Page last updated at 15:11 GMT, Thursday, 12 November 2009

Channel 4 axes Wife Swap series

Lizzy Bardsley
Lizzy Bardsley was a well-known participant in Wife Swap's first series

Popular reality TV show Wife Swap and factual series How Clean Is Your House? have been axed by TV network Channel 4 to "make space for new ideas".

Channel 4 boss Julian Bellamy said both shows had been "huge hits", but that his focus was now on "finding the next generation of groundbreaking shows".

He added dropping the shows was part of their "creative reinvention project".

The decision comes months after Channel 4 announced Big Brother would be broadcast for the final time next year.

'Entertaining and provocative'

Mr Bellamy said: "The decommission of Big Brother earlier this year has been the catalyst for a process of creative renewal right across Channel 4.

"When Wife Swap launched, it was a truly groundbreaking programme which heralded an era of new factual formats right across television.

"It was challenging, impactful and connected with a large mainstream audience.

"I am now looking to find new ways to challenge the mainstream through entertaining and provocative programmes."

We are playing our cards close to our chest. Rest assured it will be a memorable exit
Channel 4 boss Julian Bellamy on Big Brother bowing out next year

Both Wife Swap and How Clean Is Your House? have already been broadcast on the channel for the final time.

Mr Bellamy insisted both series' remained profitable, but it was a "creative decision on our part to make space for new ideas".

When asked about the final Big Brother next year, he promised the show would "go out with a bang".

He added: "We are playing our cards close to our chest. Rest assured it will be a memorable exit."

Wife Swap, which launched in 2003, sees two married couples exchange partners for two weeks.

Living under someone else's house and abiding by different rules often caused arguments, which helped boost the show's popularity.

How Clean Is Your House?, saw cleaning experts Kim Woodburn and Aggie MacKenzie visit dirty, untidy houses and restore them to a pristine state.



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