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Wife On Strike | Preview (Channel 5)

In this series, we meet some of the UK’s most unequal households, in which one partner – usually the woman – is taking on more of the domestic load than anyone else in the home.

In each episode, two participants (not always women) from two different households down tools and walk out on their ungrateful families. Those left behind must try and muscle through one week without the family linchpin, as we uncover the real dynamics of the household.

As their strike unfolds, we follow both sides as they try to cope in this unique look at how we all live together in modern Britain.

In two thirds of households across the UK the responsibility for chores fails on one person. Now, in two separate homes in London, two women have had enough and put their partners to the test as they go ‘on strike’.

The Bensalem family, made up of Dad Wassim and Mum Laura, plus their five kids, as well as Laura’s parents and two dogs all live together in south east London. The couple have been together for 16 years, however the domestic load falls entirely to Laura who caters, taxis and generally looks after the household.

In a dramatic move, she announces to her loved ones that’s she’s leaving and Dad Wassim is forced to step up.

Until now Laura has been preparing three separate dishes for her family, taking all the kids to school and dropping Wassim at the train station, as well as cleaning, vacuuming, dog walking and keeping on top of the washing. Without Laura at home, Wassim has to try and juggle it all - but the first stop for dinner is the local takeaway.

Fifteen miles away in Romford, married couple Claire and Sean are also struggling to balance the domestic load. Claire who works full time from home is fed up with being responsible for all the chores. Having nagged her husband for years to step up, thing still haven’t changed, and so she too is leaving.

But after 23 years together, Sean is at sea without his wife and ends up turning to 19-year-old daughter Joy-Anna, who attempts to sort out the washing and assist with the school duties for her younger brother.

With the two women safely ensconced in a local hotel, they are able to monitor just how their other halves are getting on via footage, and what they see doesn’t always go down well. Can their men turn it around?

Determined that this grand gesture will have an effect, the two mums send in their friends to pass on some words of wisdom to their husbands and hand over a list of tasks and requirements for the future.

By the end of the week, each couple meet on neutral ground in an effort to try and implement some long-term changes. Will Wassim win his battle to make his children more independent? And can Sean stick to a rota at home? Will Laura still end up cooking three meals for her family? And can Sean master the washing machine?

Wife On Strike begins Monday 6th November on Channel 5.


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