Episode Guides

What happens when the rule books change? In this BAFTA-winning show, couples from very different families exchange lives, and partners, for ten days.

About the Show

What happens when the rule books change? In this BAFTA-winning show, couples from very different families exchange lives, and partners, for ten days.

  • Hornby and Berner

    The Hornbys and the Berners

    Self-confessed wannabe WAG Andrea Hornby swaps places with Kathy Berner, a working mother whose busy life doesn't leave much time for herself or romance.

    Oldham housewife Andrea has devoted her life to her husband Steve, who manages a plumbing business. The 34-year-old has had a £5k boob job, spends two hours in front of the mirror and changes clothes three times every day, dishes up gourmet breakfasts at daybreak, and packs the two oldest kids - 11-year-old Abi and Jake, seven, from two previous relationships - off to their rooms at 7pm sharp so that she can spend time with Steve.

    Veterinary nurse assistant and mum of two Kathy Berner loves her job, but her family comes first. Househusband Darren is as devoted to Kathy's 10-year-old daughter Nadine from a previous marriage as he is to their baby son Kurt. But work and family commitments have taken their toll on their relationship, and Kathy could do with a bit more romance.

    What happens when a working mum with strong family values runs into parents who put themselves first? Can a devoted wife teach a husband how to bring the romance back into his life? Will a step-dad step up to the mark, and can a relationship be salvaged? There are life-changing decisions as Kathy and Andrea swap lives.

  • Wife Swap, Stoke-on-Trent

    The Duncans and the Bonnars

    Michele Duncan thinks nothing of cleaning her Stoke-on-Trent house from top to bottom for eight hours each day; even brandishing a toothbrush to remove every last speck of grime from the cooker. Then, as the breadwinner, she's off on night shifts at her local garage.

    Michele's partner Nigel Austin and his stepchildren Sian (14) and Steven (11) aren't allowed to lift a finger to help. Michele likes kids to be kids and, in any case, she doubts the others would do a decent job if they did help.

    Meanwhile, in Hampshire, Tracy Bonnar lives with her husband Paul and children River, Indiana and Canyon. Tracy runs a business empire, juggling the running of a gym, salon and jewellery business, along with her home, where everyone is expected to pull their weight. And she's a great believer in me-time, with a passion for riding.

    What happens when Tracy imposes her management skills on Michele's family? And how does Michele cope with a radically different lifestyle in Hampshire? Will she be returning home as the chilled woman that Nigel would love her to be? As Tracy and Michele swap homes and families, there's a revelation in store that has one of them looking at her life in a whole new light.

  • Curtis and Pinchen

    The Curtis' and the Pinchens

    What happens when a traditional country mum swaps lives with a working mum who doesn't believe in rules or discipline?

    Nadine and Darren Pinchin live a traditional country life in rural Gloucestershire. They believe set routines and discipline are important for their three children: Chloe, Lily, and Harry.

    Red and Dan Curtis are fashionistas who live in the heart of Brighton, where life revolves around work and running their alternative fashion business. Red and Dan are a team at work, but also at home where they share all the household chores. They like to live without rules, and don't have any hard, fast rules for the discipline of their three-year-old son Spike, and Red's daughter from a previous marriage, 18-year-old Xanthe.

    How does a mum who believes in free will and no rules cope with laying down the law? Can a hard-working dad realise the extent to which his wife and children miss him? And what happens when your new husband says 'no' to the new rules?

  • The Carters and the Dales

    The Carters and the Dales

    It's the last ever Wife Swap, as Bentley-driving lady-of-leisure Torre Carter from Kent, swaps with mum-of-seven Sam Dale, who lives in one of Britain's largest council estates in Hull.

    The swapped wives agree to live by each other's rules, before getting a chance to make dramatic changes to how the house and family are run. How does a Mum of seven from a big estate react when she first encounters a lady who lunches? What do seven children get up to when their new Mum encourages them to take on more responsibility? And what happens when a woman who is trying her best in difficult circumstances feels under attack?

  • The Hefferans and the Walshs

    The Hefferans and the Walshs

    Penny Hefferan has been blind from birth and is fiercely independent. She works full time for a number of charities, as well as running a tight ship at the family home in Loughborough, where she lives with husband Mike and their children Millie (10) and Kier (eight).

