Interview with Siobhan Newman part of the BAFTA award winning team behind Gogglebox

A BAFTA Win for East Grinstead Girl.
Channel 4 show Gogglebox won the best reality and constructed factual award at the BAFTA television awards. Assistant Producer, Siobhan Newman from East Grinstead is thrilled with the honour.

What does it feel like to be part of the team that has won a BAFTA?
It’s without doubt the highlight of my career being involved with the BAFTA winning Gogglebox!  It’s the sort of thing I dreamt of being a part of when I started working in television, and it feels as good as I thought it would.  It’s a fantastic programme to work on without the BAFTA anyway – with a great team of people working incredibly hard to make a programme every week. It’s been one of the most fun jobs I’ve had as well as being extremely rewarding thanks to its success.
Were you at the ceremony and if so, what was it like?
There weren’t very many tickets up for grabs, so only a handful of people from the 20140520_105204Gogglebox team were able to go the ceremony.  The Gogglebox families weren’t able to go either – so they all watched at home (obviously!) and we showed it in the final episode of the series (still available on 4oD).  Those of us who couldn’t go all went in to work (some were working anyway as Gogglebox is practically a 24 hours a day 7 days a week production) to watch it together.  It was so exciting waiting for our award to come up.  And when it was announced…!  It was fantastic.  There were cheers all round, then celebratory champagne. We were also all given ‘Tiddly BAFTAs’ which are mini BAFTA masks made out of Hotel Chocolat chocolate (I’m yet to eat mine, can’t quite bring myself to it!).  It was great to see the members of our team up on the BAFTA stage collecting the award.  It was quite a surreal moment, but totally amazing. It was great getting the stories from the ceremony when they got back to the office – the highlight was probably all the photographs they managed to get with Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad. My colleague James also managed to get a selfie with Ian Beale.  So it was definitely high glamour from what I’ve heard!
Were you involved in the original concept and were you aware of what a phenomenon it would be?
I wasn’t involved with the development of Gogglebox, and joined in series 2.  But I do remember seeing the trail for the first series on Channel 4 last year, and instantly thinking it was the most amazing concept for a programme, and questioned why I wasn’t working on it as I knew it would be perfect for me (I’m more than a little obsessed with television).  I watched the four episodes of series 1, and was hooked.  Then, I was lucky enough to get hired as the Archive AP for series 2 (the BAFTA winning series) and stayed for series 3 as well.  I’ve loved every second of working on and watching Gogglebox.
Do you personally react to TV in the same way as the people on Googlebox?
I do, but not in such funny ways! I think one of the things that has made Gogglebox such a success is that when watching it you do see echoes of yourself, or your family, when watching the Gogglebox families.  You sit there and think, “oh I said that too” and that’s part of the enjoyment.  Having said that I’ve no doubt that I wouldn’t be a patch on the Gogglebox families, and definitely prefer being involved behind the scenes of Gogglebox, rather than on the sofa!
Do you have a favourite set of characters on Gogglebox.
It’s impossible for me to pick a favourite family on Gogglebox! I think they work as a whole – 20140520_141244each bringing different elements.  But I have to admit I have a massive soft spot for Linda from Linda, Pete and George.  (As does my Mum – I got Linda to sign a card for her she’s such a fan!)
Will you be continuing to work on Gogglebox or have you plans to move to other projects?
Sadly, after 2 series I’m leaving Gogglebox.  I will miss it hugely!  I’m going back to my role as Associate Producer on Russell Howard’s Good News.
What is your background in East Grinstead?
My parents moved with me to East Grinstead when I was about 3 years old, and have lived in the same house on McIndoe Road since then – I’m turning 28 in August, so they’ve been there a fair while.  I went to Jack and Jill nursery school, St Peter’s Primary School, then started at Sackville in September 1997, staying there right through to sixth form.
What do you like or dislike most about East Grinstead?
I moved to Wimbledon a few years ago, to cut my commute for working in central London.  But for a while the thing I disliked most was having to get the train to Victoria – specifically Victoria station, I can’t stand it.  Since moving away I say that the sun always shines in East Grinstead (I must have good timing in when I come back).  I’m not sure if that’s scientific fact, or if it just feels that way as I like coming home for a visit so much.

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