If you’re in the UK and a fan of those TV property programmes, you might know a show called Escape to the Country.
For 2014, the format’s getting a little more ambitious, with a brand-new series called Escape to the Continent scheduled to start on BBC2 in February.
The thinking behind Escape to the Continent is the same as the original Escape to the Country.
Take a couple from somewhere in the UK who want to start a new life somewhere else. Show them a selection of available properties in the area they’re thinking of moving to. And introduce them to another British couple who’ve already made the same move and are happy to talk about their experiences.
One of the twenty episodes of Escape to the Continent will be featuring Abruzzo and after being recommended to the series Producers, we were chosen to be the representative British couple who’ve left the UK and are now established in this part of Italy.
For me, a return to television six years after my last appearance on BBC World. For Pauline, a TV debut !
The weather in this part of Abruzzo, which had been foul for the previous week or so, happily relented to provide blue skies and a warm sun for the morning set aside to film our contribution here at Villasfor2.
And it couldn’t really have gone any better. We really enjoyed the experience. Marco, Bella, Karen, Antonis and presenter Anita Rani from programme-makers Boundless Productions were slick, quick, professional – and great people too, as were would-be Brit escapees to the continent Claire and Octave.
Marco and Bella tirelessly worked the Villasfor2 acre, setting-up the best shots and making light of lugging the cameras up and down our hillside. Antonis the sound-guy was puzzled why his hi-tec radio mikes occasionally insisted on arbitrarily switching frequencies at crucial moments. (Welcome to the Abruzzo Triangle, Antonis). Anita ensured the interview pace never flagged, keeping up a flow of questions to me, Pauline, Claire and Octave. Karen was busy ensuring the next leg of the day’s schedule after the crew left us was ready and waiting.
Claire and Octave would like to get involved in the tourism/hospitality business like us and though they’re naturally excited and enthusiastic about the prospect of starting a new permanent life outside the UK, they’re also realistic enough to understand it’s a massive step that if not carefully planned has the potential to go very wrong.
They’ve obviously given a possible relocation here a lot of thought and are under no illusions about the size of the task ahead.
We wish them an Abruzzo-style best of luck – ‘In bocca al lupo !‘ – and hopefully we’ll get to hear if they do end up turning their dreams into reality; taking the plunge; and moving here.