Gogglebox bosses have responded to the backlash the show has faced after sisters Ellie and Izzi Warner were allowed to continue filming together amid the government’s strict lockdown rules.
The Channel 4 show faced criticism on social media for their most recent episode last Friday when Izzi travelled to her sister’s house to film.
It has since been revealed that TV watchdog Ofcom has received 163 complaints about their apparent breaking of the lockdown rules.
Izzi had previously missed an episode of Gogglebox during the lockdown, where she was replaced by Ellie’s boyfriend Nat, hence why many questioned her return to the show.
A Gogglebox spokesperson has offered something of an explanation, insisting that while the sisters do not live together, they are obeying the two-metre distance rule during filming.
A rep said in a statement: “Most of the families live together but where they don’t, they are complying with PHE [Public Health England] social distancing guidelines.
“Gogglebox will only film with families where it’s safe to do so. The health and safety of our cast and crew is paramount.”
As is standard procedure, Ofcom will now assess all the complaints about the show before deciding whether or not to investigate.
Earlier this week, the BBC faced similar criticism online after they used three hosts in a studio to front coverage of the One World: Together At Home concert.
The broadcaster defended the decision to have Dermot O’Leary, Claudia Winkleman and Clara Amfo presenting the show together – albeit from a safe distance from each other – insisting it was “safer for the production team to work in a single controlled space that operates within the government guidelines of social distancing than to have multiple recording locations for the presenters”.
Shows like Good Morning Britain and This Morning have been allowed to carry on filming with two presenters in the studio as they are classed as an essential service, offering news and advice on the coronavirus outbreak. However, hosts have to remain two metres apart.
Last month, Gogglebox makers announced that they had taken measures to allow “the families to take part without any contact from crew” with their homes fitted with remote cameras.
Lee Riley previously revealed he has actually moved into co-star and best mate Jenny Newby’s caravan so they can continue to film the Channel 4 show together without breaking social distancing rules.
Gogglebox boss Tania Alexander also revealed how narrator Craig Cash had been recording his voiceover in a makeshift studio at home.
She later added: “It ain’t easy making this at the mo but worth it to hear that you all enjoyed it.”
Gogglebox continues next Friday at 9pm on Channel 4.