reality tv

"They own you 5 days a week." Tom and Wayne share what it's really like to be on Gogglebox.

There’s one thing above everything else that Wayne Mott and Tom Walsh want the new crop of Googlebox hopefuls to remember: “The Australian public can smell bulls**t a mile away, so just be yourself.”

The couple were on the popular reality TV show for three years, starting in season one in 2015 before deciding to pack it in last year.

Now Gogglebox is on the hunt for some new families to join the show, but before you sign up Wayne and Tom have some things to share about what it’s really like to invite a film crew into your home.

Wayne and Tom on same-sex marriage on Gogglebox. Post continues after video.

Video by Gogglebox

“We had no idea what the commitment was going to be and it is a commitment – they own you for 5 days a week. So for the weeks you are filming you can’t make plans. Our friends got so sick of it they just learnt not to invite us anywhere,” Tom told Mamamia.

“It’s funny how it can impact your life. Birthday parties, events… a lot of social stuff goes by the wayside,” added Wayne.

The couple said they ended up doing 50-60 hour weeks (if you add filming on to work hours), and for Tom and Wayne, they did think of filming as work. It was important to keep that boundary and not become too friendly with producers and crew.

“Both of us had full-time jobs and then we’d race in at 5pm have a quick shower, get changed and be on the lounge filming until 9-10 pm. It turned into a really long day,” explained Wayne.

It also meant they were often pulling seven day weeks, because most filming ended up happening over the weekend. (They’d always have Wednesday – Sunday blocked for filming and producers would give them a heads up on which 2-3 days they were needed the week before.)

 

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Dont be a Tom ???? Get home safe @goggleboxau tonight 7.30pm on @lifestyleau #drinkingwithwayneandtom #timeforlaugh ????????????????????

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Back when the show started in season one, they’d have to watch entire movies and shows, but as the seasons progressed they’d get smaller snippets in advance – and they’d only have to watch about half a movie.

But a lot of the time, they’d be watching stuff they’d never pick to sit down and consume themselves.

“To be honest there’s a few reality shows I would rather poke my eyes out with a red hot poker than watch,” Tom said.

But Wayne says they never got prompted or asked to react differently, “they just roll the cameras and whatever is said is said,” he told Mamamia.

Wayne and Tom, who have been together close to a decade, were scouted for the show while out with friends and never went on it expecting or looking for fame. Tom says the stardom side of things is his number one “worry” for anyone joining the show.

“I hate the word celebrity or star but unfortunately it’s what we became. We still can’t walk into Safeway to buy milk without having to take eight selfies, and we haven’t been on TV for a year… and we’ve deliberately stayed out of the spotlight. But it hasn’t stopped people approaching us.

“We’re being treated like celebrities by the public but we don’t have the money to hide from them. I am on the train in the morning heading to work and people are taking sneaky selfies of me, it can be quite confronting at times,” said Tom.

“We’ve had people sit at the table with us and pull out there phones, or knock on our front door and try and see the couch,” revealed Wayne adding that he’s been banned (by Tom) from Halloween trick or treating because they end up getting a pile of people at the house.

Wayne and Tom say they are approached all the time in public, which at times can be quite confronting. Image: Instagram/WayneandTom.
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"I think that's what people don't think about, or they think it'll be really fun. But when reality sets in it's really hard and with social media now you have to be really careful about what you say and how you act," said Wayne.

In an interview with Fox FM’s Fifi, Fev & Byron show in August, fellow Googlebox alumni Yvie Jones revealed how little the families get for their time and the fame that comes along with it.

“They don’t pay a talent fee. You’re not employed. The house gets a location fee and that has to be whoever gets the house gets a fee. Our landlord would get the fee and she would have to forward it to us if she wanted to,” she said.

“This is how bad it was in the beginning, the first season, per day, per house we’d get $250 a day. Unbelievable. Now they get a location fee that is a lot more, but it’s still nothing," she added. “Everyone on Gogglebox is doing it for the love. They really do love what they do."

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Angie and Yvie on Gogglebox. Image: Angie and Yvie on Googlebox, Network Ten.

Tom and Wayne initially did it for "something to show the grandkids" but it soon turned into something much bigger.

"We were going to leave after season two but that's when the marriage equality stuff really came to life and all of a sudden we had this tsunami of social media messages from people saying 'you're doing a great job' and we thought about how much of an impact we were actually having - for the first time ever people were getting an insight into a gay family's life and realising we were no different to anyone else. We've got kids, we've got a mortgage, we argue, we go through the same pains everyone else does," said Wayne.

"We loved our time but at the same time there is always the flip side and the flip side is they [now] film 24 weeks out of the year. It's a long time," said Wayne.

Since leaving in October 2018, Wayne and Tom have shied away from the public glare - they attend a few charity events for causes close to their heart - but that's about it.

For them, they've had their 15 minutes of fame, and they're not looking for anything more than that.

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