Gyles Brandreth put on spot by Esther Rantzen over Celebrity Gogglebox ‘snub’

Gyles Brandreth reveals how Celebrity Gogglebox is set up

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Gyles Brandreth, 73, is a firm favourite on Celebrity Gogglebox and often appears alongside a “glamorous” female colleague. Previously the broadcaster has filmed with close friends Dame Sheila Hancock and Dame Maureen Lipman for the programme, however one confidante who has not received an invite yet to share his screen time is Dame Esther Rantzen.

Let me tell you the truth

Gyles Brandreth

The ChildLine founder was less than pleased over the apparent snub, and decided to ask Gyles directly about why she has been overlooked to appear.

Speaking to the 73-year-old on her podcast That’s After Life!, Esther said: “Since you bought up Gogglebox, there are things I want to know. 

“OK so first of all, do the production team put eclairs and meringues and Danish pastries on dishes in front of you? And whichever glamorous person you invite – never me I’ve noticed, but others – do they supply you with sweetmeats?”

Despite being put on the spot, Gyles had a very logical and reasonable answer as to why the TV presenter had not been asked on to Gogglebox.

He explained: “Let me tell you the truth about this, the reason you have not been asked Esther is that you are already a Dame. 

“What happened was this, people see this as the gateway to becoming a Dame of the Order Of The British Empire.

“I did it first with Sheila Hancock, plain, Miss Sheila Hancock. She does Gogglebox with me, they make her a Dame.

“I then do it with Maureen Lipman, plain Miss Maureen Lipman. She does Gogglebox with me, they make her a Dame.

“I said, ‘What about Esther Rantzen?’ They said, ‘She’s already a Dame’. So that’s the reason,” he finished, light heatedly.

Esther became a Dame in the 2015 New Year Honours, for services to children and older people through ChildLine and the Silver Line, while Mauren Lipman became a Dame in 2020 and Sheila Hancock was bestowed the title that same year.

Meanwhile, Gyles previously revealed how producers ensure the cast are able to relax in front of the cameras for filming. 

The royal author divulged: “They come to your house at the beginning and they set up the camera in the room and then go away for two months.

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“The cameras are permanently in the room and you genuinely forget they are there, they’re small discreet cameras.

“Then at set times you go in and you press the button and they don’t give you a choice over the programmes.

“You watch the ones they select for you, but you’re alone in the building and that lulls you into that false state of relaxation,” he added.

The TV star also admitted the cast are delivered their favourite tasty treats to keep them feeling satisfied while watching programmes.

Gyles continued: “They sent round Deliveroo with different treats, fish and chips, indeed the chocolate eclairs, the crisps and all of that.

“So these little sweetmeats arrive and they like you to be seen bringing it in and you can hear that little chit-chat and then you have the snacks together. It’s great fun.”

Meanwhile, stars of the non-celebrity Gogglebox, who appear weekly in the programme, have revealed it isn’t as glamorous as you might think.

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