Two Rivers Media and Chateau TV have been commissioned to make Escape to the Chateau: Secret France (wt), for Channel 4. This new series will follow Dick and Angel Strawbridge, the  faces of Escape to the Chateau, on their adventures across France.

Escape to the Chateau: Secret France (wt) is the third Chateau format which will be made by Two Rivers and Chateau TV for the broadcaster, in addition to Escape to the Chateau and Escape to the Chateau: Make Do and Mend.

Escape to the Chateau: Secret France was commissioned by Clemency Green, senior commissioning editor at Channel 4 with Jo Street, head of Daytime and Features. It is executive produced by Lizi Wootton for Two Rivers Media and Dick and Angel Strawbridge for Chateau TV. All3Media International will distribute the programme.

Lizi Wootton, head of Popular Factual, Two Rivers, says: “Having worked on all things Chateau since its inception, I have seen the appetite for the brand flourish, with the continued success, internationally, of Escape to the Chateau as well as the popularity of the spin-off series Escape to the Chateau: Make Do and Mend. We are thrilled to continue to bring the escapism, aspiration, warmth, accessibility and fun, which is the beating heart of the Chateau series, to the travel genre.

“As Dick and Angel go beyond the chateau’s gates their unique ability to seek out the unexpected and uncover the extraordinary will combine with their innate sense of adventure to unlock the secrets of France.”

During their time at the Chateau, Dick and Angel have come to discover a side of France that few tourists ever see, and in Escape to the Chateau: Secret France (4 x 60 mins) they want to share some of the secrets they’ve learnt by heading off the beaten track to explore the areas of France few of us spot.

This announcement comes as Channel 4 launches the ninth series of Escape to the Chateau. The  programme brand launched in 2015 and, over the years, has evolved into one of Channel 4’s most popular series, with audiences peaking at 3.1million and overnights consistently beating slot average.

The 2022 season will be packed with more heart-warming family adventures, innovative renovations and spectacular celebrations from Dick and Angel and their children Arthur and Dorothy, but this year will also have special significance because 2023 will see Dick and Angel focusing on their Secret France (wt) adventures.

Two Rivers Media and Chateau TV announced last year that they had secured a major programming deal from Channel 4. The deal announcement was a result of a strategic collaboration between Two Rivers and Chateau TV, Dick and Angel Strawbridge’s independent production company.

Alan Clements, managing director, Two Rivers, says: “Our first Chateau production, Make Do and Mend was a real success story for us resulting in Channel 4’s most successful brand new series launch in its 8pm slot at the time. We are confident that the enduring appeal of Dick and Angel will ensure that a whistle-stop tour around France, with them as their guides, will prove an equal draw for audiences.”

Clemency Green, senior commissioning editor for Channel 4, says: “Across nine series we have seen the chateau rise from its ruins into the beautiful home and venue it is today. We look forward to working with Two Rivers and Chateau TV to follow Dick and Angel as they turn their attentions to new projects and new adventures, firstly unlocking the secrets of beautiful France in a brand new travel series.”

Dick and Angel Strawbridge add: “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 an 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.”

Pippa Considine

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