After ten series, one of Gogglebox’s original cast members, Chris Butland-Steed, has announced he is leaving the show.
Hairdresser Chris has appeared alongside fellow hairdresser and ex-boyfriend Stephen Webb since the show started back in 2013, and has become one of the nations favourites.
Thankfully, Stephen will remain, with Chris being replaced by Stephen’s mum, Pat, who fans will remember has stood in for Chris on multiple occasions.
Chris released a statement thanking Channel 4, the production studio, Stephen and the viewers for the ‘amazing’ experiences he’s had, and said he wants to pursue a career in television outside of the show, much like I’m A Celebrity… winner Scarlett Moffatt.
I’d like to announce I've decided to leave Gogglebox and am looking forward to the exciting adventures that lay ahead! Huge thanks to @C4Gogglebox @Channel4 for the amazing experiences I’ve had & wish cast & crew well. Massive thanks to the fans for their support! #watchthisspace pic.twitter.com/2T8JpA3Y7E— Chris Ashby-Steed (@ChrisAshbySteed) February 22, 2018
Chris said: “After 10 series, a wedding, and a helluva lot of takeaways, our lovely dogs and I have decided it’s time to say a very fond farewell to our Gogglebox family.
“I’ve loved every minute of being on the show and will never forget all the amazing things it’s allowed me to do. Since my wedding, it’s felt like there should be a new start, so I’m taking the plunge to see what’s out there!
“I’m really looking forward to what the future holds, especially pursuing a career in TV, as I hope to show viewers that I have many more talents. So, watch this space!
“First and foremost I’d like to thank the fans for all their love and support (and selfies), Studio Lambert and Channel 4 for giving me this wonderful opportunity, and of course, Stephen. I wish him and Mummy Pat all the very best on the show and I look forward to watching them every week. See you again very soon, I hope!”
Both Chris and Stephen have got married in the last year or so, and Chris’ new husband Tony tweeted support for his partner on his new journey.
My darling husband, to me, you have always been, and will always be, a superstar. It is my total honour to share this amazing journey with you. Here’s to our exciting future, my love! It’s gonna be so amazing! Love always xx— Tony Ashby-Steed (@TonyAshbySteed) February 22, 2018
Chris’ departure comes shortly after fellow favourite Leon Bernicoff sadly passed away just before Christmas, aged 83.
His wife June announces she would be leaving the show, not wanting to continue without Leon, amid an outpouring of love for the couple.
Channel 4’s statement at the time read: “It is with a heavy heart that we announce the sad news that after a short illness Gogglebox’s Leon Bernicoff passed away in hospital earlier today.
“Leon and his wife June were the first members of the public to be cast for Gogglebox back in early 2013, and they soon grew to become much-loved voices during the course of the show’s 10 series to date.
“Leon’s unique personality and sharp wit endeared him to fans of the show, as he contributed fully to Gogglebox’s reputation as a programme full of warm humour and unvarnished opinion.
“To those of us that knew him personally, Leon was a man of unwavering principles who exerted a distinct paternal presence both on and off screen. He will be dearly missed by the entire Gogglebox family; cast and crew.”
Gogglebox will return tonight (23 February) for its 11th series, where we will be able to see Pat as a full-time cast member for the first time.
(Images: Channel 4)