A convent in Norfolk will take centre stage in a reality television series about “party girls” swapping sex, parties and alcohol for religious life.

The four-part series, to be aired on Channel 5 on Thursdays, features five girls who were told they would go on a “spiritual journey” but were horrified to discover they had been sent to a convent.

Sister Frances Ridler, of the Daughters of Divine Charity in Swaffham, said the experience had been a “rollercoaster” but she felt that the programme – Bad Habits, Holy Orders – was an “honest portrayal” of religious life and would be “good for the Church”.

She said the community had been persuaded to take part because Sisters did not “always have a good press” in popular culture, citing Nuns on the Run and Sister Act.

The “party girls” told newspapers that the two weeks with the Sisters had been life-changing. One enrolled in a healthcare course and another – who used to work as a nightclub dancer ­– had started volunteering with the homeless. One girl told the Times she was “the happiest I have ever been” while staying at the convent.

Sister Frances said the girls “slowly opened up” because they realised the Sisters “were interested in each one of them as people”.

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