Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

FErret: Job Swap for Wife Swapper

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

FErret: Job Swap for Wife Swapper

Article excerpt

Reality TV bites

The first rule of preparing for the arrival of a new boss is: google them. And staff from Central College and New College Nottingham, anticipating the merger of their institutions to form Nottingham College, have uncovered some intriguing facts.

The chief executive designate of what the local press has dubbed the "super-college" - which will have 40,000 learners on its books - is one John van de Laarschot.

Most recently chief executive of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Mr van de Laarschot reportedly walked off with a generous £230,000 pay-off in November. Before that, he gained a reputation as a corporate troubleshooter, holding senior roles at firms such as Coca-Cola, Mars, PepsiCo and Gerber Scientific.

More intriguingly, it has also emerged that Mr van de Laarschot is a star of the small screen. Well, that may be overstating it slightly: he once took part in reality TV show Wife Swap (pictured, below). FErret recommends that you look the episode up on YouTube - you won't be disappointed.

Mr van de Laarschot's appearance on the Channel 4 series in 2004, when his wife Tracey swapped lives with single mother-of-four Shaz Christopher, certainly made waves. At the time, he was living with his family in a mansion in Cornwall, which was quite a shock for new "wife" Ms Christopher, a barmaid and youth worker from East London.

According to a reputable source (The Sun), Mr van de Laarschot screamed, "Get out of my house!" after she arranged a barbecue for local underprivileged youths at his grand pad. …

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