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Viewers left confused by Gogglebox stars' reactions to Prince Philip's death

Hello! logo Hello! 17/04/2021 hello

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Gogglebox viewers have been left baffled by the latest episode which paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, who sadly died on Friday 9 April aged 99.

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The episode appeared to show the families learning of the death of Prince Philip for the first time. Fan favourites Jenny Newby and Lee Riley gasped in shock as they watched a BBC breaking news bulletin, while Mary Killen could be seen wiping away tears. 

However, viewers have taken to social media to question whether their reactions were real, with some accusing producers of making the stars act out for the cameras.

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WATCH: HELLO! Insider - Remembering Prince Philip

One viewer tweeted: "Please don't insult our intelligence and make out everyone on Gogglebox just happened to be watching BBC when the news broke about Prince Philip."

Another added: "Hold up how can they be filmed reacting to the Prince Philip news when they surely weren't sitting there last Friday filming and watching the news?" while a third called it "staged nonsense."

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However, there's a very real possibility that the Gogglebox families did indeed learn of the Duke's passing while shooting the show. Filming for each episode starts on a Friday and continues into the next week before the voiceover is added and the final cut is sent for broadcast.

If the families had been already sat down ready to film when the news broke of Prince Philips' sad death at lunchtime on Friday, their reactions could actually be genuine. 

a young boy sitting next to a window: gogglebox-jenny © Provided by Hello! gogglebox-jenny

Jenny was one of the stars reduced to tears by the news

The show's broadcaster received criticism last week after it chose not to overhaul its Friday evening schedule in light of the sad news.

 While BBCITV, and Channel 5 all amended their schedules to make way for special programming dedicated to the Duke of Edinburgh, Channel 4's line-up remained largely unaffected.

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In a statement posted to Twitter, Louisa Compton, Channel 4's Head of News and Current Affairs and Sport, defended the decision. 

"Today on Channel 4 we broadcast a 30-minute news special shortly after the Duke of Edinburgh's death was announced; an in-depth obituary at 4pm and there'll be an extended @Channel4News at 7," she wrote, adding: "C4 also has a duty to offer an alternative to other channels – hence a return to schedule."

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