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Original Gogglebox families now – tragic deaths, bitter feuds and disappearing

Way back in 2013, many people laughed at the concept of viewing normal members of the public sit on their sofas watching TV.

At first it seemed like a strange concept that would never take off, but Gogglebox immediately became one of the nation’s favourite shows.

Over the years we have seen a number of ordinary people become stars thanks to their infectious personalities, witty one lines and scathing remarks.

Viewers have laughed, cried and had their hearts melted over the years when watching the BAFTA and National Television Award-winning show.

A whole host of families have featured across 17 series, with the 18th starting tonight on Channel 4, but what happened to the original cast?

Some of those brave first families are still on the show, others left after finding fame and sadly some departed after tragedy.

Here is a look at what happened to the stars of the first ever series of Gogglebox.

The Allen sisters

The Allen sisters were in the first two series of Gogglebox

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Remember the Allen girls?

Gogglebox fans loved tuning in to watching their antics during the first two series.

They were made up of three sisters, Charlotte, Gemma and Louise, who all looked strikingly similar to each other and had us guessing who was who.

The siblings, who are from 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 programme, but they have all disappeared from the public eye since they left.

We hope they are still making hilarious comments while watching the telly.

Stephen and Chris

Stephen and Chris were the standout original stars


Channel 4)

Hairdressing duo Stephen Webb and Christoper Steed had us in stitches every week.

With their sarcastic one-liners and hilarious gags, the close pals became firm favourites and were responsible for one of the most iconic moments in TV history.

“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. There’s a bad boy and then there’s evil.”

Chris and Stephen, who previously dated before the show but remained close friends, seemed as close as ever on air during 10 series together.

However, behind-the-scenes the pair were secretly locked in a bitter feud – with a series of off-screen rows destroying their friendship.

“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.

Chris vanished from screens after a planned TV project involving the pair fell through – and has since suffered from depression.

He claimed the duo had planned to take some time away from Gogglebox to take part in a new venture and blamed Stephen for it never getting off the ground.

Chris no longer takes part in the show


Publicity Picture)

According to Chris, Gogglebox bosses then offered them their place on the show back – but Stephen did not want to work together again.

“Then the studio called and said they would like to offer us the position back on Gogglebox,” claimed Chris.

“I spoke to Stephen and his attitude was ‘I’m not sure I can put up with you every other week filming’. Which was a bit of a blow.

“I turned around to him and said, ‘I get the impression that I think a lot more of you than you do of me’. His reply was, ‘Yeah, you’re probably right.’”

Taking to social media after the interview was published, Chris stated that he’d finally had the courage to stand up and explain how he was “forced off” Gogglebox.

When Chris made the claims last year, a Gogglebox spokesperson told the Mirror: “Chris has not contacted us since he made the decision to leave the show.

“The duty of care of the Gogglebox contributors is of paramount importance.”

Stephen initially brought in his hilarious mum Pat to join him on the sofa for two series before his husband, Daniel Lustig-Webb, took over in 2019 and became a regular fixture.

Sadly Chris has not returned to our screens, but lives happily with husband Tony, who he tied the knot with back in 2017.

The Michaels

The Michael family were one of our favourites

The Michaels were one of the original families on the show when it first aired in 2013 – with dad Andrew 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.

They were a Gogglebox staple until Andrew revealed he was running as an MP for UKIP in the 2015 general election.

Speaking about the show beforehand, he told the Radio Times: “Having seen 13 families in their natural habitat, you have an insight into British society in its multifarious colours.”

Channel 4 bosses decided that Andrew could not hold a political seat and sit on his sofa discussing the week’s telly, so the whole family were booted off in December 2014.

“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.”

Carolyne admitted the family were sad to be leaving – and was left in tears after being given just five days to choose between the show and her husband’s political aspirations.

She confessed she didn’t want to leave and found it “too painful” to watch the series they were not involved in.

Sadly, dad Andy passed away last month


Channel 4)

It was seemingly all for nothing as Andrew failed to win the Hastings and Rye seat for UKIP in the election.

However, there was a twist in the tale as the Michaels were invited back in September 2015 as Andrew decided to put his political career on hold so that his family could return to Gogglebox.

