Escape to the Country

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Escape to the Country
Escape to the Country opening title card
Created byTalkback Thames
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series19
No. of episodes655
Executive producer(s)John Comerford
Karen Richardson
(Series producer)
Editor(s)Adrian Padmore
(Series editor)
Running time45–60 minutes
Production company(s)Thames (2002-2006)
Talkback Thames (2006-2012)
Boundless (2012-Present)
Original networkBBC One
Picture formatPAL (576i, 16:9)
Original release14 October 2002 (2002-10-14) –
External links

Escape to the Country is a British daytime television reality property-buying/real estate programme, created by Talkback Thames, which premieres on network BBC One, produced by John Comerford and is repeated on BBC Two. It also airs internationally in broadcast syndication. The program helps potential buyers find their dream home in the rural UK by showcasing three properties (including a mystery property) for inspection, then asking that week's guests to guess the market price. Episodes also feature information regarding the suburb presented, for example local industry and history. It first aired in October 2002. In later years, production was transferred to Boundless Productions, a division of Fremantle Media. A subsequent programme, I Escaped to the Country, revisits potential buyers who had appeared on the primary series. Three series[1] had been broadcast as of early 2019.[2]

A related series featuring the same concept and some of the same presenters, but filmed in other countries, Escape to the Continent was also created for BBC by Boundless Productions.[3] Two series had been broadcast as of early 2019, featuring exotic international locations, like Portugal and Malta.[4]

In early 2019, several news sources indicated that BBC would be commissioning a spinoff series, Escape To the New Town, featuring towns and cities instead of rural villages.[5]


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 One weekday afternoons (usually in the 15:00 slot) 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 property/lifestyle shows such as A Place in the Sun. Repeat episodes are shown on Home.

Series 1 to 5[edit]

Produced by Boundless, part of Fremantle 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 3 included a Catherine Gee episode starring actor/writer Ian Murphy, who was relocating from Nottingham to Lancaster. [6]

Nicki Chapman one of the hosts of Escape to the Country

Series 6 to 9[edit]

The format of the show changed in series 6 to accommodate viewer demand to see more houses and more local information[citation needed]. 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[edit]

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 to 19[edit]

Series 13 premiered on 3 September 2012 on BBC One. In subsequent years, subsequent series were aired.

In February 2019, Series 19 was being broadcast and BBC One was re-running episodes of Series 18 on a daily basis.[7][8] Presenters for these series included Sonali Shah, Jonnie Irwin, Ginny Buckley, Jules Hudson, Alistair Appleton, Margherita Taylor, and Nicki Chapman.[9] For Series 19 the following credits were provided:[10][11]

  • Series Producers: Eleanor Brocklehurst and Emma Smith
  • Executive Producer: John Comerford
  • Production Company: FremantleMedia (Boundless Productions)[12][13]


Over the years, presenters have included:[14]

International broadcasts[edit]

In Australia, Escape to the Country airs on Seven Network's free-to-air digital channel 7TWO, and the Lifestyle Channel on Foxtel Subscription TV.

In Canada, Escape to the Country is seen on Gusto TV as well as CBC.[17][18]

In Sweden, Escape to the Country airs on TV8.

In the Netherlands, Escape to the Country airs since April 2011 on SBS 6. 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.[19]

In the United States, "Escape to the Country" is viewable on Netflix online streaming as of March 2017.

International Versions[edit]

"Escape from the City"' is an Australian version of the show produced by Fremantle Media Australia and screening on the ABC]] from 3 January, 2019. [20] It is presented by: Jane Hall, Simon Marnie, Bryce Holdaway, Del Irani and Dean Ipaviz.

DVD releases[edit]

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.[21][22]


  1. ^
  2. ^, I Escaped to the Country, Episode Guide
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ BBC Episode Guide, Season 3 Episode 22 [1]
  7. ^ [ Series 19 Episodes BBC One October 2018]
  8. ^ [ Series 18 Episodes BBC One October 2018]
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^, Escape to the Country Series 19
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Escape to the Country". 1 January 2006. Retrieved 24 May 2008.
  15. ^ "Escape to the Country". 10 October 2002. p. 93 – via BBC Genome.
  16. ^ "Escape to the Country". 10 October 2002. p. 101 – via BBC Genome.
  17. ^, Escape to the Country
  18. ^, Esape to the Country
  19. ^ Tonkin, Boyd (24 May 2013). "Gerbrand Bakker interview: Escape to the strangest country with newly crowned winner of The Independent Foreign Fiction". The Independent. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Escape to the Country Series 20 - Part 1 by Shock - Shop Online for Movies, DVDs in Australia".
  22. ^ "Escape to the Country Series 20 - Part 2 by Shock - Shop Online for Movies, DVDs in Australia".

External links[edit]