NOW THE TELEVISION WATCHES VIEWERS
What on earth is Gogglebox? It might sound a stupid idea for a TV show — even executive producer David McDonald admits he made a face and went “What???” when it was first explained — but filming ordinary people watching TV has been a big success in Britain. The UK version is often hilarious and touching, as people react with laughter and jokes, scorn or tears. The best bit is seeing people from very different walks of life sharing the same reaction, such as wincing in unison at an off key singer on The X-Factor and gasping in shock when the contestant somehow gets through to the next round.
But surely the “ordinary viewers” are just wannabes after 15 minutes of fame? The makers tried to find “real people” for the show. Council worker Keith and his retired wife Lee (above) were discovered having an argument in a shopping centre food court. Physiotherapy students Adam and Symon were found having a beer in a Melbourne pub.
How does it work? Filming began last Wednesday for tonight’s debut episode. Two cameras are set up in each living room, with a producer in a “control room” (usually a bedroom) logging the interesting bits. Households watch their favourite shows but are also given things to watch.
Surely they’ll just play it up for the cameras? Possibly. “What I know anecdotally is that within two to three minutes they forget the cameras are there and drop their guard,” McDonald says. “The stuff that comes out you couldn’t script and that’s what’s so engaging and revealing.”
What can we expect? Depending on the material they get, tonight’s episode is likely to touch on Gallipoli, MKR, Shark Tank, I’m a Celebrity and House of Hancock: “These are the shows everyone is going to be talking about,” McDonald says. And, quite possibly, the fracas over who will be our PM.
GOGGLEBOX, LIFESTYLE, TONIGHT, 9.30PM; TEN, THURSDAY, 9PM