Gogglebox favourite Lee Riley unrecognisable as co-star pays birthday tribute

Gogglebox fan-favourite Jenny Newby has shared a childhood photo of her best friend and co-star Lee Riley to mark his birthday.

The duo returned to the Channel 4 show on Friday night for its new series, but got fans excited before the launch with an unrecognisable photo.

Jenny posted the photo of a young Lee on their shared Instagram, in which he could be seen wearing smart school uniform.

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Celebrating his big day, Jenny wrote: "Just got to wish Lee a happy 54th birthday. What happened to you [laughing emojis] lots of love Jenny xx."

The fun photo had more than 19,000 likes on it, and plenty of comments from Jenny and Lee's fans and Gogglebox co-star.

Former cast member Lisa Baggs wrote Happy birthday Lee! Have a wonderful day! Lots of love from us all."

Dave and Shirley Griffiths commented: "Happy birthday Lee mate, hope you have a good one, love Dave and Shirley xx."

Abbie Lynn said: "Happy birthday Lee! I hope you have a fab day celebrating xx."

One fan laughed: "Oh so innocent. Happy birthday Lee."

And someone else said: "Aww Lee love the pic. Happy birthday."

The beloved Channel 4 show returned to screens on Friday night, despite many programmes being pulled off air due to Queen Elizabeth II's death.

Channels such as BBC One and ITV completely wiped their schedules, airing special news reports all day, covering King Charles III's return to Buckingham Palace from Balmoral.

Meanwhile, Channel 4 continued with its entertainment programming – however there were some changes.

Viewers were left confused on Friday morning, as the usual re-runs of comedy shows were replaced with the likes of A Place In The Sun and Escape To The Chateau.

They were glad to have Gogglebox back though, given the tough few days mourning royal fans have had.

Channel 4 said in a statement: "Channel 4 exists to offer viewers an alternative and that is particularly important at times like this.

"Gogglebox is a much loved national institution and it will air as planned tonight bringing a valuable sense of continuity for many of our viewers."

Gogglebox airs Fridays at 9pm on Channel 4


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