Gogglebox Lee's partner's emotional post as they prepare to separate ahead of new series

By Zoe Delaney

Gogglebox star Lee Riley's partner has delighted fans with a sweet birthday message for the TV star.

As the Channel 4 star celebrated turning 53, partner of 26 years Steve Mail took to social media to wish his boyfriend well on his special day.

Sharing a snap of himself and the Gogglebox star looked and tanned and happy beside a pool, Steve added a heartwarming caption to his Instagram post on Tuesday.

"A very happy 53rd birthday to my better half and my best friend in the world love you to the moon and back thank you for yet another amazing summer here in beautiful Cyprus," he wrote to his 3150 followers.

"I will miss you so much as you prepare to head back to Blighty for the next instalment of Gogglebox when you will finally reunite with your sidekick the adorable Jenny Newby," he continued.

He then added the hashtags #cyprus #summer2021 #gogglebox to his birthday tribute.

Fans and famous faces were quick to add their own birthday messages to the 53-year-old armchair critic.

Ellie Warner, Lee's Channel 4 co-star, was one of the Gogglebox alumni to leave a comment underneath the Instagram post.

"Aww happy birthday Lee," the bubbly star wrote.

"hope you have a fab day xxx"

One fan wrote: "Happy Birthday Lee , hope you had a fantastic day. We will see you soon on Gogglebox. Glad you both had a great time in Cyprus."

Another commented on how sun-kissed the smiling couple looked, commenting: "Look at your tans!! I’m so jealous"

The 18th season of Gogglebox is due to begin later this month and birthday-boy Lee will be returning to join pal Jenny Newby from their caravan in Hull.

Jenny and Lee are due to return to our screens very soon (Channel 4)

The pair have become fan favourite's on the show thanks to their hilarious banter with one another as they play armchair TV critics.

Jenny also paid tribute to her friend and co-star as he celebrated his birthday earlier this week.

Using the pair's joint Instagram account, the 48-year-old shared a humorous message as her friend turned 53.

The TV star posted a throwback snap of herself looking on at Lee on a previous birthday they celebrated in the caravan together.

She captioned the shot: "Wishing this t**t a happy 53rd birthday. Have a wonderful last few days in Cyprus see you Friday for filming. love Jenny xx"

Fellow Gogglebox stars took to the comments to also send a message to Lee on his birthday.

Dave and Shirl wrote: "Happy birthday Lee mate, have a good one love Dave and Shirley xxx"

Gogglebox returns to our TV screens on Friday night with a star-studded special.

Celebrity Gogglebox will see stars such as Tinie Tempah and Drag Race UK stars Tia Kofi and Tayce take to their sofa's as part of Channel 4's day of celebrating Black talent, Black to Front.

The new series of Gogglebox is set to start on Channel 4 on September 17

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