    Penny believes in strict routine and discipline, and the kids are expected to muck in with the housework. And once the chores are done, Penny ensures the TV and computer are off limits in favour of family time.

    Pat and Vanessa Walsh run a more hectic home. Vanessa juggles her role as a mum of five with running three internet businesses from home. Husband Pat has a laidback approach to family life, and they both share a relaxed attitude to discipline.

    The kids often stay up late, leaving little time for Vanessa and Pat to spend together as a couple.

    What happens when a liberal mum has to apply some rules? And can a fiercely independent blind mum learn to share the work load?

  • Stevens-Thomson family

    Stevens/Thomson and Rayfield/Collins

    A publican from Cornwall who gives her everything to running her pub 24-7, swaps with a working mum from Gravesend who shares an unconventional home life with her partner.

    Sam Stevens and her partner Ivor Thomson work together running their busy pub in the idyllic village of St Agnes in Cornwall. The couple live upstairs on the premises with Sam's children from a previous relationship: Callum (12) and Taome, who is nine.

    For publican Sam (34), the demands that come with managing a pub are the number one priority: 'Running a pub is 24/7, I love it!' Working an average of 14 hours a day, she rarely has a spare minute away from the bar. Meanwhile, her partner Ivor (33), believes that his special gift is charming the customers.

    By day, the children Callum and Taome keep busy with a host of extra curricular activities. But once back at home it is a different story, with very little time spent together as a family.

    In Gravesend, Natalie Rayfield and Jay Collins have an unconventional partnership. Natalie is the main breadwinner, while Jay is a stay-at-home dad to Natalie's four-year-old Zac, and the couple's one-year-old Kai. Twenty-three-year-old Natalie has a thoroughly modern approach to her relationship: 'Im the breadwinner, I go out to work and Jay cleans the house, does the kids and makes me dinner.' The couple's arrangement suits 21-year-old Jay: 'I don't mind it. Being with the kids you get to see their first step, their first words, their first teeth, it's brilliant.'

    The wives have agreed to swap families to see what they can learn from the experience. What happens when a house husband faces a few home truths? And how does it feel when a new wife spends time with a man who has a very different approach to work than she's used to?

  • Agnes Sheriff and the Ward family

    The Sheriffs and the Wards

    A born-again Christian mother swaps places with a mum who describes her family as more like the Osbournes than the Waltons.

    Working mum Agnes Sheriff (46), and her husband Abu (57), arrived in Britain from Sierra Leone 20 years ago. They and their family: Matta (19), Alfan (17) and 12-year-old Moisia - live their life by the Bible. Agnes says: 'I try parenting according to the Bible. I can't always be perfect, but I try. There are rules in the house. Everywhere in society there have to be rules that govern people.'

    As well as daily prayers and zero tolerance for swearing, they adhere to West African traditions, which means the kitchen is a women-only zone. The house is at the heart of the community and operates an open-door policy. There's a constant stream of visitors to their three-bed terrace in Bristol and food is always on offer, meaning nurse Agnes rarely gets a moment to herself.

    In Portsmouth, stay-at-home mum Lisa Ward (36) shares her home with her partner Colin (47) and their children Savannah (13) and Cameron (nine). Lisa likes to let is all hang out, has a fruity vocabulary and believes in relaxed parenting.

    But what does Agnes think of the freedom of expression in the Ward home? Can Lisa curb her language, and handle being on duty in the kitchen, Bible studies and squeezing in a night shift in a retirement home? And when the wives impose their own rules, how do their new families shape up?

  • The Hollick family with Sam Willis

    The Hollicks and the Willis'

    Beautician Tara Hollick and her husband Alan believe in liberal parenting. They would rather their children feel free to express themselves in front of their parents than go behind their backs. So Alan's 16-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, Charlie, smokes and drinks alongside him and Tara. 'Wrap 'em up in cotton wool and you're asking for trouble', says Alan.

    Meanwhile, if ex-England squash pro Sam Willis caught any of her four kids with a cigarette, she'd make them chain-smoke until they were sick. Life in her Kettering home is run like a military campaign with Jade, 15, George, 12, Dionne, nine, and Olivia, seven, packing in 40 hours of extra-curricular sports, dance and music every week. Sam's husband, construction boss Nick, works long hours six days a week, leaving her to look after the kids alone.

