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To get a bit annoyed when Dick and Angel Strawbridge insist they're "normal"

(298 Posts)
Frankola Sun 01-Dec-19 13:34:10

I love Escape To The Chateau. I love Dick and Angel. I really do.

However, it really annoys me when they frequently insist that they are "every day people" and that "anyone can do it".

They ARE NOT every day people! Dick is a respected engineering and environmental expert who has appeared on tele for years before ETC. He's done Scrap Heap Challenge, Coast and all sorts!

Angel is actually a qualified chartered accountant with a professional background in business studies. She was a successful businesswoman in London, creating The Vintage Patisserie hospitality business and also appeared on Dragons Den - where she secured funding for her latest investment.

They were introduced by their agent. Does that sound "normal" to you?

Do every day couples pitch their search for a new life to production companies? Channel 4 even funded their house searching France for them to find the Chateau as they approached them from the very beginning of their project to maximise the potential they saw in this.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for their success. But I find it a bit insulting almost to expect the doting British public to just buy that these people could be any Tom, Dick or Harry (pun intended).

Any one else feel like this?

june2007 Sun 01-Dec-19 13:36:15

I think the point is they come from normal backround. But have used their business know how and skills to get to where they are.

ChardonnaysDistantCousin Sun 01-Dec-19 13:36:59

I don’t share their aesthetic vision but I admire their work ethos and that is certainly not something everybody has.

Zaphodsotherhead Sun 01-Dec-19 13:38:25

I think they may genuinely believe that 'anyone can do it'. Just as Jamie Oliver (or any other TV chef actually) will confidently announce that 'anyone' can get some esoteric ingredient that's actually only available if you live in or near a major city with large supermarkets or rarified delicatessens.

And no, you can't just get it online, I'm not buying an entire quantity of something I might not even like just for one recipe.

Digestive28 Sun 01-Dec-19 13:38:26

It’s not that which annoys me, it’s the complete ignoring of Dicks first family and now adult children. I loved them building a life in the green life type programme he did, then he moved on and started a new programme of basically the same premise with new wife and kids..

CurlyhairedAssassin Sun 01-Dec-19 13:38:56

I have never got the feeling that we are expected to view them as normal people. The reason the programme is so good is that us ordinary beings with everyday skills and jobs can marvel goggle-eyes at this multi-skilled couple doing extraordinary things in a beautiful place.

If they were ordinary and everyday like us then none of us would be bothered watching, would we? It’s a bit of escapism.

CuriousaboutSamphire Sun 01-Dec-19 13:38:56

Well he has history making a living by filming his families lives.

Angela is his second telly life. He seems to think it is normal. That he doesn't always remember to drop the final a... and her dad never does... amuses me far more than it ought to, and I hardly ever watch it.

ChardonnaysDistantCousin Sun 01-Dec-19 13:40:47

Today 13:38 Digestive28

It’s not that which annoys me, it’s the complete ignoring of Dicks first family and now adult children.

Wasn’t his eldest son in one of the recent episodes??

ChardonnaysDistantCousin Sun 01-Dec-19 13:41:23

The Angel/Angela thong is quite funny.

BloodyCats Sun 01-Dec-19 13:42:45

I think they mean they have had a normal up bringing, not from massively wealthy families.

I like them. I wish they would adopt me.

CurlyhairedAssassin Sun 01-Dec-19 13:44:37

Angel is her “stage” name, surely. Made her seem more mysterious and unique when setting up her business. Angela is a very ordinary name.

His grown up son was at her parents’ anniversary party, he came all the way to help cater and then had to rush off back to England to presumably carry on running his business. There seemed to be a lot of love between the two of them.

Plenty of people have second families after divorce. Was there drama in Dick’s case? An affair? DV? Or just the natural end to a marriage with people moving on to find new happiness, like most divorced couples?

TerribleCustomerCervix Sun 01-Dec-19 13:44:50

The refusal to call her Angel really amuses me. I can just imagine her dad being like “I’m not calling you fucking Angel, Angela.”

I was more amazed by the fact she’s 48! I need whatever moisturiser she uses.

Paperlantern123 Sun 01-Dec-19 13:45:50

@Digestive28 Dick's adult son was on the most recent episode - he's a professional chef and came to help for Angel's parents' big anniversary party. He seemed to have a lovely close relationship with his dad and his half siblings, and we didn't really see him much with Angel but they seemed to get on well. He also got a shout out in her parents' speech, which I thought was thoughtful.
The fact he was married before isn't a secret, it just isn't referenced very often because it's not really relevant to this show, which is about their life and business in France.
What would you like? A disclaimer at the start of every episode saying 'Dick has been married previously and has children from that relationship'? Like that somehow makes this family, this relationship, less 'important'?

