How can you not like Gogglebox? For those of you uninitiated in the programme (firstly, shame on you!) the concept is that we are invited into the homes of families just like us – in turn daft, dippy, and delightful – settling down for a night in front of the TV. For me, the thing that makes the programme so good is that we can all relate to the people on it – June and Leon are the grandparents that everyone wants, Steff and Dom are like an aunt and uncle when they’ve had a bit too much sherry at Christmas, and everyone has that one friend like Christopher who seems to have styled themselves on a Wotsit (think he stayed on a sunbed for a little too long!).
Everyone has their favourite family but mine has to be Steph and Dom, two posh B&B owners from Sandwich who cuddle up in front of the TV like two 16 year olds, and miraculously still manage to string words together by the end of the show after seemingly drinking their whole wine cabinet (I swear I never see Steph without a glass of wine in her hand!)
This week’s show began with Steph and Dom as usual making friends with their drinks cabinet – “What’s an orgasm?” asked Steph (thankfully talking about the drink.) ‘Well if you don’t know by now..’ replied Dom – this is why they are amazing!
“The singing’s bloody awful but the body’s nice” remarked Leon after watching an act on The X Factor who honestly sounded like a cat being strangled. When the decision had to be made as to whether to send home strangled cat number 1 (girl who Leon had taken a shine to) or strangled cat number 2 (hopeless 8 member boy band), in the vote-off Simon predictably drew it out, prompting Leon to call him a “b*****d”.
“He’s the grandad that everyone would love” commented Carolyn Michael on David Attenborough during the opening credits of Life Story. After learning that six baby goslings, who were not yet able to fly, had to launch themselves off a 450 foot rock just to find food, Christopher commented “I’d rather starve”. Everyone seemed to be looking on with horror as we saw these goslings fling themselves over the cliff edge and plummet to the ground, only breaking their descent by bouncing off the rocks. Amazingly, five of the six goslings managed to survive their daring escapade. The Michael family seemed astonished at how much a gosling is able to do compared to a human baby prompting dad Andrew to say “a human child is useless until it’s about 40.”
Life Story wasn’t the only programme to get the viewers looking on with shock. Next up was ‘Secrets of the Living Dolls’ in which we saw men dress up as real life dolls. “This is so freaky” astounded Sid Siddiqui after seeing the human barbie doll, while Leon reassured his wife June “You won’t find me doing that!”
“Is this a joke?” remarked Sid after the Newsnight’s showing of the UKIP calypso song, with everyone looking on in astonishment. “Don’t dance to the beat” admonished Sandy to her friend Sandra, almost causing her to spit out her takeaway, “listen to the words – they’re racist”. To explain the song Newsnight had invited UKIP representative Winston MacKenzie onto the show. ‘I don’t think he knows what UKIP is, I think they just found him on the street’ joked Baasit (I wouldn’t be surprised if this was actually true) after watching Mackenzie talk absolute nonsense.
Overall, Gogglebox delivered its usual high standards and continues to build its cult following. It works so well because the stars of the show are ordinary people who simply say what we are all thinking – with some wry humour thrown in.