Saturday 24 June 2017

Michael family return to Gogglebox after Ukip election failure

Andrew Michael, his wife Carolyne and children Louis and Alex will return to Gogglebox on Channel 4
Andrew Michael, his wife Carolyne and children Louis and Alex will return to Gogglebox on Channel 4
Sandra Martin and Sandy Channer accept the award for Best Factual Programme for Gogglebox at the 2015 National Television Awards at London's O2 Arena

Channel 4 hit Gogglebox will regain one of its families when the new sixth series kicks off.

Andrew Michael, his wife Carolyne and children Louis and Alex return to the popular TV show about families watching television after he failed to win the Hastings and Rye seat for Ukip in the general election.

Mr Michael told the Radio Times: "Having seen 13 families in their natural habitat, you have an insight into British society in its multifarious colours."

When the family was dropped in December 2014, a Channel 4 spokesman said: "Sadly any Gogglebox cast member who becomes a candidate for a political party will have to step down from their involvement in Gogglebox."

The show also lost the Gilbey family in August last year after son George signed up for Celebrity Big Brother.

The programme began with a modest four-episode run in March 2013 and drew around 1.2 million viewers, but word of mouth about the bawdiness of "posh couple" Steph and Dom Parker, the junk food-eating habits of south London's Sandy Channer and Sandra Martin, and the affectionate bickering of pensioners Leon and June Bernicoff boosted the ratings and made the participants stars without having to leave their sofas.

Gogglebox is not faked or scripted.

"I never liked Carol Vorderman. She never turned me on," says 80-year-old Mr Bernicoff while his wife looks on exasperated.

The show has a simple format, but is demanding to make: two remote cameras in each living room (one fixed, one roaming for close-ups); one temporary control room set up in an adjoining room of each house for two evenings a week; editing on Tuesday; final cut to Channel 4 on Thursday; transmission on a Friday.

Gogglebox viewers have remained glued to the show despite the occasional family axings and it is now Channel 4's number one-rated programme, with consolidated viewing figures nearing 5 million for series five.

:: The new series of Gogglebox starts on Channel 4 at 9pm on Friday September 11.

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