A programme where we watch other people watch TV. Surely that can’t rake in over 2 million viewers?
A programme where we watch other people watch TV. Surely that can’t rake in over 2 million viewers? Well it most certainly can as according to The Guardian that’s how many of us tune in weekly to Channel 4’s Gogglebox. The producers worked wonders to turn the programme’s mundane sounding description into an enormous hit attracting viewers of all ages and backgrounds.
But the main question is this. Why is it so popular? There is no gripping storyline or cliffhanger at the end of each episode yet we are all still left wanting more.
A diverse set of personalities
Due to the total diversity of couples, friends and families we see on Gogglebox commenting on the previous week’s TV shows, it’s easy to relate to at least one of the eccentric, or not so in voiceless Jay’s case, personalities.
Whether you see parts of yourself in posh alcohol lovers Stephanie and Dominic from Kent or if you’re loud and proud like 13 year old Amy from North London it’s enlightening and so comical nonetheless to hear how such a wide range of views can stem from just one TV programme.
We are given an insight into such a large range of TV shows too, from BBC News to Embarrassing Bodies to various documentaries which ensure that the show is as up to date as possible with current affairs and TV programmes that the audience are most likely to have watched that week too.
Much of the cast also hold a fairly large presence on Twitter allowing us to read their comments on themselves commenting on TV programmes. (Confused yet?!)
Claims say the show is scripted
However, social media surrounding this show has also had a rather negative impact. Last month an anonymous insider of the show revealed to The Daily Star that most of the episodes are scripted, the stars are told how to react to some of the TV shows and that the whole episode is filmed in one night with the cast changing clothes, food and drink at regular intervals.
This statement sparked a lot of controversy amongst Twitter users and fans of the show and the producers were quick to deny these claims, saying: “We film them watching live television and some that has been recorded. The production team do not influence the comments. The reactions are genuine.”
Despite the rumours, the show is still a great success with its millions of viewers and its latest BAFTA nomination in the Reality and Constructed Factual category and also for the Radio Times Audience Award.
Posh Kent couple Steph and Dom have also been offered their own spin off show and according to Metro, Channel 4 bosses are also keen to offer new opportunities to best friends Sandy and Sandra from Brixton, pensioners Leon and June from Liverpool and Gay Brightonian friends Chris and Stephen.
Perhaps the ending of this Gogglebox series may not mean that this will be the last we see of some of its most entertaining stars.
I doubt I’m alone in saying that Channel 4 truly deserve a pat on the back for Gogglebox and its laugh out loud yet heart-warming contribution to Friday night British TV.
Catch Gogglebox every Friday at 9pm on Channel 4, and have your say on Gogglebox in the comments section below.