    Sam's not impressed when she detects smoking as soon as she walks into the Hollick home. Ten-year-old Ryan is asthmatic and Abi, five, could be picking up bad habits. When both mums introduce their new rules, Nick reckons he¿s in danger of ending up in a padded cell and Alan leads Sam a merry dance. Is either party prepared to rethink their ways at the end of the swap?

  • Ramos and Griffiths

    The Ramos' and the Griffiths

    In Sheffield, Anita Ramos and her Brazilian husband Marcelo spend every day together, working as professional acrobats and performers. They've been inseparable since they met 14 years ago. Their children, 13-year-old Jordan and five-year-old Samuel, spend over nine hours each week trampolining and tumbling.

    In Worcester, classroom assistant Julie Griffiths and IT sales executive David have been married for almost 20 years but now lead almost separate lives. Both parents work hard to give their four children - Tabitha (16), Amber (14), Elliot (13) and Tristan (11) - what they consider to be the best start in life: sending all four of them to private school and managing a host of extra-curricular activities.

    The wives have agreed to swap families to see what they can learn from the experience. How does a proud dad cope when he thinks his family is under attack? What happens when a new wife asks some tough questions? And how does a child with few boundaries at home cope with a new regime?

  • The Murphys and the Moystons

    The Murphys and the Moystons

    A driven perfectionist swaps her life with a woman who adores life in the slow lane.

    Hairdresser Kerry Murphy lives at 110 mph and demands perfection in every aspect of her life: her five-bed Rotherham home, her work and her appearance. Married to building contractor Tim she believes you can achieve anything - if you work for it. All day, every day is jam packed for Kerry as she juggles her home life with her job. Her aim is to bring glitter and sunshine into people's lives.

    On the other hand, Kelly Moyston is a self-confessed lazy mum. Wedded to her pillow, she and 18-month-old Georgina are rarely up before lunchtime and fiancé Steve is expected to do all the chores and the cooking, after his 12-hour shifts on the buses in Bristol. Kelly will happily chat with her friends online for up to 12 hours a day, and she transforms herself into a karaoke queen four nights each week, too. Meanwhile, Steve is left holding the baby.

    In this dramatic exchange, Kerry gets a crash course in parenting, while Kelly is soon struggling to cope with life as superwoman. But will the Wife Swap experience provoke any life-changing experiences for either of them?

  • The Howes family

    The Burkes and the Howes

    Sue and Kevin Burke live on a 200-acre farm in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and have been married for nearly four years. They live with three of Sue's five children from previous marriages: Jez, 26, Toby, 20 and Theo, 18.

    Beverley and Derek Howes live in the new town of Telford in Shropshire. Married for nearly 20 years, they have five children: 13-year-old twins Courtney and Whitney, and 10-year-old triplets Savannah, Bradley and Dudley.

    Sue Burke believes in living life away from the cut and thrust of the rat race. Enjoying life outdoors is far more important for born-again Christian Sue and her family than how things are indoors.

    How will a bohemian wife cope with a family who likes to be waited on hand and foot? And how will a confirmed town-dweller cope living 'the good life'?

  • Wife Swap

    The Ramseys and the Greens

    Birmingham couple Chris and Ray enjoy a marriage with a difference - they enjoy being intimate not just with each other, but with other consenting adults too. Chris and Ray are real-life wife-swappers.

    Chris and Ray have a liberal approach to family life too, and with no rules and discipline in the house the kids are free to do what they want. This means that 19-year-old daughter Sam is free to work as a pole dancer in the evenings, leaving mum Chris to take care of baby Jessica.

    The Ramseys enjoy take-out food most nights and despite her demanding job as a nurse, it's mum Chris who goes out to get the family meals and clears up afterwards.

    Over in Nottingham, there's not a take-away menu in sight. The Green family are fit, highly ambitious and very disciplined. Mum Tracey and step dad Ben have a goal for 11-year-old daughter Sharntay Green to swim in the 2012 Olympics. They devote all their time to try to achieve this dream.

