Escape to the Fort viewers swooned final night time when Dick’s good-looking tattooed son appeared on the present.
The hit Channel 4 present – which was the channel’s largest of 2020 – follows Dick Strawbridge and spouse Angel as they renovate a run-down, 45-room, moated citadel purchased for simply £280,000 in 2015 – which now hosts fairytale weddings within the Pays de la Loire- the area.
Final night time’s episode of the Channel 4 present noticed Dick, 59, and Angel, 48, who’re dad and mom to Arthur, six, and Dorothy, 5, host a good friend’s fiftieth celebration on the citadel.
They have been joined by James, who appeared along with his father and mom Brigit Weiner within the 2006 BBC collection It is Not Simple Being Inexperienced, which adopted their household’s makes an attempt to stay as inexperienced a life as attainable.
Escape to the Fort viewers swooned final night time when Dick’s good-looking tattooed son James appeared on the present
Now knowledgeable chef, James, 38, joined Dick and Arthur within the kitchen to prepare dinner up a storm forward of the occasion.
A lot of these watching have been impressed by the chef, with one writing: “Good to see James again on the citadel!
In the meantime, one other added: ‘James is 38 years outdated? Blimey, he was in his 20s when he and Dick’s first household lived close by.
In the course of the present, the couple mentioned they have been searching for a celebration for mutual good friend Sophie, who launched them to one another.
A lot of those that watched the present have been impressed by the couple and James’ efforts for the celebration
To thank Sophie for all the things that has occurred since then, Dick and Angel invited her and her household and associates to France to have fun her fiftieth birthday.
The couple deliberate to host 30-40 folks on the occasion, and Dick mentioned James ought to “assist as a result of he loves Sophie anyway.”
After deciding on gold because the theme for the celebration, James arrived on the citadel to assist manage the large occasion.
Dick and James visited the backyard to see what flowers and herbs could possibly be used within the recipe, earlier than deciding on beef because the dish for the feast.
James mentioned: “I like the thought of you and the citadel as a British, French fusion, so perhaps we’ll do the identical with the meal.”
James appeared alongside his father and mom Brigit Weiner within the 2006 BBC collection It is Not Simple Being Inexperienced, which adopted their household’s makes an attempt to stay as inexperienced a life as attainable
He prompt that it could really feel like a really French dish however with an English-style twist.
Preparations for the fiftieth celebration shortly started to happen, as Dick, James and Arthur cooked up a storm within the kitchen collectively.
After Arthur prompt making cheese sticks, James mentioned he may make a candy dip for the finger meals.
Dick mentioned, “It makes me very pleased to prepare dinner with you two.”
In the meantime, James additionally helped Angel create a particular cocktail for the birthday lady that included Aeperol, rum and orange juice.
The 38-year-old mentioned he was overjoyed to be again on the citadel along with his father, spouse and half-siblings
James mentioned: “It is very nice, I actually like the thought of tea – however I feel we want a stronger rum.”
Dick and James completed getting ready the al fresco celebration for 40 visitors, whereas Angel embellished the house with bamboo candlesticks.
Sophie arrived on the citadel to huge hugs and smiles from the household, and the group shortly got here collectively.
The celebration started, and whereas the theme might have been gold, it was Dick and Angel’s love for his or her good friend that shone brightest.
Angel mentioned: ‘To the Strawbridge boys, it is uncommon to have all of them within the kitchen collectively so it is a pleasure.’
Dick mentioned it “made him very pleased” to prepare dinner along with his elder son James on the citadel after three years aside
And to Dick’s delight, all of the boys labored nicely collectively.
The collection was coined in 2014 after an govt at Spark Media heard that Angel and Dick, an ex-army officer who has appeared as an engineering professional on TV reveals corresponding to Channel 4’s Scrapheap Problem, have been leaving their two-bedroom flat in Southend, Essex, for a brand new life in France.
After looking for the citadel for 4 years, Dick and Angel purchased the sprawling Nineteenth-century constructing in 2015 after swapping their two-bed dwelling in east London.
