Are Celebrity Gogglebox stars breaking the lockdown rules?

3 July 2020, 15:17 | Updated: 3 July 2020, 15:21

Are the Celebrity Gogglebox stars adhering to social distancing rules? Here's what we know...

Celebrity Gogglebox was back on our screens on Friday night, cheering us all up after another week in lockdown.

The likes of Shaun Ryder and Bez, Coronation Street's Maureen Lipman and Countdown favourite Gyles Brandeth, and Heart Breakfast’s very own Jamie Theakston and Ashley Roberts were all sitting two metres apart while judging the week’s best TV.

But despite the stars adhering to strict social distancing rules, viewers at home were quick to accuse the Channel 4 show of ignoring government guidance.

So, are the stars following lockdown rules? Here’s what we know…

Are Celebrity Gogglebox stars breaking the lockdown rules?

Boris Johnson eased lockdown earlier this month, meaning people in England are able to see friends and family they don’t live with, as long as they stay two metres apart in an open space.

Coronation Street's Maureen Lipman and Countdown favourite Gyles Brandeth on Celebrity Gogglebox
Coronation Street's Maureen Lipman and Countdown favourite Gyles Brandeth on Celebrity Gogglebox. Picture: Channel 4

This relaxation of the rules has also meant TV shows are allowed to start filming again but under a new set of strict guidelines.

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Consequently, Channel 4 bosses are allowed to carry on filming Celebrity Gogglebox, with a spokesperson telling us at Heart.co.uk: “All those involved in filming Celebrity Gogglebox are doing so safely following industry production guidelines.”

Alex Mahon, Chief Executive for Channel 4 added: “I’m phenomenally proud of the role Channel 4, alongside our production partners, has played over the last two months to help navigate audiences, particularly young and hard-to-reach viewers, through the Covid crisis.

Shaun Ryder and Bez on Celebrity Gogglebox
Shaun Ryder and Bez on Celebrity Gogglebox. Picture: Channel 4

“Unlocking the television production sector in a safe way will be vital to continuing to ensure we can both continue to serve our audiences and help sustain the livelihoods of those in the industry – and I’m pleased that we’ve been able to work in partnership with other broadcasters, DCMS and PACT to create this innovative new framework.”

Gyles Brandreth also explained the rules after one fan asked: "How come you’re allowed to visit inside the house?"

To which he replied: "It's work because it's a TV show: we stay 2 metres apart & there's no one else in the building."

This comes after even more fans took to social media to question production.

“How does this comply with social distancing rules?,” asked one viewer.

Another commented: “I keep focusing on the social distancing ......... #Gogglebox #CelebrityGogglebox”.

While a third added: “Where's the social distancing on Celebrity Gogglebox? These guys don't live together! They're not supposed to be indoors?”

Meanwhile, Ofcom received 203 complaints about series 15 of Gogglebox after fans accused certain cast members of not adhering to guidelines.

A spokesperson explained: "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."

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