Gogglebox casting process explained – including weirdest ways people were found
For many of us, being paid just for sitting around and watching TV in the comfort of our living room sounds like the perfect vocation.
That’s probably why there’s always so much interest in how Channel 4’s producers recruit cast members for its hit show, Gogglebox, which has turned a bunch of ordinary telly viewers into household names.
No doubt many viewers think they’ve got what it takes to be a Gogglebox star. But the competition is intense – and the show’s producers aren’t looking for just anyone.
In fact, they’re very particular about the kind of people they want for Gogglebox. But how do you get on the programme – and how were its cast members scouted?
How do you get on Gogglebox?
If you want to get on Gogglebox, the chances are that you’re going to have to wait for the producers to come to you – rather than the other way around.
There isn’t an official application process as such. For years, it was thought that Gogglebox scouts quietly went around the UK keeping an eye out for potential cast members.
Stephen Lambert, who created the show, said in 2015: “Everybody on Gogglebox has been found and persuaded to be on the show and I think that's the key to why they are likeable and why the show works, because we get to know these people.”
Despite this, last year a Gogglebox producer took to Instagram and issued a casting call, urging “funny families” from northern England to put themselves forward for the programme.
Victoria Ray, executive producer of Gogglebox, told the Star last year what the show’s makers were looking for from potential new recruits.
“We pick people who don’t want to be on telly. The ideal people are ones who don’t know that they’re funny,” she explained.
“We like people who are charismatic, engaging and who don’t necessarily see themselves as TV personalities.”
How are Gogglebox cast members scouted?
It’s believed that Gogglebox cast members are first scouted and then hand-picked by the programme’s producers if they’re thought to be a good fit.
Gogglebox stars have been unearthed in some unlikely places over the years.
Leon Bernicoff, a much-loved Gogglebox fan favourite who starred in the show with wife June until his death in 2017, first got chatting to producers while at his local bridge club in Liverpool.
Stephen Webb and former on-screen partner Chris Ashby-Steed were spotted by researchers at the hairdressers where they both worked. Stephen now appears on Gogglebox alongside husband Daniel Lustig-Webb.
Manchester family the Malones joined the show after being approached at the dance junior where mum Julie worked on reception and son Tom Jr taught.
Siblings Pete and Sophie Sandiford were recruited by Gogglebox producers after starring in an ad campaign for telecoms firm TalkTalk.
Gogglebox cast members are reportedly given a monthly allowance of £1,500 by the programme’s makers, as well as a takeaway of their choice during filming.
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