Ex-Gogglebox star ‘forced’ off show and suffered from ‘shattered mental health’
Tony Ashby-Steed, the husband of former Gogglebox star Chris Ashby-Steed, has made a series of claims about Chris’ treatment both during and after his time on the show following the news of Paige Deville’s exit.
Earlier this month, Paige, who has been on the Channel 4 programme with her mum Sally since 2019, announced that she had decided to leave, citing ‘zero aftercare support’.
In response, a Gogglebox spokesperson stated that ‘the welfare of contributors – past and present – is of paramount importance and robust protocols are in place to support contributors before, during and after taking part in the series’.
Following Paige’s announcement, Tony shared several tweets tagging her in which he recalled the circumstances of Chris’ exit, having been a part of the show from series one until 2018.
Chris previously revealed that he felt suicidal after falling out with his co-star Stephen Webb – who has been on the programme since the beginning – and quitting the show.
In his tweets, Tony said that the studio helped get Stephen’s mum Pat on the show ‘behind Chris’s back without even telling him’.
Tony, who married Chris a year before his Gogglebox exit, alleged that at one point, Stephen ‘refused to film with Chris and would only film with his mum’, leaving Chris ‘devastated’ when ‘they did nothing’.
‘Then they didn’t contact him once after he was forced off, and I was left to deal with Chris’s shattered mental health,’ he wrote.
Tony claimed that a ‘gagging order’ was imposed to ‘stop the story coming out’.
‘We put in a formal complaint by email to the studio and they marked all subsequent correspondence as “legally privileged”. They also made it clear that if the nature of the complaint came out they would seek to take legal action,’ he tweeted.
In response to a Twitter user who said that in their opinion, the show decided to keep the person who was ‘more popular’ and so it would be ‘best to move on’, Tony responded: ‘You’re right, of course. And most of the time that’s what we do. But it haunts us both. Sometimes it’s hard not to be bitter when you’ve had to talk your husband out of driving his car of a cliff.’
He also replied to someone who said that as far as they’re aware, Stephen has ‘never spoken’ of his fall-out with Chris.
Tony replied: ‘Watch the early episodes. Look back over tweets over the years and you’ll see viewer’s disgust at how he treated Chris.’
In recent years, Stephen has been joined on Gogglebox by his husband, Daniel Lustig-Webb.
In a statement sent to The Sun Online, a Gogglebox spokesperson said: ‘Support is available to all previous and current cast members as the welfare of the families – past and present – is of utmost importance.’
Metro.co.uk has contacted Channel 4, Studio Lambert and a representative of Stephen Webb for comment.
Gogglebox returns on Friday at 9pm on Channel 4.
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