The nation’s favourite Bristolian grannies return to our television screens this Friday for the new series of Gogglebox.
St Monica Trust residents, Mary and Marina, were a popular addition to the hit Channel 4 reality show when they joined the cast last year.
Liebfraumilch, Posh Spice and Brad’s beard
Discussing everything from Victoria Beckham drinking Liebfraumilch, to Brad Pitt’s beard and Butlers in the Buff, the two best friends quickly became firm favourites with the show’s legion of fans.
Marina said: “It’s lots of peoples’ favourite programme and they’re really pleased for us being on the show. It’s brightened up two old dears’ lives, hasn’t it?”
Added Mary: “We’re just talking to each other and having a laugh, aren’t we? We do say some cheeky things, but they don’t always put them on the show.”
Mary (88) and Marina (82) met six years ago at the St Monica Trust retirement community where they both live. Speaking from Marina’s apartment where filming takes place, the pair discussed the effect being on television has had on their lives.
Mary said: “I had my flu jab last month and as I was coming out of the surgery, someone shouted “I saw you on the telly!”
Marina said: “I’ve done four selfies. I went down Weatherspoon’s for a meal and a young kiddie came up to me and said “are you on Gogglebox?” I said “yeah” and he asked for a photo. So we had a selfie.
“Others just come up to me in the street, but they’re always a bit sheepish.”
On their way to Asda
Marina and Mary were discovered by chance after being approached last summer by a researcher from the show outside the retirement community where they live.
Marina said: “I went across to catch the bus down to Asda and this young girl comes up to me and says “do you ever watch Gogglebox?” I said, “well I have done” and she said “do you want to be on it?” I thought, “I’m game for a laugh, like”.
“Then she said “have you got a friend?” And like that, Mary came round the corner on her scooter.”
Added Mary: “I was going shopping, so I asked them if they could wait until we got back.
“They came up to Marina’s flat, held cards up of different famous people and we had to talk about them.”
Sworn to secrecy
Having been chosen to appear on the show, the two ladies were then sworn to secrecy until their first appearance on our screens last September.
Said Marina: “We only told our actual family. My niece works from home in Chipping Sodbury.
“She was working away and thought “I know that voice”. She nearly fell through the floor when she realised it was me!”
Mary said: “When it came on, people went “what?” That was the shock effect it gave to people.
“My Granddaughter watches it in Australia and she said to me, “Oh nan, smile a bit more. I’ve never known you short of words, but you won’t open your mouth.”
Watched by 3 million people
Despite having no previous television experience, Mary and Marina quickly became used to the demands of appearing on a show watched by more than 3 million people.
Marina said: “The crew are lovely. I’ve never met such nice people. They wait on us hand and foot, making us cups of tea. We jokes with them, like.
“When you’re at our age can say what you like and get away with it.”
Funny and heart-warming
Gogglebox shows the funny and heart-warming reactions of people to the week’s television with many of the members of the cast becoming household names.
Mary and Marina will be taking their places on the familiar cream sofa when the ninth series of the show starts at 9pm on Channel 4 this Friday.