‘I had enough’: Gogglebox stars and staff are speaking out about treatment on the show
One has made bullying claims and said it forced them to leave the series
People from the cast and staff of Channel 4 series Gogglebox are speaking out regarding their treatment on the show. There have been claims of bullying which are said to have forced one cast member to leave the show for good, whilst others have commented on a lack of aftercare for those who appear in the cast. Staff have also come forward and said their working conditions are “inhumane” and they are forced to work long hours to make sure the show is ready on time.
Last week, Paige Deville, who appears on the show alongside her mother Sally, announced on Twitter she was leaving the series. She complained of bad treatment, saying there was long hours of filming, restrictiveness and controlling lifestyle conditions and said Gogglebox offers “zero aftercare” for its cast.
‘It isn’t as glamorous as you think, I just don’t think it’s worth it anymore’
Speaking to BirminghamLive, Paige revealed the full reason for her quitting was because of an “irreversible” feud with her mother. She added: “I had really had enough of filming. I work long hours running my recruitment business and all the filming was becoming too much. Filming is long. You would start at 3.30pm and finish at 12.30am and be paid £100 each per filming session.
“Filming is tough. You would stop to go to the toilet but other than that you wouldn’t have a break. You would eat while filming. At one point my mum had her arm around me for four hours and they didn’t want her to move her arm. It isn’t as glamorous as you might think. It is very hard work.”
She continued: “I felt I didn’t really have any support after the split with my mum. They sent me a number to speak to a therapist. But I didn’t feel like there was much after care support.
“The people on Gogglebox don’t start out as stars. I was scouted after being spotted at the hairdressers I use. I wasn’t a star like other reality TV stars who build up a name. You are thrown into the lion’s den being exposed to trolls on Twitter. They take over your life. I bought a car and Gogglebox contacted me to say I need to make it clear the purchase wasn’t endorsed by them. Your life is controlled somewhat by them.
“You are treated like a celebrity but you are not paid celebrity wages. I go shopping at 10pm at night because if I go in the day I get hassled by Gogglebox fans. I just don’t think it’s worth it anymore.”
‘I was left to deal with Chris’s shattered mental health’
The husband of ex-Gogglebox cast member, Chris Ashby-Steed, who appeared on his sofa next to former boyfriend Stephen Webb, has accused the bosses of the Channel 4 series of allowing him to be bullied, and forcing him off the show. Chris and Stephen signed up to the show in 2013 and appeared on the sofa together from the very first series. The couple split, but initially agreed to continue to do the show as friends. Chris then said they had a bitter fallout, which left him feeling suicidal.
Chris said Gogglebox producers agreed to let both himself and Stephen appear with new partners on the show, however, they weren’t happy with Chris’ suggestion for his new partner and told him that it “wasn’t going to work”. Chris then announced his departure from the show in February 2018.
Following the departure of Brummie pairing Paige and Sally, Chris’ partner Toby tweeted his support for Paige. He claims show producers “stood by and watched Stephen bully my husband Chris”. He goes on to say Chris was left “devastated” and wasn’t contacted after he was “forced off” the show.
“Our hearts go out to you @Paige_deville. The studio stood by and watched Stephen bully my husband Chris off the show and did nothing to stop him.” he began. In the Twitter thread, he describes Chris’ “shattered mental health” and tells Paige: “You’re better off away from it”.
Staff are ‘screamed at for 12 hours a day’
It’s not just the cast of Gogglebox who are speaking out about treatment, staff on the show have also raised their concerns. In January, Gogglebox production staff alleged they were “screamed at for 12 hours a day” and expected to work without breaks. One claimed the working conditions are “inhumane” and were told not to disrupt filming by going into Covid self-isolation.
At the time of the staff complaints, a Channel 4 spokesperson said: “Channel 4 has a clear code of conduct which sets out the standards of behaviour it expects from its suppliers and production partners. We can’t comment on anonymous allegations and rumours, but we are satisfied Studio Lambert is taking appropriate action to ensure the welfare of its teams and to enforce appropriate standards of behaviour across the shows it makes for us.”
The Tab has reached out to Channel 4 for comment.