    Sharntay's gruelling swimming schedule dominates the entire family routine; both Tracey and Ben take equal responsibility for keeping the swimming programme on course, sharing all the household chores too. There's little free time for Sharntay as she spends most of her evenings training at the pool.

    How will a tough disciplinarian dad cope when he is forced to spoil his daughter, and how will a laid-back dad cope when he is forced to get tough with his kids? How will the Ramsey kids cope without TV and take-away food? What will happen when Tracey confronts the Ramseys about their real wife-swapping antics?

  • escotts-and-ahmeds

    The Ahmeds and the Escotts

    Nuzhat Ahmed is the mother in a devout Muslim Pakistani family who pray five times a day. The backbone of their family philosophy is based on Islamic principles and their three teenage children are well-mannered, work hard and very respectful of their parents' wishes.

    Supermum Nuzhat works full time, studies, manages all the cooking and household chores, and keeps a keen eye on what her children are doing.

    Deborah Escott works as an admin director for a theatre company and is the sole breadwinner in her liberal family. Husband Andy is a musician and house-husband who looks after their three-year-old daughter Emily and 16-year-old Becky, Debs's daughter from a previous relationship. Becky has recently come out as a lesbian.

    Will these two very different mums ever see eye to eye? How will husband Shakil react when Deborah arranges for his two teenage daughters to attend a live music gig and how does Nuzhat deal with a rebellious teenage daughter whose sexuality is a direct challenge to her religious beliefs?

  • Pearson Faiths

    The Berrisfords and the Pearson-Faiths

    Jess and Lou Pearson-Faith are a lesbian couple from Essex. They live together in a council flat with Jess's three children from a previous marriage. Two years ago Jess met Lou and, despite a ten-year age gap, they became one of the first couples to wed in a same-sex civil ceremony and now have plans for a child of their own.

    Lou takes care of the housework, including all the ironing, cooking and washing, while Jess manages the kids. But, aside from the household chores and Lou's part-time bar job, Jess and Lou have nothing else to occupy their time. With no full-time jobs, they are reliant on benefits for their income.

    Two hundred miles away in Cheshire, life is very different for traditional farming family the Berrisfords - mum Mandy, dad Mick, 14-year-old son Tom and 13-year-old daughter Emma. In the Berrisford household, Mandy looks after the house and kids, while traditional dad Mick works over 70 hours a week on the farm and expects to be taken care of at the end of a hard day's work.

    For Mandy, work doesn't end with the domestic chores - she is constantly being summoned by Mick to come and help with everything from milking to mucking out. And she does it all on the meagre allowance she receives from her husband.

    How will Mick react when he discovers that the Pearson-Faiths get more money through benefits than he earns on his farm? And how will Jess cope when she learns that Mick would sooner disown his son than accept him if he came out as gay?

  • Griffiths and Young

    The Griffiths and the Youngs

    Julie Young and her teetotal husband Tim are both Labour party councillors, and politics is top of the family agenda.

    Their family life is constantly interrupted by constituents who need their help, which means the needs of 10-year-old Kier, 14-year-old Matilda and 16-year-old Harriet often end up coming second.

    Housewife Tina Griffiths likes to look good. She spends money on designer gear, spends two hours a day at the gym and has four sunbed sessions a week.

    Tina, who likes to be seen driving her top-of-the-range sports car, is expected to do everything around the house and look after the kids, while husband Dean spends his days at the golf club.

    The family - 10-year-old twins Paige and Kelly and Tina's sons from a previous relationship, Gareth, 17, and Craig, 15 - rarely come together in the family home.

    How does politician Julie cope with Dean, a father who spends more time playing golf than with his kids? And how does Tina react to taking on the duties of a local politician, which include dealing with complaints about vandalism and yobbish behaviour?

  • Jordan and Seniors

    The Seniors and the Jordans

    Andy Jordan and his partner Jason Lombard have been together for two years. They recently got engaged and live in Milton Keynes with Andy's 17-year-old daughter, Ayesha, from his first marriage.

    While Jason is still getting to grips with being a stepfather, being a dad comes naturally to Andy, who loves to treat his daughter. At home everyone works as a team and does an equal share of the cooking and the cleaning.

    Brian and Nevena Senior are world-class bridge players who met at a professional European bridge tournament. Now Brian and Bulgarian-born Nevena live in Nottingham with 20-year-old Kiril, Nevena's son from her first marriage, and their 11-year-old daughter Katye.

