Escape to the Country

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Escape to the Country
Escape to the Country opening title card
Created byTalkback Thames
Presented bySee below
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series22
No. of episodes655
Executive producerJohn Comerford
ProducersKaren Richardson
(Series producer)
EditorsAdrian Padmore
(Series editor)
Running time45–60 minutes
Production companiesThames (2002–2006)
Talkback Thames (2006–2012)
Boundless (2012–2021)
Naked (2021-present)
Original networkBBC One
Picture formatPAL (576i, 16:9)
Original release14 October 2002 (2002-10-14) –
Related shows
  • I Escaped to the Country
  • Escape to the Continent
  • Escape to the New Town
  • Escape from the City (Australia)
  • Greatest Escapes to the Country
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 first aired on 14 October 2002 and also airs internationally in broadcast syndication.

In later years, production was transferred to Boundless Productions, a division of Fremantle Media.


The programme's TV format follows potential buyers (usually from London) as they look for their dream home in the rural UK by viewing three houses (including a "mystery property") in the designated area. After they inspect each house, the host asks the buyers to guess the seller's asking price. Episodes also feature information regarding the towns and villages presented, for example local industry and history. At the end of each episode, the buyers choose one of the options.


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. Repeat episodes are shown on HGTV.

Series 1 to 5[edit]

Produced by Boundless, part of Fremantle UK, and aired from 2002, the 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.[1]

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 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 new title and credit sequences.

Series 13 to 20[edit]

Series 13 premiered on 3 September 2012 on BBC One, followed by a further series each year; Series 20 began in late 2019.

In 2019, Series 19 was being broadcast and BBC One was re-running episodes of Series 18 on a daily basis.[2][3] Presenters for these series included Sonali Shah, Jonnie Irwin, Ginny Buckley, Jules Hudson, Alistair Appleton, Margherita Taylor, and Nicki Chapman.[4] For Series 19 the following credits were provided:[5][6]

  • Series Producers: Eleanor Brocklehurst and Emma Smith
  • Executive Producer: John Comerford
  • Production company: FremantleMedia (Boundless Productions)[7][8]


Nicki Chapman, one of the hosts of Escape to the Country

Over the years, presenters have included:[9]

Spin-off and related shows[edit]

A subsequent programme, I Escaped to the Country, revisits potential buyers who had appeared on the primary series. Three series[12] had been broadcast as of early 2019.[13]

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.[14] Two series had been broadcast as of early 2019, featuring international locations, like Portugal and Malta.[15]

In early 2019, several news sources indicated that BBC would be commissioning a spinoff series, Escape To the Perfect Town, featuring towns and cities instead of rural villages.[16] This series began in 2019.

A further related series, Greatest Escapes to the Country, looking back at homes featured in the primary series was broadcast on BBC Two in 2020.[17]

Australian version[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.[18] It is presented by: Jane Hall, Simon Marnie, Bryce Holdaway, Del Irani and Dean Ipaviz.

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, it is seen on CTV Life Channel as well as CBC.[19][20] In Sweden, it 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.[21]

In the United States, it was viewable on Netflix online streaming in March 2017 but has since been discontinued. As of March 2020, a limited number of episodes are available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video, in conjunction with IMDbTV. On Dabl, two episodes are broadcast weekday afternoons and rerun the same evening.

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.[22][23]


  1. ^ BBC Episode Guide, Season 3 Episode 22
  2. ^ Series 19 Episodes BBC One October 2018
  3. ^ Series 18 Episodes BBC One October 2018
  4. ^ "BBC One - Escape to the Country - Available now". BBC.
  5. ^ "BBC One - Escape to the Country, Series 19, Devon". BBC.
  6. ^ Escape to the Country Series 19
  7. ^ "Boundless".
  8. ^ "BBC Shows and Tours - Take Part - Escape to the Country". BBC.
  9. ^ "Escape to the Country". 1 January 2006. Retrieved 24 May 2008.
  10. ^ "Escape to the Country". The Radio Times (4101): 93. 10 October 2002 – via BBC Genome.
  11. ^ "Escape to the Country". The Radio Times (4101): 101. 10 October 2002 – via BBC Genome.
  12. ^ "BBC One - I Escaped to the Country, Series 3". BBC.
  13. ^, I Escaped to the Country, Episode Guide
  14. ^ "Escape to the Continent | Boundless".
  15. ^ "BBC One - Escape to the Continent - Episode guide". BBC.
  16. ^ "Escape to the Country to get city spin-off".
  17. ^ "BBC Two - Greatest Escapes to the Country". BBC.
  18. ^ "Escape from the City". TV Tonight. 30 December 2018.
  19. ^, Escape to the Country
  20. ^, Esape to the Country
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ "Escape to the Country Series 20 - Part 1 by Shock - Shop Online for Movies, DVDs in Australia".
  23. ^ "Escape to the Country Series 20 - Part 2 by Shock - Shop Online for Movies, DVDs in Australia".

External links[edit]