Dick Strawbridge

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Dick Strawbridge
MBE
Dick Strawbridge and his unfeasably large moustache.jpg
Dick Strawbridge in 2012
Born Richard Francis Strawbridge
(1959-09-03) 3 September 1959 (age 55)
Burma
Occupation Broadcaster, engineer, environmentalist
Years active 1998–present
Spouse(s) Brigit Strawbridge (separated 2010)
Angel Adoree (since 2013)
Children James; Charlotte; Arthur (b. 2013)

Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Francis "Dick" Strawbridge, MBE, (born 3 September 1959), is a British engineer, television presenter and environmentalist. He is often referred to as "Colonel Dick".[1]

Background and personal life[edit]

The third of seven children, Strawbridge was born in Burma and raised and educated in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, attending Ballyclare High School from 1971–76.[2]

He was married to Brigit Strawbridge and the couple have two children, James and Charlotte, but the couple separated in 2010.[3] Strawbridge is the owner of a large moustache, which he claims is "the best in showbiz". Has one son (born February 2013) with partner Angel Adoree, founder of The Vintage Patisserie. [4]

Honorary Doctorate[edit]

Strawbridge was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Plymouth University in 2010. [5]

Army career[edit]

Strawbridge received a commission in the British Army in 1979,[6] after attending Welbeck DSFC (becoming head of college) and joined the Royal Corps of Signals in January 1980.[7] Promoted to Lieutenant in April 1981,[8] and Captain in October 1985,[9] he became a Major in September 1991.[10] He was awarded an MBE in 1993 for his distinguished service in Northern Ireland,[11] promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in June 1999,[12] and left the army in November 2001.[13]

Television career[edit]

Strawbridge is best known to the general public as an engineering and environmental expert on such television programmes as Scrapheap Challenge (on which his team, Brothers in Arms, were series champions and on which he took over from Robert Llewellyn as the main presenter in Series 11), three series of It's Not Easy Being Green for BBC Two, the six-part BBC Two series Crafty Tricks of War of which he was the main presenter, Planet Mechanics, and as a regular guest presenter on Coast. Following his switch of career to television, Strawbridge often refers to himself as a "telly tart".[1][14]

Scrapheap Challenge[edit]

Dick began his career in television as the 'Yellow Team Leader' for six episodes in the first ever series of 'Scrapheap'. He has to date appeared in over 30 programmes of Scrapheap Challenge and Junkyard Wars, winning the Scrapheap Challenge trophy in series 3 with his two younger brothers David and Bobby as 'Brothers in Arms', and the Junkyard Megawars trophy in 2003. On 5 June 2008, it was announced that he would be returning to Scrapheap Challenge for its 11th series.[15] Dick took over from Robert Llewellyn as the main presenter with his expert team of 'Dick's Diamonds', including his technical mate Jim Milner. The series was shown on Channel 4 in 2009.

It's Not Easy Being Green[edit]

Dick, along with his family, have filmed three series of It's Not Easy Being Green for BBC Two. In series one, which was shown on 28 March 2006, the family moved to a new home near St Austell, Cornwall and attempted to live as green a life as possible, using renewable energy and environmentally friendly resources. The second series started in Spring 2007 with a different format: Dick and his son James aided several members of the public in larger and smaller ecology projects around the country. Series three saw another format change as the programme took on more of a 'magazine' theme.[citation needed]

Coast[edit]

Also in 2006, Strawbridge appeared as a one-off presenter on the BBC2 series Coast, examining the workings of the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge, a role he revived in the 2007 version of Coast, presenting a short part of the program on the failure of Exercise Tiger. In Series 4 of Coast, July 2009, Strawbridge examined the terrain of the Normandy landing beaches. Since then Dick has become very much part of the Coast team, appearing in many episodes mainly using his engineering and military history experience. Some of his favourites have been visiting off-shore wind turbines in Denmark and exploring the beaches of Normandy.[citation needed]

The Hungry Sailors and Saturday Farm[edit]

Main article: ITV Food

In 2011, Strawbridge and his son James filmed a 20 part series, The Hungry Sailors, which was broadcast by ITV. The series saw them set sail around Britain's coastline to experience all the amazing local food the coast has to offer. They moor the boat and visit producers inland, then it's back to the boat to cook up a storm.

