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No Going Back - Chaos at the Castle


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Yep I'm interested / nosey, but I'd love to know how manipulated the story line is, they (TV Company) seem to portray them as fools who haven't planned things well, but when you look whats going on in the background and how much they have achieved it all seems a bit unfair. Like most things in life if you put your head above the parapet (or in their case a beautiful turret) someone will take a pot shot! Also what do the general public expect, to build a success business from scratch takes time, hassel and lots of arguments (my husband and I took over a failled village post office and have turned it into a thriving village shop, hopefully to finance our move to france) and its only been a couple of years, Anyway good luck to them!!!!
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Just after the last series there were articles in the UK press where the owners were complaining about how they had been misrepresented in the series.

Now they are back for more......

Presumably they believe that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

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[quote user="Abs Turner"]..... it might have been in their contract to do a follow up, ...... [/quote]

 

Do you mean that young couple (with 2 very young little girls) that were solicitors in a former life and bought a chateau near ?... Limoges?... St Léonard de Noblat! that one .... is it?....

I am glued to the TV to see how far they have progressed!...

Though (can't help being a cynic! SORRY!! ) this kind of follow up could be the calling for a 'For Sale' sign for whatever reason the people concerned may have, and the program is used as an advertising ploy...

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It is indeed!  It's the Château Ribagnac, and if you can't wait until tonight to catch up on what's been happening you can check out their website http://www.chateauribagnac.com/en/index.php   They have a photo gallery and newsletter showing their progress.

They sound very happy, and say they have no intentions of "going back".  Good luck to them!  They did their research, got stuck in and worked liked maniacs, had a few disasters along the way but now seem to be really making a go of it.  It'll be interesting to see how the progam tonight portays their story.

 

 

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I can understand the fact that people may have been offended by the way they were portrayed when these kinds of programmes were new but really, what do they expect when they sign up?  It's not going to make good television if everything goes smoothly, is it?  I assume they expect publicity for their business, not a big love-in, and that's what they've got, so it seems.
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Saw the programme tonight, which was quite interesting.  They seem to have their heads fairly well screwed on, which was probably why the programme didn't have the excruciating 'daft buggers' side to it.

It glossed over the 'financials' which was in many ways a relief: it spared us from the "We can't understand why we're in financial trouble just because we're trying to do up a 10 bedroom chateau which was a ruin on €30k".  They must have been reasonably well capitalised in order to have done what they've done.

Sawday seems to have got the best publicity out of it all: others will doubtless have a view on that.

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[quote user="Ian Horn"]

Sawday seems to have got the best publicity out of it all: others will doubtless have a view on that.

[/quote]

Quite - he turned up, got fawned over, enthused over the dual flush button on the loo (shows how many French places, special or not, he has actually visited) made a few apparently quite justifiable negative comments about the furniture etc, appeared not to enjoy his food, went away, and a while later sent a rather scrappy hand written letter to say they would be in the guide. Never was the fee mentioned, which just underlines the way the Sawday organisation tries to represent itself as totally independent and impartial, everything based on personal recommendation and review, whereas in reality it is little more than the gites de france guide with a plum up its behind, that doesn't really care what the guests think as long as it gets its listing fee.

Incidentally, Living France magazine ran a piece about these people after the first series and their unease about the way the programmes had been edited to make them appear right dickheads.

 

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[quote user="Will "]

Incidentally, Living France magazine ran a piece about these people after the first series and their unease about the way the programmes had been edited to make them appear right dickheads.

[/quote]

 

I hope, Will, that you have the permission of Dick and Chris to take the name of their love child in vain in such a cavalier fashion?[:D]

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Boohoo!! [:@] My fl****ng sister!! She rang me last night about 5 minutes before the program started! by the time she got off the blower telling me all her probs,  it was 1/2 past 10!! ........

She needs a bloke! Chris...? is Welsh available?![Www]?!

Is there going to be a repeat?...did anyone videoed it?... on Channel4 website?... or som'it that I could watch it.....

