Gogglebox star Giles Wood is best known for appearing on the Channel 4 show alongside his wife Mary Killen.
But outside of his appearance as part of one of Gogglebox’s most loved couples, Giles has a lucrative second career, after the show previously suggested he “retired at 21”.
Giles and Mary joined Gogglebox in 2015 and have cemented their place in the hearts of viewers ever since with their witty commentary and loveable relationship, joining the nation on their sofa from their country cottage in Wiltshire each week.
However, not much was known about the couple’s life outside of the TV show until the pair discussed Giles’ retirement in an episode last year.
While watching a documentary about coronavirus at the height of the pandemic, Mary said: “We’ll just have to get herd immunity, it can’t kill everyone,” to which Giles replied: “Just as I’m starting to enjoy my retirement.” Looking surprised, Mary joked: “What retirement? You haven’t worked first. You retired at 21, so now you can start working – do it in reverse.”
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However despite Mary’s retirement jab, Giles does actually have a lucrative second career as a visual artist – with some of his pieces selling for thousands of pounds.
On his official website, Giles explains that he specialises in painting landscapes and interiors and says he “enjoys painting the clutter of peoples’ lives”.
Giles continues: “I like the contemplative aspect — sitting for several days in a room, watching the light change. There are as many changes as with a landscape. I always work in oils as they give more depth. The finished painting should offer an insight into the painter as well as the subject”.
The couple are thought to have met in their early 20s when Giles was studying at Wimbledon Art School and Mary was working as a model. They’ve been married for over thirty years and have two grown-up daughters, however they’ve yet to appear alongside their parents on the show.
One of their daughters had originally been pencilled in to appear on the show with Giles – but she changed her mind at the last-minute.
Giles, thankfully, managed to persuade Mary to come on board.
The pair often affectionately refer to each other as “nutty”, with Mary once explaining why to The Daily Star as she said: “We call each other ‘nutty’ because we both consider the other to be a bit mad. Certainly, Giles has multiple personality disorders so he’s all sorts of people and one of them is a bit of a genius. The truth is we’re both neurotic.”
Mary has also previously revealed that she has a “zero-tolerance policy” on swearing. Speaking to the Guardian in the past, she said: “There’s so much on telly, I don’t want it in my own cottage. Giles swears occasionally because he’s always having minor accidents. Our children turn on him and tell him off. Poor Giles.”
Mary is also the Spectator’s resident agony aunt and writes a column using her etiquette expertise – as well as being the author of various books, including 2012’s How the Queen Can Make You Happy.
In her agony aunt column, Mary advises readers on the most polite way to get out of awkward situations, ranging from the more common (‘How do I reject a wedding invitation without causing offence?’) to the more far more niche (‘How do I stop people assuming I am a billionaire?’).
She also seems to help husband Giles manage his art sales, as she’s listed as a contact on his website.
Giles paints from the couple’s countryside cottage, with the artist previously posting pictures of him with his works in progress to Instagram.
However, despite the cottage looking fairly impressive on TV, the couple have previously shared how it’s in need of some serious repairs, having lovingly named it the “grottage”.
Speaking to the Telegraph in a past interview , the couple revealed that paint had started peeling from their ceilings and they were once forced to create makeshift double glazing using bubble wrap.
Viewers will best know the couple’s living room, however, with its two armchairs standing in front of a bookcase.
A recent Instagram post from Giles revealed that all the books in the bookcase belong to him.
It revealed: “May has her own library in another part of the house”.
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