Woman’s Day (Australia)
DICK & ANGEL ‘KING & QUEEN OF OUR CASTLE!’
With Escape To The Chateau ending after eight years, what’s next for star duo the Strawbridges?
They’re the real-life couple who turned their dreams of owning a storybook castle into reality – and inspired countless others in the process.
Dick and Angel Strawbridge’s transformation of the derelict Chateau de la Motte-husson – a French castle with no running water, electricity, heating or sewage – was documented in the hit Escape To The Chateau TV series.
Now, having called time on the show after eight years, the pair are making their debut trip Down Under with their live stage show, Dare To Do It! With Dick & Angel, a show that will see the charismatic pair reveal untold tales and share fascinating insights into what inspired their French tree change.
Ahead of new shows this
month, Dick, 63, and Angel, 44, exclusively chat with Woman’s Day about their renovation regrets and reveal details about their secret new travel project.
This will be your first visit to Australia, right?
It is! And we are beyond excited. We’re bringing
Arthur, Dorothy and the grandparents with us too, so we plan to make it an unforgettable experience. We are so humbled by the response of Aussie audiences and their warmth and enthusiasm for the series.
What can audiences expect during the live shows?
The show is really fun and interactive. We’ll be giving audiences an insight into life at the chateau – what we did, how we did it and why we dared to do it. We’ve designed the show to tell our story and for audiences to get actively involved.
‘We pinch ourselves about how lucky we are’
Aside from you two, the “star” of the series is Chateau de la Motte-husson – it’s storybook perfect! Does it still take your breath away?
Absolutely! We still pinch ourselves and think, “How did we get this lucky?!” The chateau has a life of its own and while it is our family home, it’s also an incredibly
beautiful and historic property, and we’ve tried very hard to preserve all of its treasures and stories. We’re full of gratitude for stumbling upon this magical place back in 2014, and we very much feel like it was meant to be.
What’s it like to inspire countless people to pursue their own dreams?
Many people have said our story has inspired them and we believe a big part of this is seeing a normal couple with a dream. I guess we show people that they can also take the plunge and start living the life they dream of – you just have to be brave, believe and give it a go.
Do you have any regrets about the whole process?
What would you say to readers who want to follow their version of your dream?
Do it... but plan ahead! We cannot stress this enough. We’re both advocates for “giving it a go” but the key is always in the planning.
Consider the tools you need if you’re doing the work yourself, and do some research into the best method and execution. Use an expert for the things you really need help with, and don’t cut corners – this can end up costing time and money. Costs can escalate wildly, so plan a contingency for the unexpected. Be brave and make sure that what you do makes you smile!
Even though you’ve closed the renovation journey chapter, you’re not going away from our screens. Tell us about your new travel show airing later this year...
We’re so excited to be hitting the road and exploring France’s hidden treasures. It’s such a large and varied country and we’ve discovered so many things that we had no idea about. It’s been such an adventure and we can’t wait to share our secret France with audiences.
Your kids are still young, but do you think they’ll follow in your footsteps as chateau custodians?
We hope so! Ultimately, it will be up to Arthur and Dorothy. One of the reasons we prioritised the chateau’s “big jobs” – like replacing the roof, the render and the windows – is so they won’t have to worry about it. At some point, you never know, they may want to take over. Arthur is a true gourmand and has dreams of running a restaurant from here, so watch this space!
DARE TO DO IT! WITH DICK & ANGEL