Escape to the Chateau: Dick & Angel chat about the final series
As viewers sit down to enjoy season nine of Escape to the Chateau, we catch up with custodians Dick & Angel to find out why this is the final series and what to expect from them next...
As the final series of Escape to the Chateau airs on Channel 4, we catch up with Dick and Angel Strawbridge to find out why series nine is the last, their favourite moments and what's next for their family...
We are so sad to hear it’s the final series, what made you decide to end it here?
Escape to the Chateau has been our family journey; our decision to buy a chateau with no water, electricity, heating or sewage system has taken us on the adventure of a lifetime and we could never have imagined what would unfold. Our journey will continue, but just in different ways and we’re so grateful to everyone who continues to support us. There is not one individual reason why this felt the right time to stop. I guess we wanted to go out on a high, with everyone's memories being of pure happiness and we’re looking forward to what the future holds. As one Chateau chapter ends, so another Chateau story begins… and we will be back on TV screens in 2023 with a whole new series, Escape to the Chateau: Secret France, where we unlock the secrets of our adopted home, seeking the unexpected and the extraordinary. Anything could happen!
What have been your highlights from the Escape to the Chateau experience?
So many! Seeing the chateau being brought back to life, full of people celebrating life and love at every wedding and event we host; this is what the house was meant to do, and we feel honoured to be a part of its history. We have cherished every second and love that we have a visual record to show Arthur and Dorothy when they’re older.
What have been the low points?
Not many really. The early days with no water, electricity and sewerage living in a derelict chateau at the height of winter with two small children was interesting, but planned, so we can't complain. The challenges help to truly appreciate the good times so we wouldn’t be without them. Except maybe the flies...
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What was the most difficult room to renovate?
Probably my mum and dad’s house. We wanted to please them, but also kept thinking that one day we will be living in there.
We absolutely love how you’ve displayed all the old wallpapers you’ve found. Which is your favourite and have you found any new ones since the last series?
We have just cleared out part of the attic and yes, we found more. It’s the house that keeps on giving! I have quite a few favourites, but I love the ones that look like they were stencilled and also the ones with gold on them.
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Did you have an overall vision for the chateau and how has that changed through the renovation process?
The vision was always to create a comfortable family home that truly reflected us. The renovation has, of course, evolved over time. You try and plan accordingly, but problems can, and do, arise that mean you have to change direction. Being flexible, open to alternatives and always having a Plan B has helped to manage our expectations. Luckily, Dick’s superpower is problem solving, so nearly everything has a solution!
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Is the chateau complete? Will it ever be complete?
NOOOOO! We have a number of rooms in the attic and there are some big jobs, like the windows, that we have only just started. There will always be something to do with a property of this age and size. It’s one of the many reasons we love it. As our family grows and our needs change, we will no doubt adapt the chateau to meet them. As all homeowners know, once you finish you find something else you want to do, change or improve.
Most people document their renovation through some photos, but you’ve had a whole TV show. How have you found that process?
It’s been incredible to document. One day, when we have the time, we can't wait to look through all the footage that has been filmed. What an incredible document for the children to have.
Do you think you’d buy another chateau and do the whole process again?
No! We love our home and it is so unique to us. It’s our forever home that we have put our stamp on with every nook and cranny, inside and out, and we love the thought of it being passed down to Arthur and Dorothy and their families to enjoy if this is something they choose in the future.
What’s next for you both? Any exciting projects in the works?
As well as our new series Escape to the Chateau: Secret France, we are going on a tour of Australia and New Zealand with our theatre show ‘Dare to do it’ which we are extremely excited about. There is also a new book out next year and new designs coming soon from my soft furnishings range, The Chateau by Angel Strawbridge. We are busier than ever and loving it.
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What can viewers expect from the Christmas Special?
We’re ending the ‘year of the celebration’ on a high with the chateau’s biggest party yet. A Christmas extravaganza with all our family and friends. It’s been nearly eight years since we moved to France and we want to thank all those who have helped us along the way and what better way than with a party! There will be fun, feasting, festive loveliness and, no doubt, fireworks.
Escape to the Chateau is on Sundays at 8pm on Channel 4. Find out more www.thechateau.tv
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