Dick & Angel
We are a determined, industrious and passionate partnership.
We fell in love in 2010 and neither of us could believe our luck. Now living in a fairytale castle in France with our young family, Arthur who was born in 2013 and Dorothy who arrived a year later, we are firm believers in the harder you work, the luckier you get.
The third of seven children, Dick was born in Burma, but raised and educated in Northern Ireland. He attended Ballyclare High School before going to Welbeck where he was Head of College. Dick then attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and, in 1979, was commissioned into the Royal Corps of Signals. In 1993 he was awarded an MBE for distinguished service in Northern Ireland. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2001 having served in Germany, England, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Northern Ireland.
After leaving the army, Dick had a successful career as a Programme Manager, and then trouble shooter, for a large multinational company before becoming a full-time television presenter and author. He has an honours degree in Electrical Engineering and received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Plymouth University.
Dick has arguably the best moustache in showbusiness. He is a man of many interests, some of which are reflected in his successful and varied television career. He hit our television screens with ScrapHeap Challenge and subsequent credits include three series of It’s Not Easy Being Green and Celebrity Masterchef for the BBC and Hungry Sailors for ITV. 2015 took Dick across the pond to film Dirty Rotten Survival in America for National Geographic, whilst filming Escape to the Chateau for Channel 4. Then in 2017, Dick filmed BBC4’s Trainspotters, Biggest Little Railway and Cabins in the Wild for Channel 4. In 2018 and 2019, we saw the 5th and 6th series of ETTC...
In 2020, Dick filmed the 7th series of ETTC and the new spin-off series, ETTC - Make Do and Mend in the summer, a format filmed by the Strawbridges during lockdown. Back this year, Dick has just finished filming ETTC - Make Do and Mend series 2, which airs in June and July of 2021. The Strawbridges are also currently filming the 8th series of ETTC which will launch at the end of 2021!
Dick’s Practical Self Sufficiency Book is published all around the world. Still available and very current, many claim it’s their bible!
Angel is a 1940s vintage-clad redhead from East London. She is the founder of The Vintage Patisserie, a glamorous hospitality company, and is author of the best-selling ‘Vintage Tea Party’ series which touched the hearts of many a vintage enthusiast.
Humble beginnings and hard work have secured Angel coverage in nearly every glossy and national newspaper and the fashion pack that have her on speed dial – Paul Smith, Kim Jones, Cutler and Gross, and Liberty’s, to name-drop a few.
Hungry to grow the business even further, Angel applied to the BBC business series Dragons Den in 2010. She touched the nation with her passion and heartfelt pitch, which won not only the hearts of the Dragons, but also offers of investment and the patronage from Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis.
The Vintage Patisserie did indeed grow to new heights and in 2011 she opened her first Vintage Patisserie in Hackney, East London. With eleven staff and ten events a week, business blossomed. A book deal followed and Angel’s Vintage Tea Party series has sold copies all over the world.
In 2013, Angel and Dick were blessed with their son Arthur Donald and in 2014, Angel and Dick could not believe their luck when Dorothy Francis was born. The couple married in November 2015 at their family home Chateau de la Motte Husson.
Angel put her love for everything Vintage Tea Party onto the pages of her "The Vintage Tea Party" Book. Expect glamour, roses, rabbits, headscarves, foxes, teapots, crows and not forgetting humungous amounts of tea party food and drink fit for a queen!
Books by Dick and Angel
In 2018, Dick and Angel released "The Chateau: The Beginning", sharing their journey into the Why, How and What they did to create a new life for their family in the stunning Pays-de-la-Loire in France.
Then, in 2020 Dick and Angel wrote "A Year at The Chateau". In this book they share the full story of their first year of their new life in France. From bedrooms infested with flies and turrets inhabited with bats, to their beautiful wedding and incredibly special first Christmas at The Chateau. Earlier this year, Dick and Angel announced that the sequel to "A Year at The Chateau", is currently in the works and will be released in October 2021. You can pre-order "Living the Chateau Dream", here.
It has been seven years since Dick and Angel were introduced to Chateau de la Motte Husson and they are in agreement that moving to a new home, in a foreign country, in the middle of winter, with no electric, sewerage or heating and with two very young children in tow, could be considered foolish.
With The Chateau more civilised (more toilets!), life is good. Although still very busy with a flourishing business and filming, Angel and Dick make time to grab a few seconds a day to sit and remember how lucky they are.
Bringing a forty five room, five storey house back to life after years of neglect takes hard work and dedication. Dick and Angel have proven to have these in abundance.
With The Chateau’s completion more than less, Angel and Dick have started to look to the future and have ventured outside to the gardens and outbuildings and they are starting to breathe!