“I have a responsibility to keep my family happy after they supported me last autumn. That was a big deal for us. They supported me then, so it’s my time to support them now,” he told The Sun.

“Now I have stepped down from my official position as prospective parliamentary candidate,” said Andrew, “I was happy to step down in order to pick up Gogglebox.”

They returned for series 6 and provided us with many hilarious moments, but sadly they have left the show after the death of dad Andrew last month at the age of 61.

A statement released by Channel 4 and Studio Lambert on behalf of the family read: “We are deeply saddened to share the passing of Gogglebox star Andy Michael at the age of 61 following a short illness.

“Andy passed away last weekend with his family by his side.

“Retired hotelier Andy, who brought much wit and insight to Gogglebox, was one of the show’s original cast members, appearing in the very first episode in 2013.

“Beloved father to Katy, Alex, Pascal and Louis, and cherished husband of Carolyne, Andy was a much-loved and respected member of the Gogglebox family, and he will be very sadly missed.

“Our love and thoughts are with Carolyne and the entire family. The family have asked for privacy at this very sad time”.

Leon and June

Leon and June became national treasures


TV pic)

June and Leon Bernicoff were two of the most popular and entertaining couples to appear on Gogglebox.

Producers met Leon on at bridge club while looking for people to take part in the new show – and the Liverpudlian jumped at the chance.

With their adorable sense of humour, warmth and easy banter, they soon became national treasures, despite June thinking they wouldn’t even be kept on the show.

In December 2017, tragedy struck when Leon sadly passed away, just months after battling through illness to make sure he appeared for their fans in the Christmas special.

Devoted wife June left Gogglebox straight after the death of her husband, saying it just wouldn’t be the same without him.

June admitted she struggled to enjoy certain things without Leon by her side and explained she found it hard to sit down and watch TV because it brought back so many unhappy memories.

“I don’t watch much TV these days, if I’m honest. I find it difficult,” confessed June. “I’ve been reading a lot more, or listening to the radio, but I just feel restless whenever I sit down to watch it.

“I find myself getting up to make a lot of cups of tea and I can’t settle.”

Two months after Leon died there was a special tribute show in his honour and the following year June wrote a memoir about their love story.

Leon and June were the perfect couple


Liverpool Echo)

She made the difficult decision to leave Liverpool, the city she had called home for more than six decades in October 2019.

June shared her final thoughts about moving out of her family home with her fans, opening up about her “emotional” goodbye to Liverpool before she made the move to be closer to her family.

Tragically, June died on May 5 following a short illness, just three years after losing Leon.

Channel 4 and production company Studio Lambert issued a statement on behalf of her family which read: “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.

“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.

“Despite her departure from the show in 2017, she remained a passionate supporter of the programme, watching it every week, and she was in regular contact with the production team.”

The Tappers

The Tapper family had us all giggling every week



The Tapper family, which consists of mum Nikki, dad Jonathan and siblings Josh and Amy, were firm favourites when they burst onto screens in 2013.

But the lovable North Londoners began to be whittled down when Josh moved into politics and got a place on the Government Communications Apprenticeship scheme.

TV bosses said at the time the star was on a “break” from the show and left the door open for him to return, while keeping parents Nikki and Jonathan and sister Amy on screen.

But Josh admitted that he had firmly slammed that door shut while entering Downing Street, saying: “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

“Of course, I miss it and the sitting on the couch watching TV. But I am more focused on my future….it’s a more a secure path.”

During his time in Number 10, Josh was a campaign assistant for the Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet Office before working as assistant campaign manager.

However, in 2020 a Downing Street source revealed that now Josh had left for new pastures, having bagged a job at Demos – a leading British think tank and charity.

In October 2018, younger sister Amy also quit the show to take part in Celebs Go Dating – and while she ultimately did not find the love of her life she did gain a lot of confidence and made some new celeb pals.

The coronavirus pandemic nearly had a devastating impact on the family as dad Jonathan was left fighting for his life.

The 52-year-old was struggling to breathe and could barely move, leading to his loved ones taking it in turns to care for him.

Thankfully, Jonathan made a full recovery and the family credited his recent weight loss to helping him fight the virus, which he battled for weeks.

Steven Dermott and Michael Wilcock

The two best friends, who came from Liverpool, only appeared in the first two series.

