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Gogglebox's June Bernicoff Admits She Doesn't Watch TV Since Leon Died

Gogglebox's June Bernicoff Admits She Doesn't Watch TV Since Leon Died

Gogglebox favourite June Bernicoff left the nation heartbroken 18 months ago, when she revealed her beloved husband Leon had passed away.

The couple found fame in watching TV on the Channel 4 show, but now June has said she finds it too painful to watch television anymore.

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Former teachers June and Leon were cast for the show in its first series back in 2013, and harnessed fans up and down the country thanks to their obvious adoration for one another, having been married for 57 years.

Speaking to the Mirror, June, who no longer appears on the show, said: "I don't watch much TV these days if I'm honest. I find it difficult.

"I've been reading a lot more, or listening to the radio, but I just feel restless whenever I sit down to watch it.

"I find myself getting up to make a lot of cups of tea and I can't settle."

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However, despite the sudden loss of Leon, who died in December 2017 after suffering a bout of pneumonia and sepsis, the 81-year-old says she doesn't feel lonely.

She said: "People talk about how difficult it is coming into an empty house. But it's funny, I never really feel the house is empty somehow.

"Leon was such a large figure... I can hear him saying things like, 'Why have you got this nonsense on?' when I'm listening to Classic FM.

"It's strange going out on my own, though, and things like driving the car are hard because he always wanted to be behind the wheel."

June and Leon were fan favourites during their time on the show. Credit: Channel 4
June and Leon were fan favourites during their time on the show. Credit: Channel 4

One of the reasons June and Leon became so popular was because viewers used to love watching Leon wind his wife up, leaving the fridge door open and reminding her to bring in the crackers.

And June has revealed that even at his most frail, he was still cracking jokes and insisted on being part of the Christmas special.

"When he heard me on the phone to the producer saying that he wasn't up to it, he called out, 'Nonsense! I'm here in my Christmas jumper, Legs!'," she says.

'Legs' was Leon's pet name for the show's producer.

She added: "I told him it was sexist and he'd get into trouble, but he'd just laugh and tell me not to be silly."

But unfortunately, two days after shooting the special, Leon was admitted to hospital.

However even then, June says, he was still trying to make people laugh.

She said: "He'd go wild when anyone complained about the food and would say, 'H is for hospital, not hotel'.

"Whenever he went into hospital, he'd always come home heavier than he went in because he'd charm them into giving him extra portions of pudding."

Since Leon's death, June has been inundated with messages of support from well-wishers, and even gets stopped in the street.

She said: "People just keep stopping me and giving me a squeeze to tell me they're sorry about losing Leon.

"He was so well-liked and so kind-hearted - there isn't a Big Issue seller in the city who didn't know him."

The couple were married for almost 60 years. Credit: June Bernicoff
The couple were married for almost 60 years. Credit: June Bernicoff

Two months after his death, Channel 4 aired a special episode of Gogglebox, and June says she was brought to tears.

She said: "I looked over to his chair, and when I saw it, that was the first time I really, really cried after he died.

"It was the start of my grieving process, funny as that sounds.

"People kept expecting me to burst into tears in the supermarket, but grief is very private.

"I remember switching off the TV and thinking, 'Those cameras will never be there again'."

But the grandmother admits she still watches the show as it brings back lots of happy memories.

"It's such a big part of me, and the other stars are like family members, in a way," she says.

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"I miss Leon's company and his voice in the house, and the way he made me laugh.

"But he always said that if he passed away before me, I had to stay positive and keep going.

"I remembered that, and that is what I have done."

Featured Image Credit: Channel 4

Topics: Entertainment, gogglebox, june bernicoff, TV Entertainment

Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Junior Journalist at PRETTY52. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the team in 2017. Contact her on emma.rosemurgey@pretty52.com

 

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