Kirsty Wynn is a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday.

Frenzied fans flock to Block

Mikayla Lowry met her idol  Ben Crawford. Photo /  Doug Sherring
Mikayla Lowry met her idol Ben Crawford. Photo / Doug Sherring

Mikayla Lowry squealed herself silly yesterday. The Auckland teen was one of more than 5000 "block-heads" who teemed into a Takapuna street when TV3 opened the doors of the four renovated houses from The Block reality show to the public.

But Mikayla, 13, who was carrying a homemade sign professing her love for and wish to marry sole single contestant Ben Crawford, may have been the most passionate block-head of them all.

She squealed when the TV cameras pointed her way. When Crawford ambled over to say hello, she squealed in his ear.

By the time she made it to the house Crawford made over with his sister Libby, Mikayla was ready for another hearty squeal. She stopped at the front gate and let a humdinger rip, much to the approval of the crowd.

Crawford, 31, admitted to being a little embarrassed by all the attention:"It's crazy. All we did was renovate a house."

Mikayla had her sights set on more than a bit of paper though - she planned to marry Crawford, she said.

"He's so hot. We already met him last night, we came and stalked him. He came out and we were just crying."

The Scott-Davidson family of Henderson were less excitable, but just as passionate.

Mum Dezley Scott-Davidson came with daughters Caitlin, 15, and Amelia, 8, to see how the once run-down houses had been transformed.

"Amelia was up at 6am, she was so excited. She got a pic with Tyson and it's going straight up on her Facebook," she said.

The family thought the best house was that of the Crawford siblings, although young Hamilton couple Richard Boobyer and Sarah Adams had the best backyard, they said.

But when the Herald on Sunday asked a dozen people to name their favourite house, 10 chose the one renovated by the Crawford siblings, most saying it seemed the most spacious.

Real estate agent Andrea Ritchie from Bayleys said there had been "solid interest" in the houses, which were bought for $635,000 each by Eyeworks production company.

The houses are expected to sell above their current pre-renovated CV of $750,000.

All couples get to keep any profit over reserve and the couple with the biggest profit will win the show and an extra $80,000.

The auction will be live on TV3 from 7.30pm, September 6.

- Cherie Howie


A beaten up old sign rescued and turned into a piece of wall art on The Block has become hot property.

The family who own Hosking Trailers hadn't seen the metal sign for 40 years but started getting text messages telling them the sign was on TV.

Brother and sister team Libby and Ben Crawford, who are popular favourites to win the show, had bought the large metal sign from a second-hand shop as part of a "reuse and recycle" challenge on the TV3 show. The pair used the sign for an industrial table top and as wall art. Now, the family would love the sign back.

"Dad hadn't seen the sign for 40 years. We don't even know how it ended up at the second-hand shop," Katy Hosking said. "It's a great part of our family history and it would be so neat to have the art work and desk."

Hosking and partner Mark Sievers bought the business from Katy's father Phillip Hosking last year and have opened a new factory in Albany, North Shore.

"We would love the art to hang in our showroom because we have the other old signs from over the years." But the house at 78 Anzac St comes fully furnished so the decision on the artwork and table will rest with the new owners.

"We are hoping they will either sell it to us or exchange it for a donation to coastguard rescue or something like that." Katy said.

- Kirsty Wynn

- Herald on Sunday

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