In 2012, filming began on a second series of The Hungry Sailors around the Cornish coast, taking in the Channel Islands and the Isles of Scilly. The series was broadcast from 1 July 2013.[16]

Since 20 April 2013, Dick and James have presented ITV Food series Saturday Farm.

Other TV appearances[edit]

Strawbridge also had a major role in the BBC's commemoration of the 60th anniversary of D-Day, and was the co-host and resident "boffin" on the 2005 game show, Geronimo!. He also appeared as a regular team captain in the US series, Junkyard Mega-Wars.

Dick also starred in The Big Idea, in which he tested out amateur inventions, and featured in the short series The Re-Inventors, a series of five, hour-long programmes commissioned by the UK digital channel UKTV History and first broadcast through the week of 11 December 2006. Each episode featured Strawbridge and his son James reconstructing an invention of historic significance, with only a limited budget (£500), a limited time of two days and limited facilities (a specially constructed mobile workshop) to construct a modern version. They then try it out against the real thing. UKTV History also shows "Crafty Tricks Of War" from time to time.

On 21 February 2008 edition of Ready Steady Cook on BBC2, Strawbridge cooked spotted dick.[citation needed] Dick Strawbridge currently presents Planet Mechanics on the National Geographic Channel.[citation needed]

On 13 November 2009, Dick was a guest on Robert Llewellyn's CarPool.

In summer 2010, he appeared in Celebrity Masterchef, reaching the final alongside Christine Hamilton and eventual winner Lisa Faulkner.[17]

On 20 November 2010, Dick appeared on the Children in Need Special of Bargain Hunt.

In 2012, Dick was announced as presenter of new Channel 5 series Beat The Ancestors, which commenced broadcast in February 2013.

Other activities[edit]

Dick Strawbridge lived at Newhouse Farm in Cornwall where much of the filming for all three series of It's Not Easy Being Green was done. For a while with his son James he ran eco courses at the farm in order "to share our experiences, demonstrate all the systems we have invested in, and offer eco advice". The farm has been renamed Bumblebee Farm and is now being run by Brigit Strawbridge whose dream is to "turn it into the UK’s first Wild Bee Sanctuary and a Centre of Education for all things wild and wonderful." [18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Atkins, June (9 February 2008). "'Gadgets & Going Green' with Dick and James Strawbridge". BBC Lincolnshire. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  2. ^ Sale, Jonathan (5 February 2009). "Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Dick Strawbridge, TV presenter". The Independent. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  3. ^ Rutherford, Adrian (30 July 2010). "Masterchef: Old soldier Dick faces toughest battleground". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  4. ^ "Official website". Dick Strawbridge. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  5. ^ http://www1.plymouth.ac.uk/graduation/honorarydegrees/Pages/Notable-honoraries.aspx
  6. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 47858. p. 7119. 5 June 1979.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 48056. p. 160. 4 January 1980.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 48589. p. 5768. 16 April 1981.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 50279. p. 13873. 7 October 1985.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 52691. p. 16035. 21 October 1991.
  11. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 53453. p. 16387. 11 October 1993.
  12. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 55543. p. 7302. 6 July 1999.
  13. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 56413. p. 14583. 11 December 2001.
  14. ^ "Eco-warrior? Or is Dick just living a dream?". Western Morning News. 29 September 2007. Retrieved 21 August 2010. [dead link]
  15. ^ Reynolds, Simon (5 June 2008). "'Scrapheap Challenge' drops Llewellyn". Digital Spy. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  16. ^ "The Hungry Sailors Set Sail Again". Denham Productions Limited. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  17. ^ "Actress Lisa Faulkner takes MasterChef title". BBC News. 20 August 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  18. ^ http://www.bumblebeefarm.co.uk/the-farm/

External links[edit]