They have been on our screens and in our hearts for the best part of five years, and Hull’s Gogglebox duo have become the nation’s sweethearts.

To many of us, Jenny Newby and Lee Riley are the comic duo with our Hull accent – a slice of home on one of the most successful reality television programmes ever made.

But their popularity reaches every corner of the British Isles - and even across the Irish Sea.

The pair from Holderness have recently given an interview to Ireland’s Big Issue magazine, with a series of quick fire questions discussing their friendship and how they ended up on the Channel Four show.

Speaking to the magazine, which aims to end homelessness, Jenny revealed she met Lee while working as a local landlady.

Watch: What Gogglebox cast members do for a living

“Lee was a customer at my pub, The Crown Inn in Paull,” she said.

“He became a regular in 1994 and used to come in pretty much every night with his partner and we were friends from the off.

“We’ve been best friends ever since.”

Channel 4 is home to Googlebox and other award-winning programmes.
Gogglebox's Jenny and Lee

Lee said: “I wish I’ve never gone in the pub – it cost me a fortune.

“When I first met her she had a perm and I can remember thinking, ‘She needs a haircut’. We were firm friends immediately.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had an argument. We’re too placid to argue. She makes me laugh too much for me to ever fall out with her.”

Hull's popular Gogglebox stars Jenny and Lee
Hull's popular Gogglebox stars Jenny and Lee

The pair’s rapport on the show is down to decades of friendship, and admittedly becoming part of each other’s family.

It was a chance encounter at Beverley Races between Jenny and a researcher for the show which saw them land the coveted Friday night spot on our TVs, with Lee brought along for the ride.

“It’s honestly the best job I’ve ever had,” said Jenny, who is a mother of two and also a grandma.

“I get to sit and watch television with my best friend and I absolutely love it.”

Lee said: “I wasn’t [at Beverley Races] but she asked me if I wanted to sit and do a test filming with her. I’d never seen Gogglebox, it had only just started, so I walked into filming swearing my head off because she’d got me out of bed on my day off.”

Gogglebox's Jenny posted this picture with her grandson Owen

Jenny and Lee are filmed for the show in the iconic caravan, and the nation has welcomed both of them warmly into their front rooms.

Speaking about being recognised in their day to day lives, Jenny said: “It can be anywhere and it’s so nice.

“Everyone is always really friendly and I’m one of them, so of course they come right up to me.

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“Sometimes they can’t place me and I say, ‘Well I’ll see you at yours on Friday at 9pm’, and then they get it.”

Lee, who spends a lot of his time living in Cyprus with his partner, Steve Mail, said: “I get mistaken as an old friend.

Gogglebox star Jenny hugs Lee's partner Steve Mail in Cyprus
Gogglebox star Jenny hugs Lee's partner Steve Mail in Cyprus

“I was on a plane last month and a woman came up and said, ‘Hiya Martin’, as I was going to the toilet.

“She thought I was some fella she knew from the spa.

“I’m quite shy believe it or not so I sometimes find it a bit overwhelming, but Jenny loves it.”

“It’s all nice attention,” Jenny added.

“The nicest part is that when I meet people, it’s like I’m their friend, which is a lovely thing to be.”

You can read the full interview by clicking here.

Ireland’s Big Issue is currently available for free online because of the pandemic, with donations welcome.