The stars of Gogglebox have shared their dismay after one of the show’s original cast members announced their departure from the show.
Hairdresser Stephen Webb has appeared on the Channel 4 reality series, which sees members of the public sitting down to watch the week’s TV, since it first aired in 2013. The show returns for its 22nd series on Friday (8 September).
But on Thursday (7 September), Webb shared a statement to Instagram announcing that he and husband Daniel Lustig-Webb would not be returning to the show for the new series.
“After careful consideration, Daniel and I have decided we will not be returning for the new series of Gogglebox,” Webb wrote, adding: “We feel the time is right to move on and explore other opportunities.”
The couple thanked Channel 4 and production company Studio Lambert “for letting us be part of this amazing, funny and heartwarming show”.
They also thanked the “Gogglebox family” of the cast and crew, and in an accompanying video encouraged fans to keep watching the series.
In response, the other stars of Gogglebox rallied around Webb and his husband, sharing heartbreak at their departure while also wishing the pair well.
“Aww that’s upset me and shirley, to think you’re finishing but we all take different paths you both take care lots of love dave and shirley xxx [sic],” commented married coupled Dave and Shirley Griffiths.
Jenny Newby and Lee Riley also wrote: “Good luck to you both we will miss you but if you feel the time is right it’s right no more PRE-AMBLES lucky t***s [cry-laughing emojis] much love to you both, Jenny and Lee xx [sic].”
“Gonna miss you both,” wrote Izzi Warner, while Sophie Sandiford added: “Best of luck to both of you, you’ll be greatly missed! Lots of love.”
Simon and sister Jane Minty commented: “So sorry to hear this, Jane and I will miss you. Watching how you did it was super helpful to us newbies. And I will miss your quips about my hair! Best of luck with whatever you do next. Thank you for all the joy and laughter.”
Former Gogglebox star Mica Ven, who recently appeared Celebrity Masterchef, wrote: “From Big Meesh & Marky we’re sending you both love, you have entertained us for yeaaaars & may your future be bright.”
Even Loose Women star Ruth Langsford shared her disappointment. “Nooooooo!!” she wrote. “You must do what’s best for you both but I will miss you SO much… and the dogs!”
Stephen joined Gogglebox in 2013 and appeared on the first 10 series with then-partner Chris Ashby-Steed. When the pair split, Stephen starred alongside his mum Pat for two series.
Daniel then joined the show in 2018, and the married couple have appeared on Gogglebox ever since.
Gogglebox returns Friday 8 September at 9pm on Channel 4.