Where the original Gogglebox stars are now – feuds, forgotten faces and tragedy
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It's more than eight years since a plucky TV exec had the wild idea of throwing families and friends in front of the telly and filming their reactions to the week's hot topics.
It couldn't have been an easy sell, but the pitch turned out to be perfect and producers soon realised they had a huge hit on their hands.
Many of us now can't imagine life without Gogglebox, the Friday night Channel 4 treat which leaves viewers in fits of laughter.
But any long-running show is only ever as good as its originals.
The first batch of sofa stars got the programme off to a flying start, and it probably wouldn't still be running today if they didn't steal the show.
While some of the original families are still on the box, others have gone on to become famous in their own right.
Others have faded into obscurity, and as reported by the Liverpool Echo there has been tragedy along the way since it first hit screens back in March 2013.
Let's take a look at what happened to first front room favourites.
Stephen and Chris
The hilarious hairdressers were box office – but things turned very sour between the pair.
After one of the most hysterical moments in Gogglebox history, they fell out in a big way. "We all like a bad boy though, don't we," admitted Chris as he sat watching the TV.
As they were watching a hard-hitting programme, baffled Stephen replied: "Yeah, not a f***ing terrorist though Chris!"
The laughter soon stopped and they weren't seen on screen together again after series 10.
Chris vanished from screens after a planned TV project involving the pair fell through – and has since suffered from depression.
"There have been times where I’ve felt so low that I think, ‘How can I kill myself?’," he told the Sunday Mirror in March 2019.
Stephen Webb, who recently married his partner Daniel Lustig, is still on the show today.
The Tapper family were known for their brilliant one-liners – and their mucky white socks.
Mum Nikki, dad Jonathan and siblings Josh and Amy were firm favourites when the show started. The North Londoners are now off screen and we may not seen a return for some time.
Josh moved into politics and earned a place on the Government Communications Apprenticeship scheme.
“The option to go back is always there but I want to move away from that and the focus is now very much on my job,” he said last year.
Amy has gone on an incredible weight loss journey and has taken her TV chance on Celebs Go Dating.
But the coronavirus pandemic nearly had a devastating impact on the family as dad Jonathan was left fighting for his life.
Thankfully he made a full recovery and the family credited his recent weight loss to helping him fight the virus.
Steph and Dom
Gogglebox fans loved posh pair Steph and Dom Parker and would love to see them back.
Very rarely would they been without a glass of plonk in their hands and appeared to very much enjoy their nights in front of the box.
After four years on Gogglebox, the pair quit to go on to other projects and to continue running their bed and breakfast in Kent.
They also starred in reality TV shows such as Four In a Bed, Celebrity Masterchef and The Jump, which left Dom with suspected concussion after a nasty fall.
In March last year, the husband and wife duo revealed the sad news that they were shutting the doors to their £5million hotel after it went bust.
Dom said: "We are sorry to confirm that The Salutation Hotel Ltd, which has been managing The Salutation, has indeed become insolvent."
"We are in discussions with other interested parties and we aim to have the hotel back up and running very soon, under new management."
Leon and June
Without doubt the biggest heartbreak came with news of the passing of two reality TV greats.
Leon and June Bernicoff were everyone's favourite couple, with chemistry most people can only dream of.
With their adorable sense of humour, warmth and easy banter, they soon became national treasures.
But in 2017, it was announced Leon had died.
June, who understandably left Gogglebox straight after, passed away just three years later. It was sheer devastation for the show's fans.
Channel 4 and production company Studio Lambert issued a statement on behalf of her family, confirming the sad news.
"As the first couple to be cast for Gogglebox back in 2013, June and her husband Leon were a huge part of the programme's success," it read.
"Their warmth, wit and contrasting personalities endeared them to the nation during the course of the first 10 series.
"Following Leon's passing in December 2017, June wrote her first book, Leon And June: Our Story, which was a deeply moving and entertaining chronicle of their 60-year love affair.
"A remarkably independent, principled woman with a vivacious sense of humour and a huge passion for life, June will be dearly missed by the entire Gogglebox family, cast and crew."
The Michaels were one of the original families on the show when it first aired in 2013 – but said goodbye after four series.
Dad Andrew was always joined by wife Carolyne and two of their kids, daughter Alex and son Louis.
Other daughter Catheryne would later appear and confuse viewers with her similarity to Alex, while others son Pascal has not joined the family on the sofa yet.
But when Andrew revealed he was running as an MP for UKIP in the 2015 general election, a hard decision was made.
"It's with great regret that the Michaels are no longer in the show," said a Channel 4 spokesperson at the time.
"Sadly any Gogglebox cast member who becomes a candidate for a political party will have to step down from their involvement in Gogglebox.
"They have been excellent contributors to Gogglebox, and we are very grateful for all they have given to the show."
The Allen clan would always keep viewers entertained with their wit and banter.
They were made up of three sisters, Charlotte, Gemma and Louise, who all looked strikingly similar to each other.
The siblings, who lived in Essex, were all living at home with their parents when they starred on the show during series one and two.
Charlotte reportedly had a job in fashion when she started on the show, but they have all disappeared from the public eye since they left.
Sandi and Sandra
Sandra Bogle and Sandi Martin are the reason many fell in love with the show.
The iconic stars make Gogglebox viewers return week after week as they guzzled takeaways and gave us whacky hairstyles.
They were torn apart in 2016 when Sandi decided to quit the show, leaving Sandra to continue with her daughter Chanchez.
Now a famous face, Sandi took part in many reality TV shows, including Celebs On The Farm, Celebrity 100% Hotter and Celebrity Fat Fighters.
She also entered the Celebrity big Brother house in 2017 – where she was sixth to be evicted.
In 2016, she released her debut single "Casanova" on DeeVu Records and also has her own album, Independent Woman.
Sandra spoke about financial struggles on Loose Women a few years later.
As one of the original Gogglebox families, the Siddiquis were pioneers for the series when it started.
The Derby-based trio is made up of dad Side and brothers Baasit and Umar, but they have previously been joined by other brother Raza.
Retired engineer Sid, who moved from Pakistan aged 16, has been married for 37 years and also has two daughters, but none of the women of the family have appeared on the show.
IT teacher Baasit is a father-of-two, sharing daughter Amelia and son Theodore with his wife Melissa.
The family keep viewers entertainment with their blunt put downs – and don't miss a trick when political figures are on the box.
The quick-witted trio are still on the show today.
Gill Gibson and Helen Tait
This mother and daughter duo only appeared on the very first series of Gogglebox back in 2013.
Gill and Helen, who came from Maidstone, did not stay for another series.
They have never been back on TV and not much is known about what they are doing now.
- Channel 4
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