They failed to make that big of a mark on the show and left without much fanfare at the send of their second stint.

Not much is known about what happened to Michael afterwards.

But his close pal Steven has gone on to become a bit of a Tik Tok sensation – having racked up nearly 800,000 followers and a staggering 8.8m likes on the social media platform.

The Siddiquis

Originally four members of the family were on screen



As one of the original Gogglebox families, the Siddiquis were pioneers for the series when it started.

The Derby-based family 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, and regularly posts photos of his children and other half on social media.

On a family day out last summer, he wrote: “Lots of family fun with these lovely people. Got to love your daily family walk when the weathers this nice.”

Amelia has actually made the odd appearance on Gogglebox with her dad, uncle and granddad Sid, while wife Melissa has never appeared but often posts about the show on social media.

Umar is also married but his wife has not featured on the programme either.

Dad Sid stopped appearing on the show when lockdown began last year, while brothers Baasit and Umar came under fire for moving households and sitting together.

Sid previously revealed that he would be missing from the sofa because of the coronavirus outbreak.

He tweeted: “I am sorry I will be missing from the Siddiqui sofa again in tonight’s #Gogglebox because of 2 meter social distancing rule but I am sure you will be entertained just as much by the rest of the gang enjoy the show take care be safe lots of love.”

Chris and Colin Staples

Chris and Colin were a father and son duo from Manchester.

They didn’t really have enough time to find their footing on the show as they left after just one series.

The pair have disappeared from the celebrity world now.

Steph and Dom

Steph and Dom had us in stitches every week


Channel 4)

Gogglebox just really isn’t the same without original stars Steph and Dom Parker – the posh pair who always had a glass of bubbles in their hands.

After four years on Gogglebox, the couple quit to go on to other projects and to continue running their bed and breakfast, The Salutation, in Kent.

They 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.

They even took to the stage for 2017’s Let’s Sing and Dance For Comic Relief to perform Dead Ringer For Love by Meatloaf and Cher and last year hosted their final talkRADIO show after a 20-month stint on the airwaves.

In March 2020, 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.”

The pair bought the Grade I-listed manor house in 2004 for £2.6 million, but after shooting to fame in 2017 they turned it into a hotel.

It is understood that 33 people lost their jobs, and many guests who had hoped to stay there are searching for new accommodation and have lost their deposits.

They are moving out of The Salutation, with its 17 bedrooms, 3.7 acre land and 60-cover restaurant, and moving into a new family home in Kingston. But it turns out they’re selling it for the most heartbreaking reason.

Dom had previously explain that they wanted to sell up, admitting: “We are just too old and exhausted and don’t have the energy to run it any more”.

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 on for another series.

They have never been back on TV and not much is known about what they are doing now.

Sandi and Sandra

Sandra and Sandi were popular members of the Gogglebox family


Publicity Picture)

Takeaway-loving pair Sandra Bogle and Sandi Martin kept us giggling for the first few series.

But they were torn apart in 2016 when Sandi decided to quit the show, leaving Sandra to continue with her daughter Chanchez.

Sandi has been on many reality TV shows, including Celebs On The Farm, Celebrity 100% Hotter and Celebrity Fat Fighters as well as entering the Celebrity Big Brother house in 2017.

In 2016, she released her debut single “Casanova” on DeeVu Records and also has her own album, Independent Woman.

Sandi took part in Channel 4’s Famous and Fighting Crime in 2019 and has campaigned for an end to knife crime ever since the tragic death of her nephew in 2017.

Meanwhile, Sandra carried on but quit in July 2017 as the chemistry was never the same with her daughter because certain topics were off-limits.

After quitting, Sandra moved out of her house and lived in a hotel, then revealed she had spent all the money she had earned.

“All my friends were on benefits, so when I got Gogglebox it was like I’d won the jackpot,” said Sandra, who lost pals after they used her for her cash.

“If one of my friends needed £100 then I’d give it to them. I’d always be getting the drinks in and buying the food. I didn’t mind at first but then people started taking advantage, so I had to get out.”

Heartbreakingly, Sandra lost her friend’s dad, her sister-in-law, her uncle, and her good friend to coronavirus and sister-in-law within week of each other.

*Gogglebox airs tonight on Channel 4 at 9pm

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