'Gogglebox bosses said Celebrity Big Brother wouldn't have me!' says George Gilbey

George Giilbey has spoken of how Gogglebox bosses tried to persuade him not to appear on Celebrity Big Brother in 2014 and that Channel 5 bosses didn’t really want him!

George was axed from the fourth series of Gogglebox after appearing on Celebrity Big Brother, but he and his family returned to the show this year after an outcry from viewers.

Now for the first time he has revealed how Gogglebox producers were desperate to keep him back in 2014 and what they said to him when he asked about going into the Big Brother house…

“They played it down a lot when and that’s what encouraged me to go and do it more,” says George. “There’s probably a chance that I would have stayed on Gogglebox if they hadn’t played it down so much.” 

“They spoke to me a little bit like ‘They wouldn’t have you for a start!’ and ‘You might get five or 10 grand for doing it.’ They weren’t lying, they were trying to keep hold of me. Now I take it as a compliment but at the time it made me think ‘Well if you’re going to play dumb with me, I’ll go and speak to someone who’s being a bit more honest.’” 

George actually earned £100,000 for going on Celebrity Big Brother and a few months ago he got a call from Googlebox producers asking if he and his mum Linda and dad Pete would consider returning to the hit Channel 4 reality series.

“They phoned up and asked us to come in and have a chat with them,” he says. “I genuinely thought I’d done something wrong! It was a big shock when they asked if we’d consider coming back on the show, I was speechless!” 

George, who is due to become a father for the first time this summer, is delighted to be back on the Gogglebox sofa and has turned down some big offers to ensure he and his family aren’t chucked off again.

“I spoke to the people from The Jump,” he says. “But I didn’t do that because I thought I’ve had my fun now and mum and dad were good to let me go off and do what I wanted. I’d probably have ended up in hospital if I’d done the Jump anyway!”

Gogglebox continues on Channel 4 at 9pm on Friday


Sean Marland

Sean is a Senior Feature writer for TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week, who also writes for whattowatch.com. He's been covering the world of TV for over 15 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are I'm Alan Partridge, The Wire, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.