    Nevena is a traditional housewife, with some traditional views, and Brian thinks 'political correctness is a disaster'.

    How does a conventional wife react when she finds out that a gay man has moved into her house? What happens when a daddy's girl doesn't get her own way? And can a husband who's not used to change learn to take orders?

  • Zendell Ellis

    The Hamlins and the Zendel-Ellis'

    Emma Payne and Lee Hamlin are full time parents to their ten children, and run their house with structure and discipline. The family works as a team, with set mealtimes and everyone mucking in with the chores.

    Emma lives for her kids, but at the age of 34, she's now hoping to pursue a career.

    In Sam Zendel-Ellis's home, time is precious. Sam is busy running her own sweetshop, Darren has put his carpentry business on hold to look after the kids, so juggling work and parenting can be a full-time job in itself.

    And despite putting in a full day's work, Sam will often get home to more work as she cooks the evening meal and does the housework.

    How does a career-focused mum cope with staying at home to look after ten children? How does a stay-at-home mum feel about going to work? And what happens when a dramatic flare-up leaves the whole swap in jeopardy?

  • Browse and Gelden

    The Browses and the Geldens

    Young couple Jon and Raquel Gelden have a strict approach to parenting. Their two boys, Tyson (seven) and Rhys (five), believe that if they are disciplined, it means they must try harder.

    Jon works most evenings as a chef, with Raquel left in charge of the home and the kids.

    Ronnie and Phil Browse's house is boisterous, and although they work as a team, they have no structure and no discipline for their seven kids. With no fixed time for tea or bed, two-year-old Jai is often up until midnight.

    Ronnie is an independent businesswoman who works from home customising shoes and accessories. She's also spent thousands of pounds on her own looks, and the Browse girls love to preen too.

    What happens when a disciplinarian dad has to live by a liberal mum's rules? Can a strict mum cope with daughters who don't have boundaries? And how does a husband react when he finds out what his wife really thinks of him?

  • Butlers

    The Newmans and the Butlers

    Suzanne and Paul Newman are a busy family from suburban Essex. Both parents work, and their two daughters have a diary packed full of activities and after-school classes.

    Swimming, gymnastics, dance and piano lessons, as well as extra tutoring, keep the kids very busy and Suzanne keeps a meticulous diary to track of the kids' schedule. Paul and Suzanne are a united front when it comes to discipline and chores.

    Wioletta and Tony Butler live in Middlesex with their three children, and as a self-confessed traditional wife, Wioletta is the one who is constantly busy in her family.

    From the moment her husband Tony wakes up, Wioletta is on call. Her day starts with his breakfast order, which she receives across the house intercom. But breakfast is just one of many duties Tony expects his wife to perform. A work injury means Tony doesn't work and finds it difficult to get out, so the only forms of entertainment for the kids are the television and computer.

    While Wioletta is immediately taken aback by Suzanne's jam-packed diary, Suzanne is stunned by Tony's daily demands.

    What happens when a controlling husband has to do what he's told? And what happens when a new wife finds out that there is life beyond home?

  • Buncles and Sages

    The Buncles and the Sages

    David and Michele Buncle are a traditional family living in rural Devon with their six children and 50 pets! It's a simple back-to-basics life. While Michele is in charge of running the house and keeping on top of the mountain of laundry, David spends his days running a falconry business.

    It's not a high-earning job, but it's one that Michele supports fully by helping David cut up the chicks that feed the birds.

    Louise and Mark Sage are a modern young couple who like the good things in life. Louise's work as glamour model "Taylor Ray Lewis" often takes her to the bright lights of London for work, and she works hard to fit this glamorous lifestyle around her family and career as a property developer.

    How does a mum who puts her children first cope working away from the family as a glamour model? Can a glamour model cope with the country life and cutting up dead chicks to feed the birds as part of the family falconry business? And can housewife Michele learn to spend more time for herself?

  • Roberts and French

    The Roberts and the Frenchs

    Judith and Glen Roberts are devout Christians who follow the Bible to the letter. They have two children: nine-year-old Alice and three-year-old Layton Reece.

