Outside the box
Starring in a reality-TV show has brought the Dalton family closer, writes COLIN VICKERY
WHO knew that watching TV on Gogglebox Australia could be a family bonding exercise? Certainly not Matt and Kate Dalton when they signed to be participants on the Foxtel/Ten reality show.
The Daltons thought it would be fun for them and their teenage daughters Millie and Holly to be on the show but it has turned into something much more deep and meaningful.
“Being on Gogglebox has absolutely brought our family closer together,” Matt says. “We’ve had conversations with the girls that we wouldn’t have around a table.
“There were a couple of shows we watched about cyber-bullying and our kids gave their perspective on it and bullying within school grounds and they were very open about that.
“We even discussed things like the greyhound baiting that happened about a year ago and the kids were very strong on the protection of animals.
“When the Malaysian Airlines plane was shot down over the Ukraine,the kids were asking so many questions about it.
“All of these discussions wouldn’t come up in normal day-to-day life.”
Kate was approached by one of the show’s talent researchers in the lead-up to Christmas 2014. A week later, the family was on board. Now they are set for their sixth season.
“We had a couple of family meetings about it because going on a reality show obviously has some perils,” Matt says. “I work in corporate life so I had to be very careful and we were also very conscious of protecting the girls. The producers told us it wouldn’t be the normal backstabbing reality show.
“We had to be very open with the (girls’) school. We were upfront and told them what was happening so the teachers could keep a lookout in case there was anything (teasing or bullying) happening.
“But it has been the exact opposite. We have found that the kids and parents at the school are quite euphoric about us being on the show and really protect the kids.
“When there is some negativity on social media, a lot of the people who follow us and like us give those people (critics) a whack.”
So what shows do the Daltons love and which shows split them apart?
“Matt and I are very together on Utopia,” Kate says. “We do love Australian humour. That is such a clever show with a brilliant cast. With the girls we enjoy Survivor and we’ve definitely been looking forward to The Bachelorette.”
Matt adds: “When The Bachelorette comes on I can’t breathe or make any comment or I get absolutely slaughtered by the kids who listen to every single word.
“Another one we all seem to harmonise on is Married at First Sight. (Kate and I) think Keeping Up with the Kardashians is quite light-hearted but the kids think it is like a really important documentary.
“I reckon Geordie Shore is an absolute shocking show but the kids love it. They think it is hilarious. I want to interview the parents (of the cast) and say, ‘Are you really proud of what you see from your kids?’”
Now that Millie and Holly are reaching adulthood (Millie is at university), time spent in front of the television for Gogglebox has become extra precious.
“The TV is a catalyst for us to talk amongst our family on topics that we wouldn’t even possibly think of talking about,” Matt says.
Open: The Daltons – Holly, Matt, Millie and Kate.