TV

EXCLUSIVE: Gogglebox's Wayne and Tom open up about their three wonderful kids

Our favourite Gogglebox couple talk about prejudice, parenthood and putting family first.

By Thomas Mitchell

Viewers may be familiar with Gogglebox Australia stars Wayne and Tom. But fans of the hit reality show have never met the couple’s three children – until now.

The confident and hilarious duo are full of energy as they open up about their pride and joy – daughters Jade, 27, and Tegan, 24, and son Zac, 26.

“We have three beautiful children,” Wayne, 47, enthuses, adding that he couldn’t be more proud.

“Jade is successful in her career as a medical scientist and Tegan and Zac are busy chasing their dreams.”

But sadly, the excitement ebbs as the topic switches to the current postal plebiscite on same-sex marriage.

For Tom, in particular, the controversy surrounding the debate has been hard to hear.

“For us to be told we can’t be good parents because we’re two men is heartbreaking,” the 49-year-old says.

“We’ve done the best any parent can do. We’ve supported our children, taught them morals, taken them to soccer practice and dancing lessons.”

Tom and Wayne, with daughters Tegan and Jade, and son Zac
Tom and Wayne, with daughters Tegan and Jade, and son Zac

They’ve raised three kids and been vocal supporters of marriage equality. Now, Tom and Wayne say they’ve also become role models for young people struggling to come to terms with their sexuality.

“We get private messages from young people, asking how they can overcome the negativity,” Tom reveals.

“It brings back a lot of memories for me. Growing up in the ’80s, I used to hear my family say that gay people should be put down. So I’ve been through it and
I can lend a hand.”

Wayne adds that the Gogglebox platform has also allowed them to introduce Australia to the new normal, breaking down barriers along the way.

“Whether you’re a four-person family with a mum, dad and kids, or a gay family living under one roof, everyone is really the same,” he says. And speaking of under one roof, Wayne and Tom are just one child away from being empty-nesters.

“Our son Zac still lives with us, but he’s always out and about,” Tom laughs. “We’re trying to hint that he should move out, actually.”

While the couple are among the most popular Gogglebox cast members, it seems they don’t impress their kids.

“When we first got approached, they all said, ‘Oh, Dad − you’re embarrassing enough as it is without the world knowing!’” Tom laughs. “But now, they love it.

17 years together and still going strong!
17 years together and still going strong!

And with Jade and Tegan being interstate, it’s kind of nice, because they can sit and watch TV with us.”

Despite being a close-knit family, Wayne concedes that a worrying health scare sparked a confrontation with his children.

“I had a heart attack last year,” he reveals. “My specialist said I was lucky to survive. It scared our kids. They really got upset and stepped in and said, ‘We want you here to see your grandchildren.’”

The doctors gave Wayne the all-clear, but the hospital stay left a lasting impression.

“It was the wake-up call I needed,” he admits. “I realised I don’t want to die and need to lose weight.”

The scare prompted Wayne to start swimming again, while also inspiring him to give up cigarettes.

“I know I carry too much weight,” he admits. “So I started swimming again. I do that three times a week. But I also need to quit the cigarettes. We’re in the process of quitting.”

And shedding the weight may be the perfect exercise for Wayne before he walks down the aisle. The pair declare they’ll get married if the vote in the same-sex marriage plebiscite turns out to be yes.

“We would have a wedding for our children and friends,” Tom explains. “We’ve been together for 17 years, so as far as we’re concerned, we’re [already] married.”

Wayne adds, “I’d like a small beach wedding and invite friends and family.”

read more from