CurlyhairedAssassin Sun 01-Dec-19 13:45:59

not from massively wealthy families.

I’m not sure you’re right when it comes to Dick’s side.

june2007 Sun 01-Dec-19 13:46:13

Yes one of his children is a chef and came to help cook for Angela, parents wedding anniversary. I wouldn,t say he ignores his other family but this programme is about him and Angel and their kids. (I.m an Angela but have never been shorteed to Angel.)

BloodyCats Sun 01-Dec-19 13:47:37

Tbh I haven’t really looked in to their backgrounds. It’s just easy watching telly.

amymel2016 Sun 01-Dec-19 13:47:48

I think they’re just normal people who have worked hard and done very well for themselves. I don’t think either of them came from money (I may be wrong?), they done it all themselves.

I don’t think being an engineer (in the true sense of the word) or an accountant is out of the realms of possibility for the majority of people.

I agree that most people wouldn’t have thought of getting a TV company involved.

basicbitch16 Sun 01-Dec-19 13:51:32

I was more amazed by the fact she’s 48! I need whatever moisturiser she uses.

She's 41, but still looks incredible

CurlyhairedAssassin Sun 01-Dec-19 13:52:10

I love the programme. Makes me smile so much. Although I am fascinated to know what they’re like when they have an argument. They must argue, surely?

And do they never lose patience with the kids? They seem to have endless patience, bringing them to have a go at EVERYTHING even though it must slow things right down when they have deadlines to meet. The kids are just so cute.

Nat6999 Sun 01-Dec-19 13:55:07

When you think they only paid about the same as an average semi for the Chateau & what they have turned it in to, it doesn't matter whether they are rich or not, they are both very talented in what they do & have made a success of their business at the chateau.

OverByYer Sun 01-Dec-19 13:55:51

I think they come across as quite ordinary.
They seem to have an incredible work ethic and I hugely admire them for it.
With regards to their Careers they have obviously had some lucky breaks but hats off to them

CurlyhairedAssassin Sun 01-Dec-19 13:56:28

I just like watching people who are so different to me. They are so driven, so creative, so happy go lucky, so patient with everyone (maybe not poor Quentin!), so positive and unflappable when things go wrong, so determined and tenacious and I am none of these. grin. It’s fascinating to watch the polar opposite of me.

If it’s true they were introduced by their agent then he/she probably recognised they had the same qualities. If I had the same agent I would never have been introduced to Dick! grin

MrsMaiselsMuff Sun 01-Dec-19 13:56:52

Dick Strawbridge came from money, his dad was in the oil industry. He went to Welbeck College.

I know what you mean OP. I love the programme but Angel has a way of playing stupid, and I don't think she is at all. They talk about how they've built the chateau up from nothing, which is fantastic, but would be impossible without a heap of money behind you.

WiddlinDiddlin Sun 01-Dec-19 14:05:03

I enjoy watching them..

As for normal or ordinary.. it's all relative I guess?

My friends are all normal and ordinary to me but they range from unemployed long term disabled in an sheltered living maisonette, through millionaires who own two estates, to tv celebs here and in the US... they are farmers, artists, engineers, builders, architects, neuro surgeons, trauma surgeons, dog trainers, authors, nurses, cleaners, scientists, teachers, actors ....

So to ME Dick and Angel are pretty normal and ordinary people.

If you live a more sheltered life with a narrower range of friends and aquaintances then yeah they are a bit exotic I guess!

As for this issue with his previous family... what issue? He and his previous wife split up, his adult children are adults doing their own thing, his new tv series is about him and his new wife and young children...

Why do people leap to the conclusion that he dumped his wife (he didn't), ran off with a younger model (not really), has no relationship with his older children (he absolutely does)... based purely on the fact the show doesn't mention it because... it's not relevant!

Cherrysoup Sun 01-Dec-19 14:06:51

I love their work ethic, pissed myself at them all doing family painting by the moat, only for a shot seconds later of the kids, obviously bored stiff bouncing on stuff in the background!

Don’t want to fat shame as an overweight person, but I’d be worried about the boy’s weight.

My only whinge was the recent aviary thing, they’re not big enough for the birds to fly round and just looks like a pea on a drum on the drive.

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