IT was a social experiment designed to see if staunch Brexit and Remain supporters could find common ground, but drinkers in one Canvey bar were left fuming after being branded “hostile” and “abusive”.

Channel 4’s Wife Swap Brexit Special, featuring islanders Pauline Edwards and her husband Andy, proved a hit with viewers who were glued to their screens as Green Party councillor Kat Boettge, 39, spent a week living in their home.

In exchange, barmaid Pauline, 54, went to live in Nottinghamshire with Kat’s husband Roger on their 150-acre farm - and both wives set about trying to sway their temporary families towards their point of view.

Pauline told the Echo: “I enjoyed the whole experience. I was really nervous but I was prepared for a lot of anti-me and a different viewpoint, which is why I put myself in that position.

“When I got there and found out she was a Green Party councillor I thought ‘my poor husband’.”

The show saw Kat, a native German, force born and bred islander Andy, 58, to hang EU flags outside his home - while Pauline convinced Roger to host a patriotic VE Day singalong.

Kat also spent time pulling pints at Pauline’s workplace- the Corner Club, in Canvey High Street – leading to one of the show’s most confrontational scenes as Kat debated regulars about the EU and immigration.

It is fair to say the 39-year-old did not get on well with members and angered them further with an appearance on Good Morning Britain, where she told viewers about the heated exchange.

She said: “It was quite hostile. I was exposed to four hours, to quite incredible abuse and hostility which I thought was really a shame because we can have different opinions and still remain respectful.”

But owner Lee Petch told the Echo that Kat had been “like a preacher” and branded her comments “terrible.”

Pauline, who has been married to eBrit worker Andy for four years, said she might still keep in touch with her counterpart.

She said: “I feel that she looks at the world through rose-tinted glasses but unfortunately the world we live in isn’t ideal.”

On Kat’s claims that she had also, off camera, convinced Andy to do the housework, she said: “We won’t mention that!”

Canvey was picked for show after Brexit vote

CANVEY was chosen to take part in the show after Castle Point became the third-highest Brexit-supporting district in last June’s referendum.

The vote saw 72.7 per cent of residents opting to leave the EU.
Ukip leader Nigel Farage found the town so sympathetic to his aims that he launched his 2015 General Election campaign there.

At the time, he told a crowd: “We have crossed the class barrier in British politics. That is a remarkable achievement for Ukip and we pick up support from across every social spectrum.

“And we are also beginning now to dig quite deep into some of the ethnic community vote in this country as well, because people that have come to this country legally, that have made this country their home, that have integrated within our society, they want the Ukip agenda as much as anybody else.”

Mr Farage made a cameo appearance on the show, in the form of a framed photograph which Pauline placed in her host family’s living room. It mysteriously ended up in the fireplace.

Despite claims that Brexit voters on the island were concerned about immigration, figures from the 2001 UK census show Canvey has a 98 per cent white population.

Just 4.2 per cent of residents were born aboard, half the national figure, and 74 per cent described themselves as Christian.