Gogglebox’s Malone family hit back after show is accused of breaking social distancing rules

4 May 2020, 07:38 | Updated: 4 May 2020, 07:47

The Malone family has defended Gogglebox over social distancing
The Malone family has defended Gogglebox over social distancing. Picture: Channel 4

The Malone family has been forced to defend Gogglebox after they received criticism online.

Gogglebox family The Malones have defended the Channel 4 show after it was criticised for carrying on amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The UK is currently on lockdown and practicing social distancing measures in a bid to tackle COVID-19.

You can find the latest Coronavirus (Covid-19) advice from the NHS here

However, regulator Ofcom received 134 complaints accusing the Gogglebox cast of breaching the rules and continuing to mix households.

Sisters Ellie and Izzi received most of the backlash, as they have been filming alongside each other, despite living in separate houses.

The Malone family has defended Gogglebox
The Malone family has defended Gogglebox. Picture: Channel 4

And now The Malone family - made up of dad Tom, mum Julie, and sons Tom Jnr and Shaun - has weighed in on the debate, insisting they are all following the government guidelines.

Read More: Who are The Malone family from Gogglebox and how many dogs do they have?

A post shared on the family's official Twitter account reads: "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."

Fans were quick to respond to the Tweet, with one writing: “Blimey you shouldn't have to explain yourselves so many people go shouting before knowing facts! Hope your all ok and staying safe and your daughter is a hero.”

Another agreed: “Don't explain yourself to anyone and keep giving the nation a lift. A fantastic Tonic on a friday night.”

This comes after Channel 4 was forced to release a statement after the criticism towards sisters Ellie and Izzi.

Read More: What do the Gogglebox stars do for a living?

Ellie's boyfriend Nat took Izzi's place on the show for two weeks, as the siblings don’t live in the same household.

But after they appeared on the sofa together again sitting two metres apart, there was a huge backlash on social media.

Ellie and Izzi from Gogglebox are social distancing on the show
Ellie and Izzi from Gogglebox are social distancing on the show. Picture: Channel 4

A spokesperson for the show 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.”

As the backlash continued, the Channel 4 announcer commented ahead of the latest episode.

He said: "Just in case you're worried, they are all keeping to the guidelines of social distancing."

Bosses previously revealed that a number of changes have been made during the ongoing health crisis, including the installation of stationary cameras in stars living rooms.

Lee Riley has also moved into friend Jenny Newby’s caravan so the pair can continue being filmed for the series, while Mary and Marina have not been filming at all.

Fan favourite Sid Siddiqui has also been noticeably absent from the show.

He recently updated fans on his Twitter page, writing: “A big hi to all my friends.

“I don’t feel you’re fans but my best and close friends. I am sorry for my absence from #Gogglebox, your kind and beautiful messages always overwhelm me with touch of sadness.”

Now Read: How much do the Gogglebox cast get paid? And how do you apply to be on the show?

What are the government rules on social distancing?

The government's website states there are only four reasons you should leave your house:

- shopping for basic necessities, such as food

- medical reasons

- exercise such as walking, running or cycling once per day

- travelling to work if you are a key worker or absolutely cannot work from home

When you do leave your house, you should remain at least two metres away from everyone else.