Gogglebox family The Siddiquis: “A lot of reality TV is nasty, we aren’t like that”

The much loved Channel 4 family speak to Loaded ahead of the show's return tonight.

Lounging around Gogglebox stars Baasit, Sid and Umar at home in Derby. Image Channel 4

Tonight sees the return of the ever-popular Gogglebox on Channel 4 for a seventh series, and the Siddiqui family from Derby have been there since the very beginning.

Comprising of dad Sid and his sons Baasit and Umar, the Siddiquis are firm favourites on the show,  which sees viewers watching viewers who are watching TV. 

It’s a bit of a bonkers concept, but also a genius one, as people tune in to see what the selection of groups have to say while watching an assortment of the week’s television programmes. 

Speaking to Loaded on the eve of the new series of the show, Sid, Baasit and Umar Siddiqui are in the familiar family sitting room that’s beamed across the land to millions each Friday night. They have just sat down together and are tucking into a feast of chips.

“Thursday night is chips night,” Sid reveals. “Even though the cameras are now here from time to time, we still do what we have always done as a family, and Thursday night is still chips night.”

So the trio haven’t had enough of each other yet then?

“We sit around watching television even when the cameras aren’t here,” Baasit admits, while his father chirps in: “I’m just a cool Dad to be around.”

The Siddiqui’s down-to-earth nature and relaxed form while reclining into their leather sofas has made them one of the most popular families on the series.

Winners
Winners The family after picking up an NTA for Gogglebox in January. Image Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

For Sid, after seven series he is now far more relaxed than he was at first, even when it comes to some moments of awkward viewing with his sons (They were once made tune into Sex Box).

“I think at first, certain scenes might pop up in certain things and it was a little awkward regarding certain programmes I wouldn’t normally watch,” Sid chuckles.

“Then I think they started deliberately winding us up to see what my reaction would be. I just play it cool,” he says. “I think I’m beating them at their own game.”

Each week during the series, the trio gather in their lounge and are filmed by two cameras while they watch TV. By day, the family work – Sid in the Healthcare Industry, Bassit as an IT teacher and Umar works as a microbiologist in a local hospital.

For the Siddiquis, it has been good for people across the UK to get an insight into what ordinary life in an Asian home is like, and to show that their evenings are pretty much the same as every one elses.

“I’ve probably had to watch certain things that I say regarding immigration and things like that,” Sid admits. “It’s nice for people to get to have a look into people’s lives across different cultures in society.

“When we watch things about terrorists and things like that, I get worried about my family and I may have said things in the past and thought ‘oh, I shouldn’t have said that’. I guess I’m careful of what I say to a certain extent.”

However, although they are obviously huge fans of Gogglebox, one reality programme you won’t see this family on anytime soon is Big Brother.

“So many shows like that are just nasty and that’s not what we are about,” Umar says.

“Whatever we go on to do in future, if we do any TV, it will be the three of us together.”

Gogglebox returns at 9pm tonight on Channel 4

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Loaded’s entertainment editor Jennifer O’Brien is an award-winning journalist who has written extensively about popular culture as a national newspaper columnist and author. Follow her on Twitter at @Jen_OBrien1

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