How a lot will a citadel wedding ceremony set you again?
The complete price of a marriage weekend for 80 on the citadel consists of:
Fort rent – £6,250
Six course wedding ceremony dinner with limitless full bar together with ‘bubbles’ – £20,000
Welcome dinner and drinks – £5,200
Personalised embroidery with visitors’ names – £440
Flowers – £750
Marriage ceremony Cake – £325
Submit wedding ceremony champagne brunch – £1,600
The collection is stuffed with arguments and tiffs over irritating renovations, valuable moments with their kids Arthur and Dorothy, eight, and making pleased reminiscences with newlyweds.
The citadel has since been valued at £2 million however the couple additionally earn by way of TV rights from Channel 4 for the collection and its daytime spin-off.
Dick and Angel additionally host fairytale weddings which fetch as much as £38,000 per wedding ceremony. Nonetheless, the common worth comes out to round £19,000.
A six-course wedding ceremony dinner plus canapés on arrival, a cheese and meat desk throughout the night and a vast bar for the day for a most of 80 visitors will set you again £20,000, a post-wedding brunch £1,600 and renting the chateau for the weekend is £6,250.
In addition to weddings, the couple additionally promote glamping nights for £350 in ‘geodesic domes’ within the citadel grounds and £230 ‘days of decadence’ the place you’ll be able to meet Dick and Angel and revel in lunch and afternoon tea within the citadel.
And the couple even cost visitors £75 for a ‘work day within the backyard’, with the web site saying: “Effectively to be sincere we cost you to come back and work! And in return it’s important to assist make the place lovely! ‘.
TV presenter Dick and creator Angel are actually utilizing a PR to advertise their thriving enterprise empire which incorporates not solely weddings however private homewares, presents, mushy furnishings, calendars, diaries and playing cards.
They’ve a separate ‘Chateau Merchandise’ crew based mostly in Swindon, Wiltshire, to deal with all merchandise enquiries.
However that wasn’t all the time the case for the household who purchased the property with no electrical energy, water or sewer – and a sanitation system that emptied into the moat.
Lately, viewers have seen them flip the citadel right into a thriving enterprise, however they have been additionally hit with damaging bullying claims in 2021.
Final yr it was reported that sources near Spark Media, the impartial manufacturing firm that filmed the primary 4 collection of ETTC, had accused Dick and Angel of bullying.
Dick was accused of shoving one crew member round in a room and threatening to throw one other “out the rattling window” whereas brandishing a hammer. Each are additionally mentioned to have sworn at tv workers.
In the meantime, James additionally joined Angel to create a particular cocktail for Sophie’s fiftieth celebration
The occasion, which passed off within the citadel backyard, went off and not using a hitch, with James and Dick and Arthur to prepare dinner
In the meantime, the present apparently bled producer administrators (PDs) over the primary 4 collection: three out of six left prematurely after the traces – an exodus “unparalleled” in tv, it’s claimed.
Dick and Angel – deeply appalled by the allegations – wasted no time in categorically denying them. In detailed testimony by way of their consultant, the couple have emphasised not solely the nice and cozy ambiance among the many crew presently making their present, but additionally their longstanding, excessive skilled requirements, which they are saying have helped make their chateau fantasy a profitable actuality.
And nobody can deny that their unique entrepreneurial dream is coming true, largely pushed by the decided Dick, who has a long time of tv expertise.
With such excessive requirements, the Strawbridges say, in fact, comes excessive strain – but their consultant emphasised that manufacturing members related to the couple over a few years discovered “working with our shoppers on the citadel a stunning expertise.”
In addition they accused their very own of outrageous habits among the many Sparks manufacturing crew.
In the meantime, Channel 4 has denied any data of the row, saying in a press release: ‘Channel 4 doesn’t tolerate bullying or abusive habits in any of its productions.
“Channel 4 was not conscious of any of the alleged habits of Dick and Angel described in these claims, which we perceive relate to a interval nicely earlier than the present producers started making the collection.”
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