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The surprising way Escape to the Country's Nicki Chapman began her career

The BBC presenter has worked on the show since 2009

nicki chapman
Eve Crosbie
TV & Film Writer
11 August 2022
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Nicki Chapman is a recognisable face on our screens thanks to her presenting duties on BBC One's Escape to the CountryViewers will also remember that Nicki was a judge on Pop Idol back in the early noughties.

MORE: Escape to the Country presenters' children: Jules Hudson, Jonnie Irwin, Ginny Buckley and more

But did you know that she originally sought out a career working behind-the-scenes in the media before becoming the huge television personality she is today?

WATCH: Greatest Escapes to the Country presenter Nicki Chapman's garden is an ultra-modern oasis

Speaking about her career journey, the 54-year-old revealed that her first job was at a music label working as an assistant. She quickly rose up the ranks and by the mid-nineties was a joint partner of a music PR company, which led her to rub shoulders with some seriously impressive acts!

"We represented the Spice Girls, Kylie Minogue, Take That, Phil Collins, David Bowie, The Brit Awards and The Big Breakfast to name a few," she told First Time Buyer magazine.

It was at her next job, while working as creative director for a different PR company, that Nicki was approached to take part in the new ITV series Pop Idol alongside Simon Cowell, which she described as "the most amazing experience and something I will never forget".

MORE: Want to Escape to the Country? Here's how to apply for the BBC show

MORE: Meet Escape to the Country star Nicki Chapman's husband

nicki chapman pop idol© Photo: Getty Images

Nicki in her Pop Idol days

The TV star then moved into presenting lifestyle shows like Castles In The Country, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Holidays at Home. In 2009, she joined the Escape to the Country team and has been a regular presenter of the series ever since.

Nicki, who is married to the music executive Dave Shackleton, also revealed that her career could've been completely different had she gone through with a plan to move abroad after university.

nicki chapperz© Photo: Instagram

Nicki has presented Escape to the Country since 2009

She explained: "After studying for three years, I travelled to Australia for eight months, and I loved it so much I decided to emigrate. While waiting for my visa to be processed, I applied for three jobs in the music industry and I was offered all of them! 

"Suffice it to say, the lure of the music industry stopped me moving Down Under."

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