The husband of former Gogglebox cast member Chris Ashby-Steed has claimed his partner, 44, was bullied off the show by his co-star and ex-boyfriend Stephen Webb, 48, and that the behaviour was perpetuated by behind-the-scenes bosses.
Tony Ashby-Steed blasted production staff on the Channel 4 series in a string of tweets written on Friday, which tag Paige Deville, 24, following her recent claims of having an unpleasant experience as a contributor as well.
‘Our hearts go out to you @Paige_deville. The studio stood by and watched Stephen bully my husband Chris off the show and did nothing to stop him,’ he began.
Shocking: The husband (right) of ex-Gogglebox star Chris Ashby-Steed (left) has blasted the show’s bosses in a string of tweets, following Page Deville’s claims of ‘zero aftercare’
Gone: Paige had been a regular member of the show since her debut in 2019
‘The helped him get his mum on the show behind Chris’s back without even telling him and then a couple of weeks before filming, Stephen through [sic] one of his usual diva strops and refused to film with Chris, and would only film with his mum.
‘They did NOTHING! Chris was devastated then they didn’t contact him once after he was forced off, and I was left to deal with Chris’s shattered mental health.
‘Even a year later when the story partly came out, the Daily Mirror and the BBC were too scared to allow the whole truth to come out for fear of being sued.
‘The studio imposed a kind of gagging order on him to stop the story coming out. Awful people the lot of them. You’re better off away from it, hun xxx,’ he concluded.
An original couch potato since its 2013 debut, Chris was removed from the show and replaced with Stephen’s mum in 2018, a move he admitted left him suicidal. He married Tony a year before the event took place.
Happier times: The husband of former Gogglebox cast member Chris (right) has claimed his partner was bullied off the show by his co-star and ex-boyfriend Stephen Webb (left), and that the behaviour was perpetuated by behind-the-scenes bosses (pictured in the 2010s)
He told the Mirror back in 2019: ‘There have been times where I’ve felt so low that I think, “How can I kill myself?”‘
Before recently admitting she left the show amid a bitter feud with her mum Sally, Paige posted on Twitter that she could not continue ‘due to long hours of filming, restrictiveness, control of our actions and opinions & zero aftercare support’.
A Gogglebox representative told MailOnline at the time: ‘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.’
Paige’s allegations of ‘long hours’ and ‘restrictiveness’ come after Gogglebox production staff alleged they were ‘screamed at for 12 hours a day’ earlier this year.
Saddening: Tony blasted production staff on the Channel 4 series in a string of tweets written on Friday
Staff claimed they suffered ‘inhumane’ working conditions on the Channel 4 show, and allegedly suggested they were told not to disrupt filming by going into Covid self-isolation.
Studio Lambert, the company which produces the popular programme, came under fire after it received complaints from several members of staff, The Guardian reported at the time.
While the show was used as part of Channel 4’s #StayAtHome campaign, staff were reported to have claimed they were told to avoid having to self-isolate.
There were also claims that off-screen staff were allegedly forced to go without breaks and work excessive hours to ensure the hit show was ready.
One ex-employee apparently said it was the worst job they ever had, insisting the way staff were treated was at times ‘inhumane’.
Candid: Chris (right) told the Mirror back in 2019: ‘There have been times where I’ve felt so low that I think, “How can I kill myself?”‘ (pictured in 2017)
Dismissed: An original couch potato since its 2013 debut, Chris (right) was removed from the show and replaced with Stephen’s mum in 2018, a move he admitted left him suicidal (pictured in the 2010s)
As concerns began to emerge, the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theatre Union (Bectu) – which supports staff and freelancers working in the media and entertainment industry – were said to have been contacted.
Specifically, the union is working towards making working conditions better for those working in reality TV.
It launched its #UnseenOnScreen campaign through its Unscripted Branch, which aims to raise awareness of bullying and harassment in the TV sector.
Several complaints have reportedly been submitted to the Bectu about Studio Lambert and the union said it was attempting to arrange a meeting with the production company.
Getting out: Before recently admitting she left the show amid a bitter feud with her mum Sally (right), Paige (left) posted on Twitter that she could not continue ‘due to long hours of filming, restrictiveness, control of our actions and opinions & zero aftercare support’
A Studio Lambert spokesperson said: ‘Studio Lambert takes the welfare of its teams extremely seriously across all its productions, and has a number of measures in place to encourage people to come forward with any concerns they may have, as well as support systems for a range of issues.’
Channel 4 are said to have set up a whistleblower service for staff, a move reportedly welcomed by Gogglebox employees.
Representatives for Studio Lambert and Stephen Webb have been contacted for comment by MailOnline.
If you have been affected by this story, call The Samaritans at any time, from any phone for FREE, on 116 123.
Dreadful: Her allegations of ‘long hours’ and ‘restrictiveness’ come after Gogglebox production staff alleged they were ‘screamed at for 12 hours a day’ earlier this year
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