“Leon often said he’d like to write our story,” says Gogglebox’s June. “Now, I can do it for him.”
Gogglebox began as the lightest of light reality TV shows, with a very simple (albeit surprisingly difficult to explain) concept: you, though your television, watch other people watching their televisions.
However, it has since turned into a staple part of our viewing schedules, featuring opinionated families and groups of friends from around the United Kingdom – many of whom we have grown incredibly attached to over the years, particularly June and Leon.
The Liverpool pair were the first couple to be cast on the Channel 4 show when it started in 2013, setting the world to rights from the comfort of their matching floral armchairs.
Their on-screen chemistry was undeniable, albeit unsurprising: it soon became public knowledge that June and Leon had met at the beginning of their long-lasting careers as teachers and had enjoyed a long and happy 60-year marriage .
In December 2017, though, the nation was left in mourning after Leon passed away. His death, which came after a short illness, was announced as national news and floods of social media users paid tribute to his unique personality and sharp wit.
Of course, losing Leon was harder on no one more than June. However, just over a year later, she has announced some wonderful news: she is writing a book about the life she and Leon shared together.
Blink Publishing has confirmed that the nostalgic memoir, Leon and June: Our Story, will be published this September and will “look at 60 years together and is a celebration of Leon’s life and their love for one another.”
The book will take us back to the moment an 18-year-old June “first laid eyes on Leon at teacher training college in 1955,” before detailing their “fight to marry when their parents disapproved, happy memories of Sixties Liverpool, building a loving home and family together [and] finding fame as pensioners.”
Speaking ahead of the book’s release, June said: “Leon often said he’d like to write our story… now I can do it for him.”
Editorial Director of Blink Publishing, Kelly Ellis, said, “Their gentle ribbing of each other on Gogglebox and Leon’s cheeky jokes were always the perfect tonic on a Friday evening. Like the rest of the nation, I was bereft at the sad loss of Leon.
“He will be so sorely missed but we hope, together with the wonderful June, we can create a legacy for him that lives on with this incredibly moving book. It will be a true celebration of love, life and friendship as well as a touching tribute to a man who was loved by so many.”
Since his death, fans of the show have continued to express how much they miss seeing Leon on their screens, with many tweeting tributes, reminiscing on their favourite Leon moments or asking June how she is coping via the Twitter account she runs @LeonAndJune.
I just watched #gogglebox and found out that lovely Leon has passed away. I don't know when this was but Beard & I have always said we would love to be Leon and June when we get old and bicker about slices of ham and tea bags. #legend #rip #leonandjune #trueloveneverdies— Leanne (@TnTofParenthood) March 2, 2018
Judging by the overwhelming love Gogglebox fans have for June and Leon, we can only imagine how much a hit the book will be.
If you’re missing Leon’s dry sense of humour, treat yourself to a quick break and watch some of the pair’s best bits:
Images: Channel 4 / Twitter