A New Life in the Sun couple quit life in France after huge debt ‘Leave a massive hole’

A New Life in the Sun: Couple reveal they are returning to UK

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During Monday’s episode of A New Life in the Sun, the Channel 4 programme took a look back at the time couple Richard and Carol bought a run-down holiday cottage in France in 2015.  Ex-driving instructor Richard and former teacher Carol decided to swap their life in Essex for a more relaxed lifestyle in France. However, just four years after they made the big move, the couple were forced to relocate back to the UK because of debt they had racked up trying to make a go of their business. Carol also revealed that another contributing factor was that their elderly parents needed looking after.

Richard and Carol spent all of their savings on the cottage and ended up spending £10,000 more on the renovation work – which they paid for on their credit card.

The couple also had to put their own DIY skills to the test in order to get the finishing touches done.

“It’s essential we have customers this year,” Carol said at the time.

“Because there are no funds to get us through the winter.”

The pair were even forced to call in extra workers to help them get the work done on time before their guests arrived.

Airing his concern about the amount of debt they had racked up, Richard said: “I’m uncomfortable with the lack of money we have left and the amount of costs we still have.”

Carol continued: “We now have an enormous credit card bill and it’s getting bigger.

“We will tend to it when the business is set up and running.”

“It’s best not to think about it,” Carol added.

During their first season, the couple managed to successfully book in 20 guests for the cottage.

However, they still stumbled across a few issues when their guests arrived as the electricity stopped working and a storm ended up damaging the roof.

When the Channel 4 programme went back to visit the couple four years later, they revealed, despite their booming business, they had to sell the business and move home.


Not only was it the debt that was weighing them down, but Carol said she wanted to go back to the UK to look after her poorly father.

“The end of the season sadly brings us to leave here,” Carol explained.

“Our parents are very elderly, and my father is unwell. We feel we need to be there for them.

“We’ve sold the business and we are going to hand it over to the new proprietors at the end of the season and we are going to return to the UK.”


“Our hearts are heavy,” Carol added. “It’ll leave a massive hole.”

The couple moved back to the UK four months later and after the sale of the cottage, they were able to pay off all of their debts.

Despite giving up their French dream, Carol and Richard decided to put their skill of managing properties to good use.

The couple now looks after the running of a manor house in the UK.

A New Life in the Sun is available to watch on All4.

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