Fans of extremely self-absorbed rich people are celebrating after a middle-aged couple from London, Dorset, Melton Mowbray and London again, finally achieved the long sought-after Holy Grail of TV property porn.
Richard and Venetia Hume-Walker, both 56, first appeared on Series 14 of the BBC’s Escape to the Country in 2013, when Nicki Chapman helped them to swap their townhouse in Richmond for an eight-bed Georgian manor house, 12 miles from Bridport in rural Dorset.
‘We wanted to get back to the simple life,’ said Venetia, an interior designer. ‘I lived my dream of raising chickens and alpacas on our 23-acre back garden, while Richard carried on his freelance marketing business in one of the converted oast houses. The seven spare bedrooms would certainly have come in handy too, if friends had ever wanted to visit.’
Finding the fuel costs of the twice-weekly commute back to London to be prohibitively expensive for her Subaru and his Range Rover, the couple went on Escape to the Perfect Town in 2018. Aided by Jonnie Irwin, they settled into a half-timbered Tudor merchant’s house in Melton Mowbray.
‘It was so handy for shops and doctors and we were glad to get away from the smell of chicken manure,’ explained Venetia at the time. ‘We would still have been able to put up friends in the three spare bedrooms. And Richard has always liked traditional English pork pies, so it was the perfect choice, really, wasn’t it Richard?’
The couple can be seen completing their property odyssey on the new-launch show, Escape from the Country, next month. This time, they have traded in market town life for a town house in Richmond because they needed to be near to London for work purposes and hoped to make new friends there.
The Hume-Walkers’ only daughter, Alexandra, 28, could not be reached for comment as she emigrated to New Zealand immediately after leaving school in 2009 and has not been in contact with them since.