Adam & Symon spill on Gogglebox secrets

There’s no producer, no camera crew, no sound techs in the house when Adam Densten & Symon Lovett are ready to shoot their weekly Gogglebox segments.

Instead, Adam simply flicks a switch in his home and the remote cameras and lighting rig fires up. A USB of weekly shows is connected to their TV set to watch. As DIY television, it’s as ‘hands-off’ as can be.

“All my Instagram photos taken in the lounge room look beautiful because the lighting is amazing,” Adam laughs.

“But I make sure the cameras aren’t on all the time, while I’m in the lounge room!

“It’s just us in the room. We do a couple of nights a week, just bank it all together and binge it all in two nights generally. We do one midweek and then we do one on the weekends.”

“The production team tells us what to watch, so you’re not watching whatever you like,” Symon explains.

“We tend not to ask any questions and they say, ‘Just flick on the power!’” Adam adds.

“We’re probably not across the TV schedule”

The physiotherapists and best friends are told the day before viewing what shows they will be watching, but admit they aren’t always sure if the program has aired publicly or it’s a supplied preview in order to meet deadlines.

“We’re probably not across the TV schedule about what’s actually coming out,” says Adam. “We don’t know what the program is for the week ahead to know what we’re seeing ahead of schedule versus what we’re seeing behind schedule.”

“If we see something on a Sunday, and they show us a show, we don’t know if it’s been out or it’s coming out. As far as professional TV watchers go, we’re really bad at watching TV,” Symon admits.

“Amateur professionals,” Adam jokes.

The duo returned to Gogglebox in 2021 after departure for FOX Footy, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and continuing their podcast The Adam & Symon Show. Alas the pandemic put an end to their FOX Footy show, Premierships and Footy Trips when the sport stopped in early 2020.

Wryly referring to themselves as ‘the prodigal sons’ they are happy to be back on the couch for Foxtel / 10, for the show that taps into the mood of the nation every time a TV episode is broadcast.

“All of our opinions are very much middle of the line. We’re never heavy one way or the other. I can see both sides,” Symon suggests. “But I think sometimes to be in this kind of industry, you probably have to be a little bit more controversial, or a little bit more impassioned, maybe. And then you just have to be able to ride it out.

“People want to hear their own opinions reflected on TV”

“People want to hear their own opinions reflected on TV and the show that we’re on has a great spread of people from all different backgrounds and cultures,” adds Adam.

“The editors do a really good job of representing everyone equally, which I think is the show. Because if they stitch up one person and hero other people, then the people at home are thinking ‘Why is my character getting stitched up? Why is this character getting heroed?’” Symon explains.

“I don’t really watch a lot of TV”

Do they ever watch a TV show casually before Gogglebox producers then ask them to view it for the show?

“I don’t really watch a lot of TV,” Symon replies. “I’m generally working til 930. So I’ll get home have dinner. By 10:30 I flick off my phone and go to bed. Partly, that is because I know we’ll be watching a lot on the show. So I will purposefully avoid stuff.”

But he is also tight-lipped on a question around whether they view the whole of an episode every time.

“Do you want to know the answer to secrets, though? That’s like, yeah, magician’s tricks. Magic was really popular in the ’90s and then that show came out Behind the Mirror... that’s kind of my answer.”

Why does Gogglebox love Reality TV shows more than any other genre?

“There’s probably a few layers,” Symon explains. “One: Volume, there’s a lot of it. Two: I think the characters of Reality TV, are maybe easier to comment on, because they feel like they’re regular people.”

“The storylines are stranger than fiction. If you read about someone throwing a glass at someone else, it would feel a little bit criminal if you read it in a book, but it’s because it’s happening to real people….” Adam suggests.”

“It’s the ordinary doing the extraordinary or the extraordinary doing the ordinary”

“It’s the ordinary doing the extraordinary or the extraordinary doing the ordinary. That combination is very easy to watch and consume,” Symon continues.

With this, Adam makes a bold claim which nobody is about to dispute.

“I actually think that we coined MAFS as well…. It was Married at First Sightand we said “Gotta do your MAFS homework.’ And that’s how it started. I reckon it was 2016 or 2017.”

“If they make us watch Hotel Portofino, I’ll cry”

What shows do they hate to be lumbered with?

“I hate period dramas. If they make us watch Hotel PortofinoI’ll cry,” Symon insists.

Adam agrees, “Even Downton Abbey…I reckon Bridgerton would be bad too.”

“I don’t really like MAFS. It’s a bit too far. The world doesn’t have to be like that,” says Symon.

“You feel like you’re losing a bit of your soul,” Adam adds.

Recently both were asked to watch Celebrity Goggleboxbecoming a show-within-show when Gogglebox reviewed their own. For Adam it was all too weird.

“Watching us watching Celebrity Gogglebox was too much for my brain. It just about imploded because there was someone speaking and then there was someone else speaking, and then a bit of the show, then then four people speaking and a bit of the show… where am I?” he laughs.

“Them getting paid doesn’t really affect my life”

But despite tabloid stories to the contrary, they have no issue with supposed star salaries eclipsing their own.

“All of these people have done 10 or 20 years in the media industry. We’ve literally sat on the couch for 7 or 8 years,” Adam reveals.

“I actually quite like seeing their houses to be honest!”

Symon, as always, is in agreement.

“I don’t really mind. I don’t really concern myself with it. It’s kind of like, ‘if they do, they do…. it they don’t they don’t. It is what it is.”

“Them getting paid doesn’t really affect my life,” Adam observes.

After all, neither of them consider themselves to be the true star of Gogglebox… extraordinary voice-over Jo Van Es.

“She’s easily the best character on Gogglebox,” Adam insists. “She could be the best character on Australian TV full stop!”

Gogglebox continues 7:30pm Wednesday on Lifestyle and 8:30pm Thursday on 10.

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