Escape To The Chateau: Who are the Strawbridges and what's the show all about?

The much-loved programme started in 2016 and nine series have aired

Dick and Angel Strawbridge host Escape to the Chateau. (Channel 4)
Dick and Angel Strawbridge host Escape To The Chateau. (Channel 4)

Escape To The Chateau has been making headlines for days, after it was reported that Channel 4 had cut ties with its stars Dick and Angel Strawbridge.

While not much is known about what went on, Deadline reported that there had been claims of tension between the TV stars and producers.

And the publication quoted a Channel 4 spokeswoman as saying: “Following a review, we have taken the decision not to work with Dick and Angel on any new productions in the future.”

Read more: Dick Strawbridge to end Escape To The Chateau with series 9

The news may come as a shock to fans of the couple’s show, which has been a huge hit.

But for anyone who has missed the rise of Escape To The Chateau and its stars, here’s a quick catch up.

Pictured: Strawbridge family in the Walled Garden after planting a cherry tree. Escape to the Chateau. (Channel 4)
Escape To The Chateau started in 2016. (Channel 4)

'Love at first sight'

Dick is a former Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army, as well as an engineer.

And in 1993 he was made an MBE for his service in Northern Ireland.

He met Angel – whose maiden name was Adoree - in 2010, after she had been on Dragons’ Den to try and secure an investment for her business The Vintage Patisserie.

The story goes that they both had the same TV agent and were introduced at a pop-up restaurant.

According to Angel’s website it was “love at first sight” for both and they went on to tie the knot in 2015.

Pictured: Dick & Angel - Escape to the Chateau. (Channel 4)
The pair got married in 2015. (Channel 4)

Angel gave Dick a pregnancy deadline

Angel once revealed that she presented Dick with a pregnancy deadline in the form of a calendar with the words “impregnate me by this date” on it.

“It was a little hint,” she told Fabulous.

The pair went on to welcome son Arthur and daughter Dorothy.

Dick, 63, was married before Angel and also has two children from that relationship.

Pictured: Strawbridge family - Escape to the Chateau. (Channel 4)
The Strawbridges have two children together. (Channel 4)

What have they done before?

Angel, 45, trained as an image consultant before launching The Vintage Patisserie, a retail outlet and event company.

Her Dragons’ Den moment gave her career a boost and she ended up penning a series of books, including The Vintage Tea Party Book and The Vintage Sweets Book.

Meanwhile, Dick put his engineering background to use on television shows like Scrapheap Challenge and Planet Mechanics.

Asked what his old Army colleagues thought of his small screen fame, he once joked to the Daily Mail that they called him a “telly tart”.

How much did their chateau cost?

The year they married, Dick and Angel traded in their two-bedroom apartment in the UK and snapped up their 45-room 19th century chateau in the Pays de la Loire region of France.

It’s been widely reported that it cost just £280,000 at the time, although its price tag now is thought to be in the millions.

The property had been empty for years and the pair decided to embark on a massive project to turn it into a dream location for events and weddings.

Strawbridge family on Escape To The Chateau: Make Do And Mend  (Channel 4)
The programme has been a big hit. (Channel 4)

What is the show all about?

Dick and Angel invited Channel 4 along for the ride as they took on the mammoth task of restoring the derelict Chateau de la Motte-Husson.

The show started in 2016 and viewers were gripped as they watched the pair transform the run down property, knocking down walls, installing electricity and running water and taming the garden.

Nine series aired, with the most recent starting in October 2022.

However, the pair confirmed it would be the last.

They said at the time: "Escape To The Chateau has been our family journey; our decision to buy a chateau with no water, electricity, heating or sewage has taken us on the adventure of a lifetime and we could never have imagined what would unfold. The good, the bad and the ugly…we have cherished every second and love that we have a visual record to show Arthur and Dorothy when they’re older.

Pictured: Dick & Angel - Escape to the Chateau. (Channel 4)
Escape To The Chateau ran for nine series. (Channel 4)

“We’re so grateful to everyone who continues to support us and we’re looking forward to what the future holds. As one chateau chapter ends, so another chateau story begins…’’

Show sparked a spin-off

In 2018 a spin-off, which was entitled Escape To The Chateau DIY but is now known as Chateau DIY, was unveiled.

Read more: Escape To The Chateau stars making UK return ahead of new Channel 4 series

It follows other couples renovating homes in France and saw Angel and Dick sharing their pearls of wisdom on tackling such projects.

Dick narrated the show at first but Adjoa Andoh took over in 2021.

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