Gogglebox's Tapper family details 'frightening' coronavirus symptoms in first TV appearance since illness

The family-of-four were favourites on the Channel 4 show

Francesca Shillcock

The Tapper family have detailed their difficult and "frightening" experience of coronavirus in their first TV appearance since contracting the illness. The family-of-four, who were favourites on the popular Channel 4 show Gogglebox from the first series in 2013 until 2018, were appearing on Friday's Good Morning Britain with Lorraine to speak about their experience of Covid-19, which affected them all.

Dad Jonathan, who was the first to contract the virus, began: "It wasn't too great. The symptoms of high fever and feeling very weak mainly and coughing. I literally couldn't move at one point, couldn't walk up the stairs and if I did manage to get half way up, I was really struggling for breath." The 52-year-old, who self-isolated at home, suffered extreme symptoms which then eventually passed on to mum Nikki and their two children.

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The Tapper family were favourites on the Channel 4 show

Jonathan's extreme symptoms were clearly a cause for concern. Daughter Amy, 20, told Lorraine: "There was one night and I just kept coming down every hour to check on him because I was so worried. Josh was like, 'What are you doing?' And I said, 'Dad's still breathing, it's ok.'" Her brother Josh, who also contracted the respiratory illness, explained: "I'm okay, I'm fine now. We were all worried if we were all going to be ill, who would look after Dad?' That was one of the most difficult things. If we were all bedridden, who would we have to look after each other? I was really bad for about a week and then got better."

Although Nikki contracted the virus from her husband, she fortunately didn't suffer quite as badly. But there was a moment when the family began to panic and Jonathan's symptom deteriorated. "I had to be ok because I had to make sure he was okay because he was so poorly," said the mum-of-two. "But the frightening thing was on about day nine, that's when we plummeted."

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She continued: "I messaged Amy and Josh to say I couldn't get out of bed and to make sure Jonathan had hot drinks and was ok as we’d put Jonathan in the TV room to isolate. Then Amy came running up the stairs and said, 'I'm really worried. Dad’s in a terrible way.' That's when I really started to panic." Fortunately the family are now in good health, and Jonathan explained how a change in lifestyle "definitely" helped him. "In every way, losing weight is a good thing. I definitely think because I did it helped me get through this horrible virus."

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