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[quote user="Ian Horn"] Sawday seems to have got the best publicity out of it all: others will doubtless have a view on that.[/quote]Actually, I disagree, I think he too was made to look a "d**khead". When we watched the program as it was editted, we were astounded when the property was accepted, given all the negatives that we saw. For example, that titchy bed that was being sold as a double!!! No way should that have been passed as acceptable. I think that is actually negative publicity, as it rather negates the whole point of an inspection - particularly as the guide was being portrayed as a guide to "luxury hotels". If I had never heard of the guides I would not have been impressed. But the point is, it is not a guide to "luxury" hotels. It is a guide to places that are "special" in some way, and that specialness is not quanitifiable. Some of them will be luxury, others will be much simpler, but they will be deemed to be special within their price range.

But what was editted out that we didn't see? Were there loads of positives that outweighed the negatives? At the end of the inspection, did AS sit with them and go through all the negatives and say for example "you are nearly up to scratch, but you will have to upgrade some of the furnishings, eg get a larger bed for that double room, if you are to be accepted"? I am sure he did, because that is what happened to us - our house was let down by the kitchen which was a bit shabby, and we had to get a new kitchen before we could be accepted!

[quote user="Will "]enthused over the dual flush button on the loo (shows how many French places, special or not, he has actually visited) [/quote] Again, what was editted out? On our inspection they REALLY majored on all the "green" issues such as recycling, energy saving, etc etc, so I don't think he enthused because he had never seen one, more because he was pointing out this instance of a brownie point.

Look, I know I am coming across as very much in defence of AS. Well OK, so be it. I don't understand why so many poeple on this forum seem to be so negative about the whole AS concept. These books have always worked for me, both as a consumer and as an advertiser.

What I am angry about is the way these TV programs selectively edit all the footage to make things look a certain way. In this case, I think that all the participants have been made to look stupid. We just have to see through that, but unfortunately not everyone can, and there are people out there who will believe it all.

 

 

 

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I watched it and didn't find it quite as cringe worthy as the first one, As for Alistair Sawaday ,he did look a bit of prat just as most bosses do when go on TV and try and do what there staff do ( thinking of the tv series that was called something like back to the shop floor) you have to admire AS for running a successful publishing company and I have found AS guides really good as customer and I have never found them to have oversold on any of the properties we visited, and many of the property owners say they are the best guides to be in, so I would take their word for that. I still say good luck to them, they have their hand full with a young family as well as running the business and roll on the day they employ some locals rather than shipping people in.
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I didn't think the couple seemed particularly bright... or overloaded with common sense but they must've had the budget to do what they've done and finance an au pair... and was there someone else they brought in to dispense paid for advice? Not sure as I missed about 10 minutes in the middle. I'm sure it was edited and spun to give the viewer the impression the director had chosen to give.

AS checking the quality of the loo-paper amused me. Looked like a 2-ply (maybe 3-ply) fosse special... which we all understand... as probably did Mr Sawday... but I wonder if the general viewer would understand that non-Andrex, un-quilted bogpaper is the quality preferred by 9 out of 10 septic tanks? More likely viewers would tut-tut over what they would perceive as the cheapskate owners who didn't even provide a proper toilet roll for goodness sake. [6] Which is the point really - these programs aren't made for people like us [:P] who've a practical understanding of what we're watching. They're made for the general public to while away a mindless hour chuckling - in awe or horror, take your pick - at what some people will take on. On that basis it made good viewing.

As to AS guides - the somewhat negative view of them is mostly (entirely?) from B&B-ers who perfectly reasonably have an informed opinion about what the guides are and whether they're worth the fee. And yes, I snorted when they showed us the letter of congratulations but not the sheet detailing the fee structure. But (even though Will may disagree) it is a brand with a reputation for quality. I've several friends who buy the Sawday guides regularly and plan short breaks (mostly from the hotel books) with them and I don't recollect them ever being disappointed by the accommodation they get. I think Mr Sawday got very good publicity from the show.

