week from their laptops, phones and portable devices.

And every year, some choice celebs get involved in Stand Up To Cancer's Celebrity Gogglebox special, with names like Liam Gallagher, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson, and Danny and Dani Dyer all giving their armchair critiques for charity.

There have also been international versions of Gogglebox in countries including Australia, Ireland, Poland, South Africa and America.

Oh, and we can't forget Dogglebox. Yes, really.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us