'Gogglebox's Lee Riley: I find fame overwhelming

Albertina Lloyd
·Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
·2-min read
'Gogglebox's Jenny and Lee have been best friends for 25 years. (Channel 4)
'Gogglebox's Jenny and Lee have been best friends for 25 years. (Channel 4)

Gogglebox’s Lee Riley has confessed he is quite shy and finds being recognised in public overwhelming.

Riley is well known for his cheeky chat with best friend Jenny Newby on the Channel 4 reality show which they joined on series four in 2014.

But he told Ireland’s Big Issue magazine: “I get mistaken as an old friend. I was on a plane last month and a woman came up and said, ‘Hiya Martin’, as I was going to the toilet. She thought I was some fella she knew from the spa.

“I’m quite shy believe it or not so I sometimes find it a bit overwhelming, but Jenny loves it.”

Riley now divides his time between Hull – where Newby lives in her caravan – and Cyprus, where he lives with his partner Steve. He is currently living in lockdown with Newby.

Read more: Gogglebox stars open up about 'frightening' coronavirus fight

He reveals he and Newby was initially headhunted to take part in Gogglebox, but she asked him to join her.

Riley explained: “She asked me if I wanted to sit and do a test filming with her. I’d never seen Gogglebox, it had only just started, so I walked into filming swearing my head off because she’d got me out of bed on my day off.”

Speaking about their friendship Newby said: “Lee was a customer at my pub. He became a regular in 1994 and used to come in pretty much every night with his partner and we were friends from the off. We’ve been best friends ever since.”

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Riley added: “I don’t think we’ve ever had an argument. We’re too placid to argue. She makes me laugh too much for me to ever fall out with her.”