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Channel 4 readies to air slew of reality television shows

LONDON - Channel 4 is preparing to unleash a slew of reality television shows as it gives the go-ahead for a third series of car-crash TV hit 'Wife Swap' and acquires the rights to US smash 'The Simple Life'.

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Channel 4 has already begun looking for new families to appear in a third series of the hit show, where two women from different social backgrounds swap homes and families for 10 days.

The programme has proved compulsive viewing as audiences tune in to see the results of people parachuted into very different types of families.

So popular has it proved that Channel 4 last month ran a celebrity version of 'Wife Swap' featuring 'Big Brother 3''s Jade Goody and convicted 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?' cheat Major Charles Ingram.

Channel 4 is said to have further versions of the celebrity version up its sleeve, but celebrities due to appear have as yet not been revealed.

The show has also been sold to the US where it has been given the slightly less seamy title of 'Trading Moms'.

It has been reported by Digital Spy that the new series will be broadcast in the first half of next year.

Another monster hit, this time 'The Simple Life' from the US, is also due to run on Channel 4's digital station E4 in the new year.

'The Simple Life', which has scored massive headlines in the US, follows US "It" girls Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie as they spend a month living with a family on farm in rural America.

During the show, the two girls take on a series of ordinary jobs including working in the Lakeside Food Mart. During filming, the girls utter such lines as "What's Wal-Mart?" and "What's a soup kitchen?"

The series in the US coincided with the launch on the internet of an amateur sex tape shot three years ago at the Beverly Hills Hotel showing the then 19-year-old socialite in bed with Shannen Doherty's ex-husband 33-year-old Rick Salomon.

Channel 4 has also given the go-ahead for a show based on 'The Pilot Show' -- a spoof programme about daft ideas for pilot television programmes which ridiculed celebrities and members of the public alike.

One of the ideas was for a show called 'Where There's a Will', where women compete for the affections of a wealthy old man. In 'The Pilot Show', the team pitched the idea humorously to Gail Porter. It is not known who will present if for real.

'The Pilot Show' also gave birth to 'Lapdance Island', which saw Channel 4 overwhelmed by applications from more than 20,000 men, who were fooled into applying on a show said that claimed it was looking for "10 hot-blooded males to battle it out as 40 lapdancers do everything in their power to make it hard for them".

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