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TV show calls for culture swap

12 January 2012 - 02:07 By ANDILE NDLOVU

Producers of pay-channel Mzansi Magic's Culture Shock have extended the date for applications for a new season of the reality show, as news begins to reach smaller towns nationwide.

Channel commissioning editor Nirvana Singh said the upcoming 18-episode series, which will begin shooting next month, will see two families from contrasting social classes and lifestyles swapping two family members each for a week.

Mzansi Magic has extended the closing date for entries by 14 days to February 10.

Without revealing the number of applications received, Singh said the majority were from Johannesburg, so they would be sending scouts and advertising on community radio in far-flung towns to "diversify" the participants.

If the show, which is a reincarnation of a similarly titled show that first aired on M-Net in 2007, sounds a bit like a local version of the British reality show Wife Swap, Singh said it wasn't at all.

"This isn't about sensationalism. This is around learning about other South Africans and I don't think one can learn much from just sharing a bed.

"I don't think we truly know about each other [as South Africans]. We all have our quirkiness, but what is normal?" Singh added.

Singh said families would be put through an extensive selection process before being picked.

In the first two days, the members of the visiting family must abide by the rules (contained in a manual explaining what their duties in the house would be) left by the members they are replacing.

In the second part of the show, the visitors are allowed to change the household rules, and the hosts must then adhere .

Singh said: "We have to assess that [the families] want to do it. You don't want end up where one member thinks it's a fabulous idea and the rest of the family don't even know about it."

The show is expected to premiere on Mzansi Magic in April.