    Glen is a pastor in Huddersfield and Judith is a traditional wife, doing everything for her family from waking Glen in the morning with a cup of tea to working on a mountain of chores in the home.

    Dawn and Scott French are also Christians, but they have a very different take on religion. They have three children, two-year-old daughter Summer and Dawn's two sons, nine-year-old Ashton and 11-year-old Bradley.

    Dawn is a far from traditional wife, there are no rules in the house, she rarely cooks and she leaves all of the cleaning to husband Scott.

    Dawn doesn't let being a mum get in the way of having fun and often spends time gambling in the bookies or playing bingo with her friends. She also likes a good drink and will often consume at least a bottle of vodka on a night out with the girls.

    Can strict Christian mum Judith cope in a house with no rules? Will fun-loving Dawn be able to live as a traditional housewife? How will Judith's principles be put to the test when she is asked to drink and gamble? And can Pastor Glen help Dawn find her faith?

  • Wife Swap

    The Menfesawi-Imanis and the Wilkinsons

    A mum who believes in structure and routine swaps with a mum who puts fun first and education last.

    Education is a priority for Ife and Pablo Menfesawi-Imani, and structure doesn't stop at the school gate. So their three young children do their share of the chores. To give their children the boundaries and discipline they believe they need to succeed in life, the Imanis have done away with some of life's distractions, including TV.

    Jeff and Debbie Wilkinson believe that life is all about having fun, and fun at the Wilkinson house means no rules. Their four children are free to do whatever they want - even deciding whether or not to go to school - while Debbie cooks, cleans and does the childcare, as well as going out to work.

    While an exhausted Debbie runs around after her family, the Wilkinson men relax by performing together once a week in their comedy band "Chuckletruck".

    Can Ife, who believes in sexual equality, become a dutiful housewife? How does Debbie feel when her new children do the chores?

    Can a dad who gives education a thumbs-down help his truant son develop structure and routine? And what happens when a strict vegan dad sees his children eating sweets and having fun?

  • Wife Swap

    The Gianstefanis and the Aytons

    A millionaire's wife who lives a luxurious lifestyle exchanges with a freegan Jesus Christian who scavenges for food from bins.

    Susan and Roland Gianstefani are freegans who live off society's waste and eat food from supermarket dustbins. They live in a camper van with their 12-year-old son Danny within a small mobile community of devout Jesus Christians.

    There are just 25 Jesus Christians around the world and their extreme Christian beliefs have led to allegations that they are a religious cult who recruit new members by kidnapping. The Gianstefanis' nomadic life has meant sacrifices for Danny, who has been raised with strict Christian freegan values.

    Nick and Debbie Ayton are living the capitalist dream in their four-bedroom Surrey mansion. IT consultant Nick is a self-made millionaire and Debbie is a full-time housewife. They have four children: Max, 19, Arnie, 16, Obie, 15 and daughter Darcy aged nine. The Ayton children want for nothing and last year Nick and Debbie spent £10,000 on them at Christmas time.

    With two wannabe rock stars, a child model and a budding professional golfer for kids, Debbie is in charge of a hectic 'after school' regime of activities while Nick works 18 hours a day to maintain the family's £10,000 a month luxury lifestyle.

    Can millionaire housewife Debbie survive living in a camper van with a community of Jesus Christians where all her luxuries are denied? Will Jesus Christian Susan cope catering to a rich family's every need?

    How does a hardworking tax-payer feel when her new husband makes no contribution? And how will a family who dine on steak and champagne respond to raiding their dinner from the dustbin?

  • Spanish Wife Swap

    The Courtenays and the Darby-Dhyans

    Marbella socialite Anna and her husband Chris enjoy the kind of lifestyle many would envy: a five-bed Spanish villa with a pool, three domestic staff to run the house, a beach close by and the weather to enjoy it all.

    The couple run two successful businesses, and make sure their four privately educated children get what they want. But the family rarely spend time together.

    Kara and her husband Dan live a completely different life in the sun. When they left the UK, they also turned their back on modern life. They live a self-sufficient, carbon-neutral existence on their boat Sinbad, spending their days tending the land, growing their own food and raising their own cattle for meat.

    For the Darby-Dhyans, consumerism is the number one evil. Their three children are home-schooled, and the Darby-Dhyans spend all of their time together as a family.

