We all remember it vividly: a new show was starting on television and it was a show about people watching shows. So many people were sceptical and after watching a few episodes, you were easily hooked. The show is Gogglebox and the reactions are just priceless. If you haven’t been living under a rock, and you have managed to catch an episode I’m positive you have heard of Faye and Anastasia, the Greek friends who make everyone laugh with their one-liners and hilarious chemistry. I sat with the pair as they told me how this all came about. They met many years ago at a Melbourne nightclub. Anastasia thought Faye was trying to pick her up when all she wanted was her phone number so she could ring and ask where she had bought her dress. Clearly in the days before social media, when you had to actually speak to people and ask them your questions rather than ‘follow’ them and look for ‘tags’.
How did you hear about the show? Tell me about the application process.
Anastasia: I didn’t hear about the show. The producers approached me at the market where they saw me having a fizz over some broken eggs. They asked me to audition, which I did with my family but they didn’t want any of my family members. I asked three other girlfriends before approaching Faye. Together Faye and I are awesome. I love it. The saying “at the right place at the right time” is very real to me now.
What was your reaction when you were accepted?
Faye: Oh my God, what have we gotten ourselves into! I wasn’t sure what to expect as it was a first-time show. No-one expected it to get this big.
Do you get recognised in public often? Are there any funny stories you can share?
F: Yes, all the time, even all the way over in Greece and Italy while on holidays last year. I’ve been stopped at supermarkets, [I’ve had] young girls following me down the aisles for photos, teenagers on bikes, and older people approaching me in restaurants. Recently, I was crossing the road when a 4WD stopped the traffic and five people piled out to take photos with me.
A: Every day I am recognised, wherever I go. I have a funny story. I went to the Justin Bieber concert with my daughter. As soon as people realised it was me, they forgot all about listening to Justin Bieber saying ‘OMG, Anastasia we love you’, I had people around me that wanted to take selfies with me. They were talking to me right through the concert. One young girl said, ‘this concert is even more amazing now, because you are here, Anastasia’. Fancy upstaging Justin Bieber!
Are you completely yourselves the whole time or do you filter yourselves?
F: Yes we are completely ourselves. We are given free reign to say anything and do anything then the hard work begins for the poor editors.
How did you feel when the show was nominated and won a Logie?
A: OMG, I can’t even explain it and especially being Logie winners to go into the Logie books, as Logie winners. Never ever did I imagine this would ever happen. Are we the first Greeks to be Logie winners?
I had told David, the executive producer, in the first season, even before we started filming episode 1, we would win a Logie for the show. He laughed at me but I was serious, the Greek coffee cup had told me!
How did you celebrate and did you record it?
F: Yes and yes, we celebrated while watching the Logies, of course on Gogglebox and celebrated with champagne and my favourite lady, Anastasia. Poor Anastasia, I jumped on her and spilled her drink, but I don’t think they showed that bit.
Have you had any crazy fans? Any in particular that stand out?
F: Yes, I had gone out with a group of friends for a Greek night and I had just stepped out to get some fresh air where I was sitting quietly, then I hear ‘Ahhhhhhhhh. It’s Faye’, and a group of Greek women literally jumped on me and my friends pulled me from underneath them. I was squashed from their excitement. They kept rubbing my arms and hair and face. Once I got my breath back, we sat there laughing and talking and answering their questions, I couldn’t believe the show has made that much of an effect on people. But mostly, the people have been fantastic; we have had great feedback and very positive.
How did your families feel when they saw the show?
F: My parents couldn’t understand it (being Greek) but got the general gist of it. They get a little dizzy with all the swapping from one household to another. They couldn’t believe it was true and that it was me on there.
A: They were excited we were on. My brother Andrew told me to stop swearing, and my other brother Bill just laughed. My kids are proud of me and can’t believe sometimes their mum is on TV. They have laughs at school with their school friends at some of my comments on the show. My mother is so happy for me as she knows I have always wanted to be on TV. I used to tell my family and friends that I will be famous one day. Now everybody comes up and says ‘you always said you would be famous one day’ but I only consider myself semi-famous.
Have you ever had a fight before you were due to record?
F: Yes, of course, but we are still friends at the end of the day. All friends argue about something or another. I think it was an argument about what time to meet for something and double booking. We didn’t roll it into the show though, it’s very easy to stop our personal conversations and roll into the show. If there is anything we don’t want on the show, we just simply keep our mouths shut about it.
What is your favourite line that the other has said on the show?
F: I am always in fits of laughter with Anastasia, she is one of the most genuinely funny people that I know. She has this knack when you are feeling down to get you on a high with her witty one-liners. One of the funniest lines I heard from her was when we were watching a show about Tom Cruise having changed and how high up he is with Scientology now. She just blurted out at the end of watching a segment ‘Well Faye, I’d rather have a lamb roast any day. Was a malaka and still is a malaka‘.
A: God, there [have] been so many, I can’t think. With me, anything that has the word malaka in it and when I said ‘I would love to be George Clooney’s condom’. I still laugh at that! Oh, and when I wore the helmet from Star Wars and Faye told me it was a ‘vast improvement’. That was funny.
What is something people might not know about you?
A: I’m a shopaholic. I am also impatient and I am always late for everything.
F: I can make my knuckles move side to side and can also click and crunch my knee. I have two beautiful, grown-up sons that make me proud day-by-day. I love surf-ski on a bombora and I have a love of horses. I have actually had racehorses in the past.
What do you have in store for us for next season?
F: You have to watch and see! We cannot reveal too much into the future, but we can guarantee 100 per cent that you will lose yourself for at least an hour, laughing along with us and shedding a few tears of joy!
We hope you enjoy our company, we thank you from the bottom of our purest Greek big hearts, gia sias and filakia to you all.
You can catch the show on Wednesdays on Foxtel’s Lifestyle at 7.30 pm and Thursdays on Channel Ten at 8.30 pm.