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Watching people watch television sounds more boring than waiting for a doctor's appointment – but in recent years, millions of Brits have done just that.
We've eagerly tuned in to Gogglebox, which has become one of Channel 4’s landmark shows and even taken home a BAFTA. The show has enjoyed eight years, 17 seasons, two celebrity spin-offs and bosses have even let children have their turn on the sofa.
For one hour, it’s not about being jealous of glamorous people’s lives and there is a very slim chance of experiencing FOMO (fear of missing out) as the Gogglebox gang are the mirror image of us viewers. You’re not about to get glued to any drama either and you’re definitely aren’t going to witness any arguments (well, apart from Jenny and Lee's hilarious sniping).
Instead the 60 minutes are filled with siblings enjoying a cup of tea, a couple lightly bickering over the pronunciation of a word, or friends discussing Line of Duty theories. When I take my pew on the sofa at 9pm every Friday I know that absolutely nothing is going to happen. Instead of running away in fear of something so mundane, I bathe in the great comfort that its simplicity provides and take joy in how much the cast clearly enjoy being around each other. It’s like a warm hug, being inside on a rainy day or getting an ‘I love you’ text from your mum.
The pandemic has meant that the world got turned on its head but in the Gogglebox world basically nothing changed, and I personally couldn’t be more grateful for that fact. So in celebration of our love for the TV show we’re honouring our current favourite coach potatoes and their best moments…
Jenny and Lee
Background: The pair film from Lee’s caravan in Hull, and originally met when Jenny was a landlady at a pub while Lee was a regular customer.
Why we love them: Lee’s sarcasm at Jenny’s quips.
Their best moment: While watching Line of Duty, Jenny dutifully kept notes on her theories as to who H was. She provided much hilarity when she mixed them up with her shopping list saying, “I've got Hastings is bent … What does that say? Cat litter?” Lee accidentally eating Jenny’s face mask with his crisps thinking it was a dip is a close second.
Pete and Sophie Sandiford
Background: Sophie has become a florist after recently being made redundant from Debenhams, while Pete has a job in insurance. Blackpool-based Pete is currently preparing to become a dad for the first time with fiancée Paige Yeomans. What you might not know is they also have two more siblings – Harry and Lucy and their uncles are the Chuckle Brothers.
Why we love them: Siblings don’t come better than these two. Their close bond and comedic timing is everything. We also enjoy their giant mug collection, which includes a doughnut, a Volkswagon campervan, a shark, a burger, an alien, a beer drum, a robot, a rainbow and a turtle.
Their best moment: It's not just their commentary at the TV that has us laughing – we also enjoyed when they forgot to put the lid on the popcorn machine and it popped off all around the room, and when Pete asked Sophie if she'd call their mum after spotting a spider.
Stephen Webb and Daniel Lustig
Background: The hairdressing couple got married in France in 2018, and live together in Brighton.
Why we love them: The behind the scenes info on being hairdressers, and their rapport.
Their best moment: It’s got to be before Daniel was even on the scene. Stephen was recording the show with then-boyfriend Chris who remarked, “We all like a bad boy though don’t we?” while watching Homeland. "Yeah, not a f***ing terrorist though Chris,” responded Stephen. The moment has sparked many memes.
Amira and Amani Rota
Background: The North London sisters keep things pretty private, but we do know Amira is a recent university graduate. She is also a BTS superfan, which she has stated proudly in her social media bio.
Why we love them: Their infectious laughs, and their over the top facial expressions.
Their best moments: When Jamie Oliver described his ingredients as “flexible” on Jamie: Keep Cooking and Carry On, Amira said, “They are going to be really flexible, they will move about, they’ll be ingredients shifting here and there,” while they both wiggled around the sofa.
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Ellie and Izzi Warner
Background: The Leeds sisters film at their mum’s house, where hairdresser Ellie still lives while she’s renovating a 1930s semi-detached house. Izzi lives around the corner with her boyfriend and two children.
Why we love them: Their constant chatter about food.
Their best moments: When Ellie discovered she’d put on four stone when stepping on the scaled instead of getting downbeat, she erupted into laughter along with Izzi. We love their attitude to life!
Giles Wood and Mary Killen
Background: The couple met aged 21 and have been pretty happy together ever since. Giles spends his time creating art, while Mary is an agony aunt for The Spectator.
Why we love them: Their unique sense of humour and marital squabbles. The fact they both call each other ‘Nutty’, which Mary explained is because “we both consider the other to be a bit mad.”
Their best moments: Giles described the now defunct and extremely dangerous Channel 4 show The Jump as “a way of exterminating minor celebrities.”
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