Gogglebox stopped filming with Mary and Marina because they ‘didn’t want to put them at risk’

Don’t worry, Mary and Marina are safe (Picture: Channel 4)

Gogglebox’s creator has confirmed why cast favourites Mary and Marina have not appeared in the series since lockdown.

The Channel 4 series has continued as usual throughout the coronavirus pandemic, with cameras set up in the casts’ homes and portaloos installed outside for crew members to ensure social distancing is adhered to.

But two of the show’s most beloved stars, besties Mary and Marina, have not been giving us their verdicts on the week’s telly.

Show creator Tania Alexander confirmed that the dangers of the pandemic meant that they were unable to film the last 10 episodes of the 15 episode run with the full cast.

She wrote for the Telegraph: ‘We took the decision to tell Mary and Marina, who are in their 90s and live in a care home, that we didn’t want them put at any risk so we should stop filming with them altogether.

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‘The ladies are safe and well looked after but often tell us they dearly miss the crews and the fun they have during filming each week.’

The besties live in a retirement community (Picture: Channel 4)

And we’re sure fans will be itching to have the wine-drinking, blunt Bristolians back on their screens, after questioning where they were on social media.

Mary, 90, and Marina, 88, both live in the St Monica Trust retirement community, and were discovered by producers when Marina was on her way to Asda to do some shopping.

The friends joined the show in 2016, and since then have delighted viewers with their blunt comments.

Gogglebox managed to carry on with its current series, with ‘crew members in PPE’ rigging their houses before official lockdown began.

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Ms Alexander explained: ‘The crew sandbagged down the tripods so they couldn’t be moved and positioned the cameras with strict instructions of “please don’t touch the kit!”. Once rigged, the cameras would remain there for the next 10 weeks and we knew there would be no returning to fix a toppled camera.

‘The producers also now had their own mini rigs set up in their cars. Cables ran from the cameras in living rooms along corridors and down stairs – often utilising the odd cat flap – outside to connect via a lockbox to the rigs both in the crew vans and the producer vehicles.’

Some of the families have been forced to deny breaking social distancing rules, with sisters Ellie and Izzy insisting they were remaining six feet away from each other.

Meanwhile, Jenny moved into Lee’s caravan to isolate with him during filming.

Gogglebox’s final episode of the series airs next Friday on Channel 4 at 9pm.

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