September 20, 2011
Ted Haggard's life was already a sort of reality show.
Well, now it's official. Or almost official. According to unconfirmed reports, the former New Life Church pastor and his wife will star in the new ABC reality series, "Celebrity Wife Swap," on which they will swap partners (without sex) with actor Gary Busey and his partner.
Sources have told The Gazette that the show will 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 wives for a short time. The first couple of days, the husbands make the rules for their new “spouses.” After that, the wives take charge. The fun could come from the conflict between Haggard and his reality wife (no word if it’s Busey's fiancée and mother of his new son, or one of his ex-wives), whom sources say is 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.
Calls to Zodiac USA, which is producing the show, weren’t returned. Haggard refused to comment on whether he and his wife are featured in the series, and there’s no word from Gayle Haggard on her plans for her “marriage” to the unpredictable Busey.