Ted Haggard to appear in 'Celebrity Wife Swap'
Ted Haggard’s life was already a sort of reality show.
Well, now it’s official.
Producers of “Celebrity Wife Swap” confirmed Wednesday that the former New Life Church pastor and his wife, Gayle, will appear in the new ABC reality series, on which they will swap partners (without sex) with actor Gary Busey and his partner and baby mama, Steffanie Sampson.
The show is scheduled to shoot Thursday at the GLBT Pride Center in Colorado Springs.
Haggard, of course, has become used to the media spotlight. He garnered national attention as the president of the National Association of Evangelicals and much more in 2006, after it came to light he’d had sex with and taken drugs with a male prostitute. Since then, he’s appeared in countless news reports and documentaries that were shown on TLC and HBO. He’s been featured on “Divorce Court” “Oprah Winfrey” and “Larry King Live.”
But an actual reality show? This would be new.
“Celebrity Wife Swap” is based on the British show of the same name and is similar to “Wife Swap,” an American TV series that provided hours of jaw-dropping culture clashes between ordinary families.
The premise is simple: Haggard and Busey will swap partners for a short time. The first couple of days, the men make the rules for their new “spouses.” After that, the women take charge. The fun could come from the conflict between Haggard and Sampson, who's reportedly a spiritual woman but not a fan of organized religion.
On the surface, it might seem like an unlikely pairing, but there are several surprising parallels between Busey and Haggard. Busey is a born-again Christian and active minister with Promise Keepers, and Haggard has returned to the ministry as pastor of St. James, a new nondenominational Christian church in Colorado Springs.
Haggard refused to comment about the show.