Dick and Angel Strawbridge, stars of the Channel 4 show Escape to the Chateau, have denied that they were dropped by the broadcaster after allegations of bullying were made against them.
The couple had appeared on the programme, which charts their renovation of a 19th-century chateau in Martigné-sur-Mayenne, France, for nine seasons, beginning in 2016 and ending in December 2022.
However in May, a leaked audio recording emerged of Angel Strawbridge engaging in a foul-mouthed rant against one of the show’s producers, branding him a “f***ed up little c***”.
The recording was leaked two weeks after Deadline reported that Channel 4 had severed ties with the Strawbridges, and that an independent HR investigation had been ordered by the broadcaster after production company Two Rivers Media raised concerns about the couple.
At the time, the couple shared a statement saying there were “two sides to every story” and thanking Channel 4 and their teams for “their support and creativity over the years”.
In a new interview withThe Sunday Times, the Strawbridges have now shared their side of the story, denying that they were dropped by the broadcaster. Instead, they say they made the decision to stop filming Escape to the Chateau themselves in 2021, and informed Channel 4 by email in January 2022.
“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 said: “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.”
Angel’s now-infamous remark came after a producer was seemingly left unimpressed by Angel talking down to him when she lost track of his whereabouts. “I wanted to know where you both were,” she can be heard saying, adding: “My husband speaks to everyone when he’s grumpy like a piece of s***.”
The anonymous producer replies: “And I don’t like that either.”
Angel can then be heard accusing the producer of posting images on Instagram of a man that she says shared a likeness to her husband, Dick.
“Who is that inspired by when you’re f***ing working at the chateau? “ she says, adding: “Just tell me that and then you can f***ing leave – and this is me f***ing angry because I think you’re a f***ed up little c***.”
“I’m incredibly proud of who we are, our integrity and our team. We are protective. People who come in have to remember this is our home,” Angel said in the interview.
Her husband, who shares two children with Angel, joked to their interviewer: “Can you imagine? You’ve met the lioness with our cubs. It’s a family. This is our family home.”
Both described themselves as “insular” and said that they “don’t think of ourselves as famous”.
“We’re not really plugged into the world like that,” Dick said.
The couple closed their castle company, Château-de-la-Motte-Husson Limited, this year, but have continued with other businesses including wallpaper designs, a bedding range, scented candles, and other lifestyle products including cushions and their own brand of gin.