To have your hopes and fears – your laughter and tears – captured on TV cameras over the course of 12 months is both an honour and a risk.

Nevertheless, we were delighted to be invited to take part in series 6 of Channel 4’s A New Life in the Sun. The popular reality show will air from 4 January 2021.

We’re Damon Biddlecombe and Graham Welch (Damon’s the one with the beard). We set up a cheese and wine bar and B&B in Belvès, in Dordogne, and we’re due to appear in the show in the week of 1 February 2021.

Damon Biddlecombe and Graham Welch, Planches et Plonk, cheese and wine bar and B&B, Belvès, Dordogne, A New Life in the Sun

If you follow our story on A New Life in the Sun, you’ll see us transform an old haberdashery into a bar/restaurant with guest rooms above.

Our first day of filming took place in September 2019. At that time, we’d just bought the property and were clearing it out and deciding what work was needed.

A New Life in the Sun cameraman

The cameras followed our progress over a year. Iris and John were our most regular camera people and they became like part of the family – in fact, we’re still in touch.

We had some ups and downs along the way and learned some important lessons. Above all, we made some great friends here in Belvès.

Without spoiling the surprise, we opened the bar at the end of July 2020 and it quickly became a popular venue with locals and tourists alike. Our customers say they value our passion for high-quality cheeses, cold meats and wines.

Planche moyenne

Take a look at our Facebook or Instagram profiles or our Google or TripAdvisor reviews to find out more about how we’re getting on.

We hope you enjoy our story on A New Life in the Sun. If you’re thinking about following in our footsteps and building a new life for yourself abroad, our advice would definitely be to go for it.

In the meantime, if ever you’re in Dordogne, please pop in for a glass of wine and a platter of cheese and charcuterie – or maybe book one of our rooms for a night or two.

À bientôt, we hope.