They are the congenial and colourful couple who found television fame renovating a dilapidated 45-room French Chateau bought for just €390,000.
And now Dick Strawbridge and his wife Angel, from Channel 4’s Escape to the Chateau, are helping others to follow in their footsteps and turn their chateaux into a successful business.
They are helping 16 individuals who have also made the decision to move to France and renovate a chateau – including a couple in their 20s.
The happy couple! Dick Strawbridge and his wife Angel found TV fame with Channel 4’s Escape to the Chateau
The couple renovated a dilapidated 45-room French Chateau that they bought for €390,000
The new series called Escape to the Chateau DIY runs for four weeks every weekday at 4pm on Channel 4 – starting this afternoon.
It follows the individuals as they struggle to renovate their derelict French properties, ranging in price from €60,000 to €1,000,050.
Dick and Angel are on hand to help them avoid the pitfalls of running a business and turning their new homes into profitable ventures.
Dick and Angel spoke exclusively to MailOnline Property about the new TV show and what viewers can expect.
They explained how some of the renovations were filmed over the best part of a year, with a range of individuals following their French Chateaux dreams.
A chateau costs a lot of money to maintain…and it is a lot of hard work
This includes a couple in their 20s, a British man with a French wife and love of French antiques, and a British singer who found fame in Holland.
Angel said: ‘A chateau costs a lot of money to maintain. There needs to be a roof fund and a window fund. But the couples we worked with are now making money.
‘There is some number crunching that needs to be done and it is a lot of hard work. But there needs to be a balance and you need to remember why you are doing it. You need to make time for your family and spend time with the children.’
Escape to the Chateau DIY: Jonathan and Michael Halpin are given a helping hand by Angel to renovate their French property
Escape to the Chateau DIY: Jonathan and Michael Halpin bought this chateau in a small village called Vernantes, 20km from Saumur in the Loire Valley
Dick added: ‘You also need to remember that there is a different beat to everything in France and once you accept that then life is a little easier.’
And he stressed the importance of cashflow in running a business, saying: ‘You need to think about revenue stream and the order of things.’
Escape to the Chateau: DIY sees Britons roll up their selves and renovate their chateaux
This derelict property is transformed in Escape to the Chateau: DIY
Pictured: Johnny Darko and Ashely Adams took part in Escape to the Chateau: DIY
But the show isn’t all about the serious side of making money, with Dick and Angel bringing some of the colour and entertainment that we know and love from Escape to the Chateau to their new show.
Dick enthused: ‘I was on the roof of one chateau drinking a bottle of wine that was found in the walls of a dry moat. You don’t get to do that every day.’
The new show comes on the back of the popularity of Escape to the Chateau, which saw Dick and Angel renovate the rooms and grounds of their property, including a walled garden.
Dick and Angel spent four years searching for their chateau called Chateau-de-la-Motte Husson
And Dick and Angel also spent several years renovating Chateau-de-la-Motte Husson
Dick and Angel have transformed the walled garden and now run weddings from their chateau
Getting involved in business ventures! Dick loves cooking and helps out at the regular weddings held at the couple’s chateau
Angel has transformed the interior of the couple’s chateau with vintage purchases
The couple spent four years searching for their chateau, eventually buying one called Chateau-de-la-Motte Husson.
It cost €390,000, which was not much more than their two-bedroom flat in Essex – the place they swapped for the French property.
HOW TO DEFINE A CHATEAU
A chateau is a manor house, home to the lord of the manor or a country house of nobility. It can be built with or without fortifications. The plural is chateaux.
Chateaux in France are relatively cheap as they often cost more to renovate than to buy.
Overseas finance specialist Simon Conn explains: ‘Buying is one thing, but the upkeep of an abandoned chateau can be another. Maintenance costs for such a building can be considerable.’
Running a successful business from the premises can help the property to cover some of these costs.
This property also features in the new TV programme Escape to the Chateau DIY: It is located in Picardie, about an hour’s drive from Calais
Escape to the Chateau DIY: Tim and Margreeth Alexander are some of the people helped by Dick and Angel