'Gogglebox' stars open up about 'frightening' coronavirus fight

Julia Hunt
·Contributor
·3-min read
Tapper family on Lorraine (ITV)
Tapper family on Lorraine (ITV)

Gogglebox’s Tapper family have told how they feared for dad Jonathan as he fought for breath during his coronavirus battle.

The whole family contracted the virus but were particularly worried for Jonathan, who is 52 and diabetic.

Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine, Jonathan said at one point he “literally couldn’t move” and struggled to breathe if he tried to climb the stairs.

Wife Nikki said Jonathan had it worse than she did and “didn’t move literally for two weeks off the couch” but that they both suddenly went downhill more than a week into the illness.

Read more: Gogglebox star Jonathan Tapper recovering from coronavirus

“The frightening thing was on about day nine, that’s when we plummeted,” she said.

The Tapper Family (Jonathan, Nikki, Josh and Amy) from Googlebox attending the xXx: Return of Xander Cage Premiere at the O2 Cineworld, London
The Tapper Family (Jonathan, Nikki, Josh and Amy) from Googlebox attending the xXx: Return of Xander Cage Premiere at the O2 Cineworld, London

“I messaged (their children) Amy and Josh to say I couldn’t get out of bed and to make sure Jonathan had hot drinks and was okay, as we had put Jonathan in the TV room to isolate.

“Then Amy came running up the stairs and said, ‘I’m really worried. Dad’s in a terrible way.’ That’s when I really started to panic.”

Amy said: “There was one night and I just kept coming down every hour to check on him because I was so worried.

“Josh was like, ‘What are you doing?’ And I said, ‘Dad’s still breathing, it’s okay’.”

Josh said he feared the whole family would become very ill at the same time, meaning nobody would be able to care for Jonathan.

“That was one of the most difficult things,” he said.

“If we were all bedridden, who would we have to look after each other?

“I was really bad for about a week and then got better.”

Latest coronavirus news, updates and advice

Live: Follow all the latest updates from the UK and around the world

Fact-checker: The number of COVID-19 cases in your local area

Explained: Symptoms, latest advice and how it compares to the flu

Now on the mend, Jonathan said: “It wasn’t too great.

“The symptoms of high fever and feeling very weak mainly and coughing.

“I literally couldn’t move at one point, couldn’t walk up the stairs and if I did manage to get half way up, I was really struggling for breath.”

The Tapper Family from Gogglebox, Jonathan, Nikki and their kids Josh and Amy attending the 2015 TV Choice Awards at the Park Lane Hilton Hotel, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday September 7, 2015. See PA story SHOWBIZ TVChoice. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
The Tapper Family from Gogglebox at the 2015 TV Choice Awards in London (Ian West/PA Wire)

The TV star previously lost some weight and thinks that has helped him in his recovery.

“In every way, losing weight is a good thing,” he said. “I definitely think because I did it helped me get through this horrible virus.”

Read more: Scarlett Moffatt opens up about health scare

At the weekend a spokesperson for the family shared that Jonathan was "at the very end" of his recovery.

They told PA news agency: “I can confirm that the Tapper family all contracted COVID-19.

“We are really pleased to say the family are better – and Jonathan is at the very end of his recovery and is now taking it easy.”

Jonathan and Nikki appeared on Gogglebox between series 1 to 11 alongside daughter Amy, with Josh starring with them up until season 10.