Gogglebox filming left in chaos as lockdown threatens to split families

Gogglebox filming could come under threat as the lockdown looms, meaning certain families might have no choice but to separate.

The beloved Channel 4 show returned for a 16th series back in September, and would typically run until December.

Following some of the nation’s funniest armchair critics, the show sees friends and families group together to discuss the best telly of the week.

However, with Thursday signalling a new lockdown across England, it might not be possible for some families to film together in their usual clusters.

Sisters Ellie and Izzi Warner, who have been fan favourites on the show for the past five years, live apart, and may not be permitted to film from the same living room.

Back in April, Ellie appeared on show with her boyfriend Nat temporarily taking her sister’s place on the sofa, corresponding with lockdown rules.

Similarly, the last lockdown saw the Siddiqui family split up, as dad Sid Siddiqui was forced to opt out of filming as he fell into the vulnerable category during the pandemic, due to his age.

Best pals Mary and Marina, who live together in a retirement home in Bristol, also did not make an appearance on the show during the lockdown.

Explaining the decision in an interview with The Telegraph in May, producer Tania Alexander said: “Unfortunately, it was not possible to film with the full cast.

“For example, we took the decision to tell Mary and Marina, who are in their 90s and live in a care home, that we didn't want them put at any risk, so we should stop filming with them altogether."

Daily Star Online has contacted Channel 4 for comment.

However, during the previous lockdown, Channel 4 proved they can safely execute the series, rigging stars' homes with cameras to avoid unnecessary contact.

One of the few shows that continued filming during the pandemic, Gogglebox successfully put a smile on viewers' faces in a time of uncertainty.

Announcing the safety measures put in place at the time, Channel 4's Director of Programming told Digital Spy: "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."

Gogglebox airs on Fridays at 9pm on Channel 4.

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