The new series of Gogglebox is tinged with sadness after the death of cast member Mary Cook.
Fans were delighted to welcome the C4 show back onto their screens on Friday night (September 17, 2021).
But two of the main stars were missing.
Following Mary’s death aged 92 in August, Marina Wingrove has also decided to bow out of the hit programme.
Gogglebox fans react to missing duo
Viewers felt the plucky pals’ absence and shared their sadness on social media.
Another added: “Sad loss. Marin and Mary are a hilarious duo and have given us viewers some laughs.
“End of an era. Marina will miss her dearly, as will her family and us viewers.”
A third said: “I will miss the cheekiness, warmth and sass. And Mary’s singing.”
Days before series 18 got underway, Marina shared a touching tribute to her close friend.
Releasing a statement via C4, she said: “My dearest friend Mary, treasured memories will last forever.
“Our laughs and giggles and our ups and downs will forever be in my heart.
“Deepest sympathies to Mary’s family. Love Marina.”
Mary and Marina had filmed Gogglebox from St Monica Trust retirement village in Bristol.
The pals had starred together in the popular Friday night show since 2016.
But in August, C4 bosses confirmed that Mary had sadly passed away.
“We are extremely saddened to share that Gogglebox star Mary Cook passed away in hospital this weekend at the age of 92 with her family by her side,” they said.
“Beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and dear friend to many, Mary, who worked in the hospitality trade, had been married and widowed twice.
“Mary will be sorely missed by the entire Gogglebox family, cast and crew. Our love and thoughts are with Mary’s family, friends, and Marina.”
The return of Gogglebox has been welcomed by fans who have been desperate to have it back on their screens.
There was also a new addition to the lineup, which brought joy to viewers’ faces.
Pete Sandiford opened the show with his sister Sophie – and his newborn baby son.
One viewer reflected on Twitter: “Pete and his baby lovely way to start off Gogglebox after the loss of some of the regulars.”
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