Born In: Myanmar (Burma)
Dick Strawbridge is a British engineer, environmentalist, television presenter and an ex-army lieutenant colonel. He began his career with the army and spent over two decades in it rising from the position of troop commander to lieutenant colonel. In the year 1993, he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services in Northern Ireland. His television journey began while he was still serving the army. His first television show was Scrapheap Challenge where he was first a contestant and then a presenter. He then went on to do shows like It's Not Easy Being Green, Coast, The Hungry Sailors and Celebrity Masterchef. His most well-known show, though, is Escape To The Chateau in which he and his wife Angel, along with their kids, shift to a 19th century dilapidated chateau in France. The show follows them as they go about restoring the chateau to its former glory. The first year of their journey is elaborated in a book authored by the couple themselves. Dick previously authored the Made at Home book series with his son James Strawbridge.
Also Known As: Richard Francis Strawbridge
Spouse/Ex-: Angel Adoree (m. 2015), Brigit Strawbridge (m. 1982–2010)
father: George Strawbridge
mother: Jennifer Strawbridge
children: Arthur Strawbridge, Charlotte Strawbridge, Dorothy Strawbridge, James Strawbridge
Born Country: Myanmar
Notable Alumni: Royal Military College Of Science
education: Ballyclare High School, Royal Military College of Science, Yardley Court, Bangor Grammar School, Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College
Dick Strawbridge was born Richard Francis Strawbridge on 3rd September 1959 as the third child of Jennifer and George Strawbridge. His family includes four sisters and two brothers.
Though he was born in Burma, he grew up in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. His mother, single-handedly raised all her children since his father, an employee in the oil industry in the Middle East and Far East, was away for months.
For his education, he first went to Bangore Grammar Prep School, after which he attended Ballyclare High School from 1971 to 1976.
With an intention of becoming an army officer, he joined the Welbeck DSFC, a sixth form college in Nottinghamshire.
Dick Strawbridge enrolled at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned in 1979.
In the 1980, he completed his signalling and communication course and joined Royal Corps of Signals.
He then pursued a three years degree course in electronics and electronic engineering from the Royal Military College of Science at Shrivenham Military College.
He spent over twenty years in the army and left it as Lieutenant Colonel in 2001.
While he was still a colonel in the army, he auditioned for Channel 4's show, Scrapheap Challenge at the insistence of his family. The show challenged contestants to use the materials available in the scrapyard to build a working machine that can carry out a particular task.
His leadership abilities, personality and engineering skills played a pivotal role in his selection as team leader/contestant. He bagged the third series in 2000 along with his younger brothers David and Bobby as part of team Brothers in Arms.
For the eleventh series (2009/10) of the show he picked up the duties of the main presenter, taking over the job from Robert Llewellyn.
He also regularly appeared as team captain in the US version of the show Junkyard Mega-Wars.
In 2004, he presented BBC Two's six-part television documentary series Crafty Tricks of War wherein he reconstructed and tested some of the most unusual inventions of war.
In 2005, he co-presented another BBC Two show Geronimo along with Ferne Cotton. In the show, he challenged the contestants to construct some of the craziest machines ever seen on television.
Between 2006 and 2009, Dick Strawbridge and his family – his then wife Brigit and children James and Charlotte Strawbridge – appeared in three series of BBC Two’s show It’s Not Easy Being Green.
Series one followed the family’s attempt to go green while in the second series they go out to help others to achieve their eco-friendly goals. The third season included various features including celebrity interviews. A book with the same name written by Dick Strawbridge was published in 2006.
In 2006 again, he became a guest presenter of BBC Two’s documentary series Coast. He again guest presented the show in the 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012 series. The show was about the coastline of the UK and surrounding areas.
In 2008, he became the main presenter of National Geographic show Planet Mechanics.
Two years later, in 2010, he participated as a contestant in Celebrity Masterchef. He was one of the finalists of the show along with Christine Hamilton and Lisa Faulkner.
In 2010, Dick and James Strawbridge published two books – Practical Self Sufficiency: The Complete Guide to Sustainable Living and Self Sufficiency for the 21st Century.
Family and food once again came together with his 2011 show The Hungry Sailors. The ITV shows brought together the father son duo of Dick and James Strawbridge who sailed around Britain’s coastline to discover various culinary delights. Another season of the show aired in 2013. The two presented another food series for ITV Saturday Farm the same year.
In 2012-2013, the father and son duo published the Made at Home book series in which they shared their knowledge of producing plenty of good things to eat and drink.
The year 2013 also saw Dick Strawbridge hosting Channel 5 series Beat the Ancestors in which he challenged a team of modern day engineers to not only rebuild some of the most impressive machines of history but also make it better.
In National Geographic’s 2015 adventure series Dirty Rotten Survival, he, Dave Canterbury and John Littlefield embarked on a road trip giving each other survival challenges.
The year 2016 saw him presenting a television miniseries Trainspotting Live, a mini-series documentary Belfast's Forgotten Hero: HMS Caroline and a television movie documentary Britain's Lost Waterlands: Escape to Swallows and Amazons Country.
In 2016, Dick and his wife Angel Adoree began hosting Channel 4 documentary series Escape to the Chateau. In the show, the couple leave their two-bedroom flat in Essex and purchase a dilapidated 19th century 45-room chateau in France.
The show follows their journey as they go about restoring the chateau to its former glory. It is now not only the home of the couple but also a fully functional wedding venue. The show has aired eight seasons till Feb 2021.
In 2017, he and master craftsmen Will Hardie came together for Channel4’s miniseries Cabins in the Wild. The show saw a competition to build a portable pop-up hotel – with eight individual themed cabins – in a countryside.
In 2018, he presented Channel4’s miniseries documentary The Biggest Little Railway in the World which followed an attempt to construct the longest model railway in history in Scotland. He was also the lead engineer in it.
Escape to the Chateau inspired a spinoff show, Escape to the Chateau DIY, wherein the Dick and Angel provide tips and assistance to British families who want to purchase or renovate their own châteaux in France. The show aired from 2018 to 2020.
Another spinoff Escape to the Chateau: Make Do and Mend aired in 2020 and had him picking up the responsibility of executive producer too.
A book Chateau – The Beginning was published in 2018 giving a glimpse of their new life in France. This was followed by another book A Year at the Chateau in 2020 which yet again elaborates on the family’s first year in the chateau.
Dick Strawbridge married his first wife Brigit A. Weine in 1982 and has two children, James and Charlotte, with her. The couple divorced in 2010.
In 2015, he married Angela Newman (Angel Adoree) and has two children – Arthur and Dorothy – with her.
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