Wife Swap set to return with one-off Brexit special - and the trailer is intense

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Kayleigh Dray
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Wife Swap was, back in the early noughties, the ultimate guilty-pleasure television show… despite the fact it usually offered such a grim insight into people’s lives.  

The concept was simple; two wives – always from dramatically different lifestyles – would agree to swap families for 10 days, with every move followed by a film crew. For the first half of this experiment, they would be forced to follow the guidelines set by their predecessor. For the second, they’d impose their own rules – and, naturally, chaos would reign supreme.

It always ended with the two families meeting to explain what they’d learned from the experience (read: the capacity for pure, vitriolic hatred), and vowing to appreciate the ‘Wife’ they’d lost for those 10 days.

Now, after eight long years, the bizarre reality show is coming back to our televisions – with a special one-off Brexit special.

Yes, really.

Families with opposing views in the divisive EU debate will see their ‘wives’ trade places for a week, in a bid to give “ordinary” people a platform and allow them to have their say on the political issue.

However, judging by the trailer, it seems highly unlikely that they’ll be willing to see things from one another’s point-of-view any time soon...

Everything from immigration to racism is set to be discussed on the TV show when German-born Kat Boettge swaps places with Nigel Farage fan Pauline.

“I cried quite a bit,” Boettge revealed after the show.

Speaking about the 60-minute special, Channel 4′s commissioning editor of education Emily Jones said: “Wife Swap was largely about how people chose to run their homes, but it always had political undertones.

“Now the world has changed and recent events have brought political issues into the heart of every household.

“What better time to bring back this much-loved format to explore Brexit and hear first hand the conversations happening in every home.”

Daniel Fromm, of the programme’s production company RDF Television, added: “With the Brexit debate dominated by politicians and journalists, it will be fascinating to hear the voices of two ordinary families grappling with the issue.”

Wife Swap became a hit when it aired its first series in 2003; it ran for six years in the UK and also became a successful format overseas.

For those who never managed to catch an episode, however, don’t let the title worry you too much; despite the fact the show’s title comes from a popular ‘swingers’ phrase, couples participating are not asked to share a bed with the “swapped” spouse while “swapping” homes.

The one-off Brexit special of Wife Swap is on Channel 4 on Thursday 15 June at 9pm.


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.