Escape to the Chateau's Dick Strawbridge reveals he had to be 'brutal' with wife Angel over plans for the property

ESCAPE to the Chateau star Dick Strawbridge has revealed he had to be "brutal" with wife Angel in order to get their building project done.

The 61-year-old and his other half have been filmed by Channel 4 since embarking on the monumental project in 2016 to turn a 45-room chateau into a family home and new business.

But it hasn't all been plain sailing for Dick and Angel, 43, who had their differences when the project first began.

With Angel expressing her huge ideas for the place, Dick has opened up about having to enforce a more realistic plan to "get things done".

Dick told The Express: "I really had to be quite brutal and say 'what has to be done' as to rather ' what would you like to have done'.

"The must-dos are getting a cloak room at this level, because if you come to our house and want to go to the loo, you can either go to a shed or up several flights of stairs."

He insisted they had to focus on the "must dos first" in order to make the property, which in some cases hadn't been touched this century, liveable.

Early on in the series, Angel shared her grand ideas to decorate rooms, including a Versailles-inspired downstairs loo.

"Cubicles are going to go here," Angel told the cameras, showing off the potential for the room and the decorations she was hoping to see.

"We've had a lot of debate over how high the cubicles should go up to because I'd quite like a ceiling on my cubicle.

"I know it's a personal thing. But the biggest thing is just getting started, and getting that vision."

She joked it hadn't been easy "agreeing on where stuff can go" and how "ridiculous" she was allowed to be with the decor.

The couple undertook the huge challenge almost alone, as engineer Dick hoped to rely mostly on his own expertise.

Based in Pays de la Loire near Nantes, the castle sports a mammoth 45 rooms for the family, which also includes eight-year-old Arthur and seven-year-old Dorothy.

Dick also has two children from his first marriage to Brigit; son James, 37, and daughter Charlotte, 35.

The chateau has ultimately been a success, as camera crews followed the couple progressing with their renovations and getting the castle up and running.

Dick recently bluntly rejected wife Angel’s renovation dreams in the latest instalment of Escape to the Chateau. 

During a stroll around the 16th-century Villandry near Toursa, the couple explored a few more chateaux to see if they could improve their property any further.

At one they observed a man raking one of the stone-pebbled lawns and Dick knew exactly what his wife was thinking.

Before she could even open her mouth, an adamant Dick said: “I’m never going to do it. Don’t even think about it.”

Now five years into the project, the couple have completely transformed the grounds around their home to grow a whole array of flowers and produce.

In a recent post on their Instagram page, Dick and Angel shared a picture of their garden with their 284,000 followers.

They wrote alongside it: “We simply had to share this image of Dick surrounded by colour in the gardens of The Chateau!”

Escape to the Chateau is available to watch on All 4.

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