Bet he's not out on accommodation check duties that often.

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[quote user="catalpa"]I've several friends who buy the Sawday guides regularly and plan short breaks (mostly from the hotel books) with them and I don't recollect them ever being disappointed by the accommodation they get. [/quote]

I was very disappointed by my stay in a Sawday recommended B&B in Paris: the only time we ever had any bread was the first morning we arrived. After that, it was biscottes, plastic wrapped shop-bought rolls, anything but fresh bread or even croissants that you would expect when staying in a French B&B...

We were near Notre Dame, hardly a quartier where you would expect to walk miles for a fresh baguette to put on the table of your paying guests!

I wrote to the Sawday guide about it but never had any reply...

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The programme-makers always feel the need to build in some kind of "will they, won't they" drama when making this type of programme. Invariably, they edit it so that disaster seems inevitable but, funnily enough, the participants always just scrape through.

Whether it's doing up a house in the UK or starting a business abroad, or both, they're always down to their last penny when another huge bill arrives. But then we learn they somehow had overlooked the emergency savings account or the loaded parents (or fee from the TV company) or whatever. As you do.

And miraculously, the cameraman is always in just the right place when the big news breaks.

For some reason I've just brought to mind Kent Walton and wrestling on Saturday afternoon TV.  My very mild-mannered Mum would have attacked Mick McManus in the street had she met him on Sunday morning after the unspeakable things nasty Mick (or his mate Jackie Pallow) had supposedly done to one of those nice Royal brothers. Yeah, of course it's all for real.

And my wife accuses me of being a sceptic.

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No Catalpa, I don't disagree at all. When we stayed regularly in B&Bs the Sawday book was the first place we looked, and even recently we looked at Sawday first and Gites de France second when finding places for a special trip away. The thing that I dislike about the Sawday books is the way they try to give the impression that it is all based on impartial personal recommendation and the question of money changing hands is all a bit too sordid to mention openly. I have yet to find anybody who has made feedback on any of the Sawday wstablishments, positive or negative, and received as much as an acknowledgemnt, which rather gives the lie to their supposed unique selling point.

I also totally agree that for those of us in the know, the man did appear a bit of a prat on the box, certainly to a large extent due to the selective editing. Despite the strange preoccupation with the irrelevant lavatorial matters the programme came across as a bit of a publicity vehicle for the Sawday guides, aimed at those who do not really know or understand France and its B&Bs.

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In defence of Sawday's. When we were first looking for a property in France in the 90's we regularly stayed in a wonderful B&B in Normandy and the owner told me that her goal wa to get an entry in the Sawday's guide which I had, until then, not heard of. On return to the UK after one of our trips I found the guide in our local bookshop and wrote a recommendation to Sawday's for the B&B. I got a charming, handwritten, reply and a Sawday's rep visited the B&B and they were put in the next guide, for which I got thanked by the host and hostess and received a free copy of the Sawday's guide as a thank you for the recommendation. After that I NEVER got to stay with them again as they were always full! Luckily this coincided with our finding our house so no great damage done but it made me think

A great new hotel/restaurant has opened near to us and I'm wondering whether to recommend them and risk never getting to eat there again because the hotel rooms are full of Brits.

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I've stayed at Chateau Ribagnac, once. It was the end of the summer season, and was full. We turned up on spec and got in because of a late cancellation.

It's nicer than it looks on the TV ; grounds are nice too. In decent weather (not like last summer) it'd be a terrific place to spend a few days, the children loved it. They're nowhere near as "chaotic" as they come over on the programme - or if they are they hide it well.

Didn't see much of Mrs but Mr is sharp and clued in. What *is* true is that they come over as quite laid back and friendly - which he certainly is, but things happen when they should. We'd stay there again, TV programme or not. I didn't ask him about it. (largely because I suspect he's fed up with people asking him about it !)

On the subject of TV docs, if you read Nigel Farrell's book about his Indian Restaurant (far better than the programme IMO) then there's quite a lot of stuff in there about how the program was put together.

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