Celebrity Gogglebox: Mel C’s famous brother, Paul O’Neill, who races for a living

Back for its fourth celebrity series, Gogglebox is attracting a cast of stars from across the entertainment landscape, from Martin and Roman Kemp, Shaun Ryder and Bez to Micah Richards and Jamie Carragher. But there’s an unfamiliar face in the Channel 4 cast, with girls’ half-brother Mel C Paul O’Neill joins them.

Celebrity Gogglebox sits down to watch some of the most popular television programs, regularly attracting millions of viewers. It gives the public a glimpse of what it’s like to curl up and watch TV with household names while putting on their favorite slippers and a cup of tea.

One of the fan favorites is the former Spice Girls star who is joined by her half brother. Announcing his arrival as a cast member, Mel C wrote on Twitter: “Gogglebox is back with its upcoming third season. And I can’t wait to be on the show alongside my little brother Paul O’Neil for the first time next week. Don’t miss it!”

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Paul isn’t in the limelight, isn’t in showbiz, and instead keeps much of his life private. Paul, now 42, is a former racer, having attended Jim Russell Racing School, and began his track career competing in the MGF Cup around the turn of the millennium.

After a few successful seasons, he entered the production class of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC). In the MGF Cup, BTCC and British GT, he had a 15-year career that saw him become a celebrity in racing circles – particularly after winning the BTCC at his home circuit, Outon Park, in 2022.

After being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, Paul retired from racing and became a commentator instead. He has since been part of race coverage including ITV4’s UK GT productions and has appeared on Top Gear and Channel 5 show Classic Car Rescue.

Inspired by Nigel Mansell’s win at the 1987 British Grand Prix, Paul was determined to be a driver, but his dream could have been dashed before he even started as a teenager. He has previously admitted that he once stole Mel’s Auto-Flash new car.

“I was 17 years old, working in a factory in Warrington, and I borrowed my sister’s car,” he said. “I had only been driving for a few weeks and had a massive accident when I came out of a wet roundabout in a Mercedes SLK and knocked over a lamppost.

“It made the front page of the tabloids. I was inexperienced – I knew nothing about driving.”

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