What it’s really like to be part of Gogglebox – from hidden camera teams to free takeaways

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As the work week draws to a close on a Friday night, it has become a household tradition across the country to tune into Glasses box to see what our favorite TV armchair reviewers have to say about TV of the week.

But have you ever wondered what it’s like to be part of Channel 4’s hit series and what happens when the cameras aren’t rolling?

Since taking the television world by storm in 2013, the iconic show has presented us with a slew of families from across the country as they react to emotional, hilarious, or sometimes downright bizarre shows that have graced our screens.

Throughout the series, the creators of Gogglebox have teased many behind-the-scenes secrets, from camera setups to how families were tracked down and propelled to stardom. Here we look at some of the biggest reveals…



Sibling duo Jane and Simon Minty are Channel 4’s Gogglebox favorites



Sisters Ellie and Izzi are also popular staples on the quirky Channel 4 show.
Sisters Ellie and Izzi are also popular staples on the quirky Channel 4 show.

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How long does a typical episode take to film?

Contrary to popular belief, most of Gogglebox’s filming takes place over two days rather than an entire week, with the production company accommodating working around busy family schedules to accommodate any work or family commitments. child care.

In total, each episode takes around eight to twelve hours to shoot, which is normally split into two six-hour shifts for the ultimate TV binge.

Once filming is complete, the raw footage is sent to the editing team, who work to put everything back together to make the show we all know and love every week.



Lee and Jenny lived together during lockdown so they could continue filming Gogglebox
Lee and Jenny even lived together during lockdown so they could keep filming Gogglebox

Where are the cameras placed during filming?

During the filming of each episode, only two cameras are actually used, one for the wide-angle shot and one for any close-ups. This minimal setup means participating families don’t have to turn their front room into an obstacle course of wires and gadgets.

In addition to the cameras, the producers also set up a mini-gallery elsewhere in the house, which can be a bedroom or a kitchen, and from there they can control the filming of the show.

So every week, in addition to the families you see on screen, there is also a small team of four people present to film each family.

The show’s co-creator, Tania Alexander, previously revealed in a interview with Vice : “We set up a mini gallery, which is installed in a kitchen or a bedroom.”



Pete Sandiford and his sister Sophie regularly make viewers laugh with their hilarious takes on the latest shows.
Pete Sandiford and his sister Sophie regularly make viewers laugh with their hilarious takes on the latest shows.

She continued, “There’s a small crew on the ground – a producer, a cameraman, a sound engineer and a recorder – and those four people are squeezed into the room available for the whole shoot.”

“It’s like a mini television studio. There is never anyone in the room with the families. For show, we mostly stick to wide angle, but close-up is often used to capture an eye roll or facial expression that we’ll use in the edit for comedy punctuation.

How does the audition process work?

Until recently, Gogglebox’s entire casting process was shrouded in mystery, with the show looking for its own on-screen personalities rather than inviting people to apply.

In an interview with Radio Times in 2015, Stephen Lambert, the show’s creator said, “We’re not currently casting and there’s no way to apply to be on Gogglebox.”

He continued, “Everyone on Gogglebox was found and persuaded to be on the show.”

“I think that’s the key to why they’re likeable and why the show works, because we get to know these people. We’ve never advertised people on Gogglebox.



Dave and Shirley joined Gogglebox in 2015
Dave and Shirley joined Gogglebox in 2015



Stephen Webb and husband Daniel Lustig regularly entertain viewers with their witty commentary
Stephen Webb and husband Daniel Lustig regularly entertain viewers with their witty commentary

However, in an unexpected twist, earlier this year Gogglebox producer Erica Von Stein shared a casting call for the show on Instagram, with the team hoping to recruit more Northern families for the series.

She wrote: “Looking for fun families in the NORTH of England for C4’s new Gogglebox series.

“Leave a comment below if this sounds like you and feel free to tag anyone who would be perfect.”

How much do contributors earn for participating in the show?

Each family that participates in Gogglebox is paid for their time, with latest estimates of what they earn being around £1,500 a month, although this has not been officially confirmed.

This fee is per household, with the family members themselves deciding how to distribute it.

In addition, each week, families can treat themselves to a takeaway meal of their choice to enjoy while filming.



Mica and Marcus have been on Gogglebox since 2018
Mica and Marcus have been on Gogglebox since 2018

Is this a full time commitment?

While watching TV on a daily basis seems like the ultimate dream for many, that’s not the case for Gogglebox. With filming typically only taking place over two days, many Gogglebox stars also have full-time jobs outside of their on-screen roles.

Memorable participants include Ellie Warner, who works as a hairdresser in Leeds, while her sister Izzi swapped her role as a nail technician to become a mortgage broker last year.

Tom Malone is another memorable contributor who also works as a truck driver when not on the show, while his wife Julie also works as a receptionist.

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