Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 655
First episode date 14 October 2002
Created by Talkback Thames
No. of series 15
Executive producer(s) John Comerford
Networks BBC, BBC One, BBC Two
|Also known as 'Escape to the Continent (series 15)|
Genres Reality television, Home improvement
Cast Jules Hudson, Alistair Appleton, Nicki Chapman, Aled Jones, Denise Nurse
Escape to the Country is a British daytime television real estate-buying programme which premieres on network BBC One and is repeated on BBC Two, and airs internationally in syndication.
- Escape to the country part 1
- Series 1 to 5
- Series 6 to 9
- Series 10 to 12
- Series 13
- International broadcasts
- DVD releases
Escape to the country part 1
There are two versions of each episode produced. A shorter 45-minute version with only 3 houses shown and a longer 60-minute version. The short version usually airs on BBC Two weekday afternoons (in the 15:00, 15:45 or 17:15 slots) and the longer on BBC One weekdays at 10:00 or BBC Two evenings at 19:00. Escape to the Country is often credited as being the forerunner of other shows such as A Place in the Sun. Repeat episodes are shown on Home. Escape to the Country explores various locations and properties in the United Kingdom, in order to attract potential buyers. Another version of the series "Escape to the Continent", is based on exotic international locations, like Portugal and Malta.
Series 1 to 5
Produced by Boundless, part of FremantleMedia UK and shown to air from 2002, the basic premise of the show is that a person/family wishes to relocate from their current city home to a more peaceful and rural retreat. It is then the job of the show's presenter to find four houses for the family to view via laptop computer in their own homes. The family must then choose two out of the four houses to go and view for themselves. In addition, there is also the option of choosing the presenter's 'mystery house'.
Series 6 to 9
The format of the show changed in series 6 to accommodate viewer demand to see more houses and more local information. Contributors now view all four houses, of which the fourth is the mystery house. The mystery house usually has something unique about it that will either make the contributors fall in love with or hate it. Added to the show is a taster day in which the contributors sample local delights, gain historical knowledge and visit local attractions to get a feel for the area they are planning to move to. Series 6 aired in August 2007 on BBC One, while series 7 and 8 aired back-to-back in autumn 2008. Series 9 began on 23 February in a new slot of 15:45 on BBC Two.
Series 10 to 12
The format was modified yet again. The number of properties the couples viewed was reduced to three, with the third being the mystery house. Series 12 consisted of 75 shows and was broadcast from November 2011 on BBC Two with the addition of new title and credit sequences.
Series 13 premiered on 3 September 2012 on BBC One.
In Australia, Escape to the Country airs on Seven Network's free-to-air digital channel 7TWO Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
In Sweden, Escape to the Country airs on TV8, Monday to Thursday nights at 8:00pm (7:00pm local time).
In the Netherlands, Escape to the Country airs since April 2011 on SBS 6, Saturday nights at 5.00 pm (6.00 pm local time). Additionally, most viewers in the Netherlands can watch the show on the BBC channels that are distributed by cable operators. As a result of its availability in the Netherlands it features in the novel The Detour.
On 5 March 2014, two DVDs were released in Australia by Shock Entertainment. Titled Series 20 Parts 1 & 2, the two DVDs box sets had a total of 19 discs.