United Kingdom

Escape to the Chateau stars Dick Strawbridge and wife Angel deny claims they 'bullied' staff

Escape to the Chateau stars Dick and Angel Strawbridge have denied claims they bullied crew members on the hit show and accuse producers of trying to make it a 'trashy reality programme'.

The hit Channel 4 show - which was the channel's biggest last year - followed the pair as they renovated a run-down 45-room chateau bought for just £280,000 in 2015.

The Strawbridges have since raked in huge profits by charging couples for a fairytale wedding at the moated property in the Pays de la Loire region.

But crews on the first four seasons - created by well-known production firm Spark Media -  say working with the couple was 'like being in an abusive relationship'. 

Representatives for the couple hit back at the claims, saying producers 'tried to make it a trashy reality programme' - which caused 'problems'.

Meanwhile, a series director present at the time of the allegations blasted the claims as 'all nonsense', calling the Strawbridges 'professional, hard-working and generous'.

Escape to the Chateau stars Dick and Angel Strawbridge (pictured) have been accused of bullying crew members on the hit show - as staff say filming was an 'anxiety-inducing ordeal'

The hit Channel 4 show - which was the channel's biggest last year - followed the pair as they renovated a run-down 45-room chateau (pictured) bought for just £280,000 in 2015

Former-army officer Mr Strawbridge, 61, threatened to throw one worker out the window while wielding a hammer in an unaired clip of the show, two insiders told The Times. 

Meanwhile, 43-year-old Mrs Strawbridge allegedly exploded in a fit of rage at one of the show's producers who flagged his poor treatment.

She is said to have called him a 'f***ing c***'.

One source told the paper there were six producer directors on Escape to the Chateau - when usually there would be two - but three left early.

Another insider claimed: 'Conversations among staff at the time were constantly 'imagine if the public knew what they were really like,' but you're all too frightened to do anything about it.'

Mrs Strawbridge (pictured) allegedly exploded in a fit of rage at one of the show's producers who flagged his poor treatment

The Strawbridges (pictured) are now raking in huge profits by charging couples fat fees for a fairytale wedding at the moated property in the Pays de la Loire region

One reported incident saw Mr Strawbridge push a crew member around the room after he asked Angel questions during filming for spin off Escape to the Chateau DIY.

He allegedly shoved the worker and repeatedly asked if he liked to be pushed. 

A representative for the Strawbridges said the crew member he allegedly pushed was 20 years younger than Mr Strawbridge - and was taller.

They claim the crew member had tried to bully Mrs Strawbridge over the fact that a couple on the show was gay. This has been denied by the worker in question.   

In response to an incident which reportedly saw Mr Strawbridge brandish a hammer, they quoted a series director who said he never saw any threats from the former-army officer, nor intimidation based on his size.

Crews on the first four seasons - created by well-known production firm Spark Media - say working with the couple pictured) was 'like being in an abusive relationship'

Those working on the more-recent series - produced by different companies - deny experiencing any of the alleged behaviour.

A Channel 4 spokesperson said it was not aware of any of the alleged behaviour from the couple - but said it did know about a collapse in relations between Spark and the Strawbridges.

A representative for the couple told MailOnline: 'During the making of the early series of Escape to the Chateau Dick and Angel had problems working with the then producers, who tried to make it a trashy reality programme. 

'Escape to the Chateau is set in their home and they wanted an honest portrayal of their family journey rather than to enact the vision of a TV producer.'

Producer director Sean Lewis said: 'I have worked with [Dick and Angel] for three years.

'I found that giving them respect and understanding has always been returned and have never felt they were aggressive or unpleasant.'

Series director Tom Thompson - who was present at the time of the allegations - said the claims are 'all nonsense'.

He added: 'The Chateau is not just a TV show it is their home and business.

'I found them professional, hard-working and generous.'

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