A Southend couple came under fire last night after their relationship was put to the test in a new Channel 4 show.

Gemma Berry and Tony Jones from Southend were one of four couples to participate in a TV experiment titled ‘Seven Year Switch’.

Four couples flew out to Thailand and switched partners with another troubled couple in a bid to save their failing relationships.

During the first episode of the series which aired on Tuesday night couples swapped and re-matched according to their personality traits, and then sent to spend two weeks in Thailand in four separate villas.

Each couple lives as husband and wife to see if time spent in a new relationship can help save their doomed one.

Upon his arrival at the villa, hairdresser, Tony had a moment of panic when he realised his wife would be sharing a bed with her new partner, and so would he.

Tony threatened to leave the show, saying: “’I know for a fact she won’t be happy about that” telling the camera men that they “may as well stop filming” because they would both be going home.

His attitude didn’t go down well with viewers taking to Twitter to air their frustration. One user said: “Tony is one of those controlling men who masks it under ‘being caring’ Run, Gemma, Run.”

Unsympathetically, another tweeted: “Tony the control freak wants to be a single pringle yet stamps his feet when he thinks his ‘Mrs’ is sharing a bed with someone else. You either want her or you don’t.”

Relationship therapist Lee Valls was called to reassure Tony following his meltdown.

Tony, had previously called off his wedding to partner of 12 years Gemma and moved back to his parents house. Earlier in the episode he confirmed that he was drawn to the single life after being in a relationship with Gemma since their teen years.

Each couple will undergo a series of exercises, which will force them to confront the truth about themselves and their broken relationships.

Relationship therapist Lee Valls and relationship coach Vena Rampha will be guiding the couples through the process through the process, as they navigate the often harsh realities of their relationships at home.

At the end of the experiment, each couple will decide whether to stay together or go their separate ways.