Dick and Angel Strawbridge to return to Channel 4 after ‘bullying’ controversy

Escape to the Chateau stars Dick and Angel Strawbridge are set to make their return to screens, one year after an explicit rant and bullying allegations led to Channel 4 cutting ties with them.

The married couple appeared at the heart of the documentary series from 2016 to 2022, tracking their renovation of a 19th-century chateau in Martigné-sur-Mayenne, France.

In May 2023, Channel 4 confirmed that they had ended their working relationship with the couple after nine series of the show.

A Deadline report at the time said that the broadcaster had ordered an independent HR investigation after Two Rivers Media, the company that produces the Escape To The Chateau franchise, raised concerns about the couple.

Two weeks later, a leaked audio recording emerged of Angel Strawbridge delivering a foul-mouthed rant against one of the show’s producers, branding him a “f***ed up little c***”.

At the time, a Channel 4 spokesperson confirmed that the broadcaster would no longer collaborate with the couple.

Since the emergence of these reports, the Strawbridges denied that they were dropped by Channel 4, and instead claimed that they chose to end their show themselves in 2021.

Angel and Dick Strawbridge (escape_to_the_chateau/Instagram)
Angel and Dick Strawbridge (escape_to_the_chateau/Instagram)

However, the pair is set to return to the channel with Dick and Angel’s Secret France, in which they explore lesser-seen locations and hotspots of the country.

According to The Sun, the new series was recorded before Angel’s rant and the bullying allegations came to light.

“Dick and Angel had filmed this series before the damming recording of Angel was leaked last year,” an insider told the publication.

“Despite cutting ties with the Strawbridges, it was always the intention that execs would broadcast the show at a later date.

“Channel 4 have pulled back on publicising the series and haven’t changed their position on working with Dick and Angel in the future after their internal review was completed.”

The Independent has contacted Channel 4 for comment.

In an October 2023 interview with The Times, the Strawbridges gave their side of the story and reiterated their positive view about the show’s end.

“We had the most amazing nine series and finished all our commitments. It didn’t really make sense to us,” Dick said.

Escape to the Chateau had finished on a wonderful high. There was no story. Nothing really happened. We’d stopped. We didn’t necessarily understand what was going on. We weren’t worried about it.”

Appearing to address Angel’s outburst, Dick continued: “Mediocrity comes from compromise and we don’t compromise. Both of us are headstrong. When it comes down to finding the best way forward we keep going until it’s right. That’s why every single thing in our lives has to be right.”

Dick and Angel’s Secret France is scheduled to air on Channel 4 on Sunday 2 June at 8pm.