June and Leon Bernicoff were two of our favourite Gogglebox stars, so we were upset to her of the sad passing of Leon over Christmas. Now his wife June has decided that she won’t be returning to the programme for its next series.
It had been suggested that June might return to the show with one of her daughters, but when asked in a tweet, she responded: “It was a great adventure with a great finale with the NTA.” This was a reference to the touching tribute to Leon that was aired at the National Television Awards, after Gogglebox won the NTA for Best Factual Entertainment Show for the fourth year running.
The award’s presenter, Dr Foster star Suranne Jones, announced the winners, saying: “God bless you Leon. It’s Gogglebox.” The prize was collected by Ellie and Izzie Warner from Leeds, who dedicated the prize to Leon and June.
June received lots of tweets from fans supporting her decision, including these messages:
‘You have to do what’s right for you June. Your memories with Leon will be with you forever and we have those from Gogglebox too.’
‘I’ll miss you June but I understand it would be too hard without Leon.’
‘You will be missed but it’s totally understandable.’
Leon died at the age of 83. He and June, 78, first met when June was just 18, at a dance at a teacher training college. While it was love at first sight for the couple, things got off to a rocky start, as Leon explained in an interview with the Daily Record. He said that his Jewish family had clashed with June’s catholic upbringing: “It was heartbreaking. We ended up having a very unromantic proposal. June was screaming at me saying, ‘Are you going to marry me or not?’ It was awful.”
Despite their initial troubles, the couple were happily married for 60 years, and we’re sending all our best wishes to June after the sad loss of her husband.