What it’s really like to be part of Gogglebox – from hidden camera crews to free takeaways

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It’s become a bit of a tradition to sit down on a Friday evening and tune in to Gogglebox to see what our favourite TV armchair critics have made of the biggest programmes on the box.

But have you ever wondered what it’s like to be part of Channel 4’s smash hit series and what goes on when the cameras aren’t rolling?

Since its debut on our screens in 2013, the makers of show have teased lots of behind the scenes secrets, from the camera set up to how the families were found and propelled to stardom. Here, we take a look at some of the biggest revelations…

How long does a typical episode take to film?

When it comes to filming, the production company is said to totally work around the families’ busy schedules and commitments including work and childcare.

Each episode reportedly takes around eight to twelve hours of filming for each family, however, that’s split across two days in the week.

Then it's over to the talented team who work together to put the timely episode together for our viewing pleasure to kickstart the weekend.

Where are the cameras placed during filming?

Instead of the families’ living rooms being covered in technical equipment, Gogglebox actually uses just two cameras to record their footage.

One focuses on the wide shot, while there’s another used for close-up reactions. However, there is a crew involved, who set up in a different room in the house – or in Jenny and Lee’s case outside their mobile home – so they can’t be seen or heard.

The show’s co-creator Tania Alexander previously revealed in an interview with Vice: “We rig a mini gallery, which is set up in a kitchen or bedroom.”

She continued: “There’s a small team in the field – a producer, a camera person, and a sound person and a logger – and those four people are squashed in whatever room is available for the entire shoot.”

“It’s like a mini TV studio. There’s nobody ever in the room with the families. For the show we mainly stay on the wide angle but the close-up shot is often used to capture an eye-roll or facial expression that we’ll use in the edit for comedy punctuation.”

How does the audition process work?

The show’s creator Stephen Lambert previously opened up about how they found their fabulous Gogglebox families – revealing all were found in person and that there’s no official audition process.

In an interview with Radio Times back in 2019, Stephen explained: “We are not currently casting and there is no way to apply to be on Gogglebox".

He continued: “Everybody on Gogglebox has been found and persuaded to be on the show."

“I think that’s the key to why they are likeable and why the show works, because we get to know these people. We’ve never advertised for people on Gogglebox.”

How much do the contributors earn to take part in the show?

Contrary to popular belief, the Gogglebox stars don’t earn a fortune from filming.

While the show has never confirmed the cast's pay packet, the rumoured monthly fee is £1,500 a month, with the contributors deciding how to split that amongst themselves.

The straight-talking TV critics are also said to be treated to free takeaway of their choice to see them through filming.

Gogglebox continues tonight at 9pm on Channel 4

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