After pulling in 4 million viewers last Christmas, Gogglesprogs – the Gogglebox spin-off, in which tiny (but very discerning) viewers pick apart the week’s TV – returns to Channel 4 for a much-anticipated, six-episode run. Ahead of the first episode tonight at 8pm, the series’s executive producer Freya Sampson spoke to us about how it was made.
“The big difference between Gogglebox and Gogglesprogs is that because of the logistics of working with children, we couldn’t have that same fast turnaround where you film during the week of transmission. We filmed Gogglesprogs over a couple of months, and then topped it up with material from the past week to keep it up to date.
“The youngest child taking part is four years old, and the oldest is 13. The majority of the children who featured in the Christmas show have stayed on, but there are some new faces too. We went out looking for children who were very open about what they thought – funny, articulate, opinionated, warm and likeable – and found them in places like a Welsh country fair, a local Chinese school, and just out shopping.
“We tried to show the children interesting, engaging material – a mix of documentaries, entertainment shows, news stories, and big classic movies. The children are really honest, and not afraid to admit when they don’t know something. They offer a really interesting perspective on TV – you think you know how they’ll respond to something, but what they pick up on is so different to adults, and it’s fascinating to see how they work the world out.
For example, we showed them a clip of Donald Trump, and they were surprisingly good and perceptive about his personality – they saw him for what he was straight away. There are always moments when you can’t believe their knowledge, and others when it’s so sweet and endearing to remember they don’t have a clue about something really obvious – like where babies come from!”