On paper, a show about watching other people watch TV sounds insane. But Gogglebox is so popular it's back for a fifth series. Here's why you should be tuning in...
5. Sandy and Sandra
When they’re not guzzling onion bhajis like they’re going out of fashion, the lovable double act from Brixton are regaling us with intimate details from their personal lives.
Poor old Derek, Sandra’s boyfriend, must get so much stick from his mates. At least he’s got something to look forward to, judging by the handcuffs she was showing off last week – eat your heart out, Christian Grey. Or perhaps they’re just to stop Derek pinching her food?
Quick tip: if you’re thinking of opening a takeaway restaurant, you can’t go far wrong by finding out where these two live and setting up shop round the corner. You’ll be rich in no time. Honestly, the amount they put away would make Henry VIII wince.
4. The Generational Divide
It’s fascinating to watch Gogglebox families, particularly teenagers interacting with their parents. When Tom Malone explains to his dad – who has more of a hangdog expression than his four Rottweilers – that the rapper Drake coined the term ‘YOLO’ (You Only Live Once), he replies: “Sir Francis Drake?” Cue a brilliantly awkward silence and confused faces all round.
Moments like this make you realise just how wide the generation gap is, and how we all struggle to bridge it – it took me ages to convince my mum that the term ‘cray cray’ has nothing to do with old East End gangsters.
3. No more Michael family
Andrew Michael has decided to stand as a Ukip candidate in May’s general election, so Channel 4 have dropped the family from the show in the interests of neutrality. It’s a blessing in disguise. I don’t think it’s too controversial to say they were the least popular Goggleboxers. Their opinions were often inane, and they’re also afflicted with some of the most eardrum-busting voices on TV. I’d rather sit and listen to a fire alarm.
The family’s departure also means more screen time for people like Sandy and Sandra, which can only be a good thing.
2. Steph and Dom
Everyone’s favourite toffs. The B&B owners are the only stars who have expanded their TV careers beyond Gogglebox. Dom was recently a contestant on The Jump, and Channel 4 gave them a show of their own when they interviewed Nigel Farage at their country hotel. Hilarity ensued when a drunken Dom gamely attempted to get the Ukip leader to put on a pair of leather trousers after he spilled beer – surprise surprise – all over himself.
The couple are never afraid to poke fun at themselves and, even if their words are permanently slurred, always provide a good laugh.
1. The Siddiquis
Sid Siddiqui and his two sons, Baasit and Umar, are the dark horses of the show. Fiercely intelligent and wickedly witty, they can always be relied upon for some killer one-liners. It’s interesting to see their reactions to more serious subjects too, as they’re all incredibly well-informed. If you’re ever in a conundrum, just ask yourself: “What would the Siddiquis do?” That’s the way I live my life.
You can catch Gogglebox on Fridays at 9pm on Channel 4.