'Gogglebox' hit by hundreds of complaints accusing families of breaking social distancing rules

·3-min read
Gogglebox sisters Ellie and Issy Warner do not live together. (Channel 4)
Gogglebox sisters Ellie and Issy Warner do not live together. (Channel 4)

Gogglebox faces hundreds of complaints from viewers accusing its stars of breaking social distancing rules.

Broadcasting regulator Ofcom has received 208 complaints about the families who appear in the show not displaying social distancing on the latest series of the Channel 4 show, which follows ordinary people watching and commenting on TV.

Channel 4 made an announcement before the show aired, reassuring viewers: "Just in case you're worried, they are all keeping to the guidelines of social distancing."

But hundreds of official complaints were still made about the show being filmed in lockdown.

Read more: How 'Gogglebox' is still being filmed during coronavirus lockdown

An Ofcom spokesperson told The Sun Online: "We are assessing the complaints against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate."

The Malone family defended themselves against criticism on Twitter. (Channel 4)
The Malone family defended themselves against criticism on Twitter. (Channel 4)

Sisters Ellie and Issy Warner, who do not live together, continued to appear on the latest series of show during the coronavirus lockdown, although they did sit two metres apart.

A spokesperson for the show previously told The Sun Online: "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."

And the Malone family - made up of Tom and Julie and sons Tom Jnr and Shaun - defended criticism of their social distancing on Twitter.

They tweeted: “Just going to put this out there so we are all up to date, I know the social distancing rules too,I love my Grandkids,I would never put them or anyone else’s health in danger. My daughter and her children live with us,so she can go to work as a nurse [sic].”

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

Friends Lee Riley and Jenny Newby, who appear together on the reality TV show have been living together in lockdown in Newby’s caravan, where they film Gogglebox.

'Gogglebox's Jenny and Lee have been best friends for 25 years. (Channel 4)
'Gogglebox's Jenny and Lee are living in lockdown together. (Channel 4)

Channel 4 has explained that the cameras in the living rooms of the cast were now rigged, meaning they are fixed in place, and so families were able to take part in the show without any contact from crew.

Ian Katz, the Director of Programming for Channel 4, said: ”The coronavirus outbreak is an enormous creative challenge for all broadcasters and though it is having a profound impact on getting some of our productions onto screen, it’s also a time when public service broadcasters like Channel 4 can step up and help people navigate through the extraordinary challenges we all now face.”

Under the government’s social distancing rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19 people are not allowed to visit the homes of other family members.

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