Wife Swap: When The Police Get Called In!


Noelie & Robin

After a weekend of all-out boozing I can handle watching any old shit, and so it was that I managed to watch all of Shipwrecked (trustafarian, fake-tan berks bitching) and then got myself involved with Wife Swap on Sunday evening. But this wasn’t just any old Wife Swap – this was Wife Swap: When The Police Get Called In!

I’m so pleased they put that tag line after the colon there – I don’t trust myself to process information and I’d like, at this point, to thank Channel 4 for taking my idiocy for granted and telling me exactly what was about to happen, thus rendering the show pointless. Not only did they make it obvious from the title, before each ad break they showed about five seconds worth of footage from the next chunk, in each instance pretty much all you needed to know about the next fifteen minutes. Again, this made any peripheral footage redundant.

Wife Swap’s always been a parade of grotesques and last night was no different. Usually we’re served up a middle to upper class couple clashing with a working class/ poverty line partnership and then invited to watch the fireworks go BANG. This time, in only a very minor change to that formula, the middle class types swapped with a nouveau riche couple, all garish clothing and tasteless decor. Noilie, a strange man-woman with what looked like augmented breasts, leopard-skin leggings and two costumed lapdogs was the partner of Robin, a multi-millionaire. Robin beat John Inman on the camp-scale and I found it hard to believe he wasn’t out and proud – from his dangling gold jewellery to his pink pringle sweater by way of his pencil moustache. Everything about him screamed ‘screaming homosexual’. But their relationship seemed to work, she attending to his every need and he apparently charming her faux-satin socks off.

In the middle class coupling we met Adam and Melissa. She, as with many of this new generation of middle class mothers, was obsessed with all things organic, eco-friendly cleaning products and living as ethically as possible. She used a lemon to clean the toilet. On the opposing team, Noelie used a full kettles-worth of boiling water and half a litre of bleach, daily. I’m surprised her bog hadn’t dissolved. Despite Noelie and Robins’ complete lack of regard for the environment (which is more forgivable than outright snobbery), they weren’t as dumb as one might have thought.

During a polite dinner, having had a gutful of sanctimonius bullshit from the insufferable Adam, Noelie raised the hilariously apt point that Adam drove an enormous 4×4 – thus making him a complete hypocrite. He couldn’t defend himself from that accusation and this is where the swap ended. The reason the police were called in? Over in the other house, Robin and Melissa were having drinks with a friend of Robin’s called Malcolm. Malcolm was pissed out of his tree. At one point (we didn’t see this) he apparently ‘patted’ Melissa’s bottom. We did see him try to give her a peck on the cheek. She seemed amused by the whole situation and told him to go home to bed.

It would seem that, after Adam called off the swap, he and Melissa flipped out, possibly due to embarassment and decided to go to the police with this bizarre claim of a sex attack. Melissa knew that the cameras would have got everything and dropped the charges two days later, but those two days were a front-page nightmare for Robin and Noelie. Malcolm, the alleged perpetrator of the ‘attack’ was filmed in tears, worrying about his nine year old daughter.

At what point did Channel 4 think it would be best to stay out of the investigation, only voyeuristically filming with no actual input? What did they do to protect Malcolm? Apart from the tagline, this was packaged as an average, run-of-the-mill Wife Swap, when in fact it contained evidence that someone had lied to the police to besmirch someone else’s reputation. Fair enough, but where was the condemnation of the accuser who was blatantly making her story up? Watching this whole sorry, stinking farrago made me feel dirty.

But not as dirty as Pornography: A Secret History over on UKTV History a bit later.

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7 Responses to “Wife Swap: When The Police Get Called In!”

  1. Clair Says:

    Robin and Noelie are serial real-life slags, as I’m sure I’ve seen them on something like ‘I’m Fucking Loaded, Have No Taste, And Don’t Give A Toss’ before. I found it hard to believe that Robin was a millionaire – his house is bleeding awful.

    And exactly how many times is UKTV History going to repeat that programme about porn? That tape will be as work out as a rental copy of Basic Instinct where Sharon Stone flashes her growler.

  2. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I’m afraid I was watching The Pompous Channel’s continuing Edwardian Season so missed this programme that, to be fair, I wouldn’t have watched anyway. Were you suffering some sort of Sunday mental breakdown? That cabbage-like state then renders one incapable of turning something off on the day of rest? I’ve had this all my life, which is why I’ve seen every single episode of Last Of The Summer Wine ever made.

    Is there a drug being developed that relieves the symptoms of this terrible illness? And is it possible to get it to market before my better half drowns in a slothful lake of Knight Rider repeats?

  3. Swineshead Says:

    I was sure I’d seen Robin & Noelie on an amatueur VHS attached to the front of a £1 copy of reader’s wives but then i didn’t see a close up of their genitals last night, so I couldn’t be sure. I think most millionaires don’t have good taste, they just have cash which is no substitute…

    Yes Napoleon – I had the well known affliction Sunday Stupor. It was horrific. The only thing that broke the malaise was Bruce Parry’s tribe which was fucking fantastic as usual.

  4. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Probably more fantastic than the 1970s Open University documentary I forced myself to watch on the architect Edwin Lutyens. The younger, racier version of myself would have slapped me about if he’d caught me wasting an hour of my life watching that drivel. Still, I suppose the eternal mystery that has haunted my life as to who designed The Cenotaph has finally received an answer – if a very very boring one.

  5. Matt Says:

    Which one of them was from Donny? Please tell me it wasn’t the nouveau riche?

  6. Swineshead Says:

    It was the pictured nouveau riche Matt, I’m afraid. But they came out of it as better people, astoundingly.

  7. proudfoot Says:

    What a strange episode this was. I have to say that by the end of it I found the tasteless Robin and Noelie the most bearable of the two couples.
    Melissa and Adam were not so much touchy-feely as gropey-grabby in terms of their view of the world. If each couple were a glass of orange squash, Robin and Noelie would be so strong and overpowering, you’d be wincing for an hour, whereas Adam and Melissa would be so weak and diluted you’d have to double check there was actually any squash in the bloody drink.

    Robin may have been double camp with cream on top, but that big pudding Adam wasn’t too far behind him in those stakes.

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