    How does Anna cope with getting her hands dirty tending the land, no modern conveniences and living off a mere six-Euro weekly budget? And how does Kara handle enduring everything she has come to despise about modern life, including `frittering away' a mammoth weekly budget?

  • Gibbs and Henrys

    The Gibbs and the Henrys

    Alison Henry has one priority in life: her five children. She cooks, cleans and runs around after them all day, every day.

    Alison doesn't like rules or forcing her kids to do anything they don't want to do, so they have no set bedtime, leading to post-midnight running around. Even when they eventually go to bed, they rarely stay there.

    Michelle Gibbs is a mother who believes adults should be in charge. Her three children respect her word and know she has the final say. Michelle believes children need structure, routine and discipline and has set bedtimes for them alongside a strict rota of chores.

    Michelle and her husband Paul make sure the kids are tucked up in bed so they have plenty of time together.

    How does Alison cope with handing out punishments to children and having to stick to them? How do her kids react to rules, punishments and a strict rota of household chores? And can Michelle cope with a houseful of children who expect their mother to do everything?

  • The Orchards

    The Orchards and the Sinclares

    Pampered mum Karen Orchard is a complete stranger to the kitchen, so in the Orchard house, it's dutiful house-husband Jason who not only takes care of all the housework, but also cooks the family meals too.

    At just 24, Jason looks after Karen's every need while she works part time at a weight-loss company. And when it comes to her two children, Karen has help there too - Karen's mum and stepdad live in the same house to help care for the kids.

    Over in Middlesex things couldn't be more different. Devoted wife Andrea Sinclare is so put upon that she is expected to be waiting on the driveway with refreshments for husband Colin as soon as he arrives home from work. And that's just one of Andrea's many duties.

    She does all the washing, cooking, and cleaning. And the standards are so high in the Sinclare household, that even after 20 years of marriage, husband Colin will phone home regularly just to make sure Andrea does it all properly.

    How will house-slave Andrea cope with a man taking care of her for a change, and how will domineering husband Colin react when his extreme demands in the house are not met?

  • Spencer

    The Spencers and the Dryers

    Jason and wife Sally live the 'good life' in the Cambridgeshire countryside with their two children, having chosen to turn their backs on conventional society.

    Their back-to-basics lifestyle means that Jason literally plays the role of hunter-gatherer. Jason believes in traditional roles for men and women, so while he's out hunting, Sally takes care of the kids and the animals. With 36 ferrets, 20 geese, and countless chickens to take care of, she rarely gets a break!

    Career-orientated Dalite Dryer wears the trousers in her household, once husband Nick has finished ironing them. Dalite felt she was losing her identity in the role of wife and mother, so four years ago she became a business woman and now invests every second of her time into making a success of her business: a small gallery and coffee shop.

    Dalite's need to be organised and in charge of the business carries over in to her family life, she's the boss at home too. She spends all her time at the gallery and so delegates most of the childcare to husband Nick, and their aupair.

    In this powerful swap, find out what happens when these two vastly different families clash over their chosen lifestyle. The results are truly life changing for both families with unexpected and surprising outcomes.

  • Strevens

    The Vyas and the Strevens

    The Strevens household is an all-male domain. After John and his wife separated, his two teenage sons decided to live with him in Birmingham. John lets his kids lead their own life; provided they get on at school and stay out of trouble. He lets them make their own rules, leaving them free to do what they want.

    John is a free spirit too, having recently quit his job in order to follow his dream of becoming a musician. This means that, until he makes it big, he's reliant on benefits for an income.

    Over in Manchester, Smruty Vyas runs a tight ship in her house. The family moved to England nearly 30 years ago and set up a convenience store, with both parents working long hours in the shop to provide everything for their children.

    With no mum in the Strevens house, John takes on the role of wife for the swap, which comes as a complete surprise to Smruty, who after reading the manual decides she can't go on with the exchange.

    Will traditional mum Smruty be able to come to terms with this unusual swap, and what can she learn from a household of lively lads? And how will laidback single dad John cope with being a wife and mother?

Wife Swap synopsis

What happens when the rule books change? In this BAFTA-winning show, couples from very different families exchange lives, and partners, for ten days.

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