Channel 4's Gogglebox returns tonight

“June, can I have a cracker?” As catchphrases go, it’s hardly up there with I’ll Be Back or Lovely Jubbly.

But Leon’s most mundane of mottos has come to sum up everything we love about Gogglebox: it’s sweet, it’s funny, it’s ordinary. Not to mention the best show on telly.

Never mind all this “I’m not watching TV to watch people watching TV” nonsense, Gogglebox is so much more than that. It’s a 60-minute masterclass in the human condition: people laugh, people cry, people live, people die.

But its main message is the most powerful, namely that, despite our many differences, we’re all essentially the same. Whether it’s Sandy and Sandra eating Pot Noodles in Brixton or Steph and Dom sipping champers in Sandwich, everyone laughs at Ant and Dec, everyone rolls their eyes at Clarkson and everyone was most definitely rooting for Musharaf in Educating Yorkshire. Sob.

Gogglebox is the most feel-good show on TV, restoring your faith in humanity and blurring the lines even further between race, religion, age, class and sexuality.

Phew, pretty heavy stuff. Where’s one of Steph and Dom’s Bloody Marys when you need it?

But put all that serious stuff aside, and you’ve still got a ruddy good TV show that’s absolutely hilarious – and the Channel 4 bosses know it. As well as selling the rights to both China and the US, gone is the Wednesday at 10pm listing, and in its place an all-conquering Fridays-at-nine primetime slot.

Hopefully, this will allow even more viewers to fall in love with retired teachers, Leon and June and Brighton hairdressers, Stephen and Christopher – although almost two million of us were already tuning in on Wednesday nights. Not too shabby.

For tonight’s opening episode of series three, our favourite couch potatoes – and new recruits the Carrs from Birmingham and students Joe and Josh from London – will be filmed watching and dissecting The Oscars, The Voice, The Taste and Saturday Night Takeaway. 

We already know that dad Andrew from the Michael family is obsessed with Nigella but what will he make of Kylie on The Voice? And will the glorious Tapper family from North London boil over with excitement at the return of Ant and Dec? At the very least, they’ll all sing along to the theme tune.

But that’s the beauty, you see, you tune in to watch families and friends discuss that week’s telly and end up doing exactly the same thing with your own nearest and dearest. Gogglebox unites us all.

Now, where’s that cracker?

Elizabeth Joyce

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