Chipping away at old, crumbling Block

By Scott Kara

Scott Cam, the frontman for popular Australian series The Block, talks about his third season on the job.

Frontman Scott Cam ups the ante in his third series of the Aussie show  The Block , which returns to New Zealand screens tonight at 7.30. Photo / Supplied
Frontman Scott Cam ups the ante in his third series of the Aussie show The Block , which returns to New Zealand screens tonight at 7.30. Photo / Supplied

Q: What makes this season of The Block unique?

The houses we are doing up are probably in the worst condition that we've put them through - and we even started thinking twice about whether we'd gone a bit far. Basically they walk through the front door and step 600mm down on to dirt and walk down a dirt hallway to a wall that's not there because the back of the house is gone. And these houses are old, and it's just hard work. You touch something and something else goes wrong. You pull this brick, and the bit behind that starts moving and shifting. So it's quite challenging. But you've got to ramp it up a bit each time and make it a bit more of a roller-coaster for them.

Q: How do you approach being the host? Because you're like a cross between a good Aussie bloke and Tim Gunn from Project Runway with your "stay urgent" advice.

I've been a builder, and I've done a lot of TV shows now about building and my job here is to nurture these guys a little bit, and keep them pumped up.

But I take it on as my project, and they are building my block, so look after it. But I also want to make it difficult for them, throw them some curveballs, because there is $100,000 on the line.

Q: What have you learned about people from hosting the series?

I am constantly amazed at people's tenacity and fortitude to keep going with a lack of sleep. You've got to see the lack of sleep in this series. But the four [teams] we end up with here, they all handle the situation they are in so differently, and it makes for some great television.

Q: Does it still amaze you how people's true colours slowly reveal themselves as time goes by?

What happens I think is that they know they are on the telly, but they become so used to the cameras eventually that it becomes part of their life. They just go with the flow and be themselves and so you can't avoid being yourself - it always comes out. You always come back to being yourself.

Q: Why do you think The Block is so popular?

We created a show that is good for the whole family to sit down and watch. That hasn't happened in a little while. There are gardening shows that mum and dad like, and X Factor that the kids like. But in the old days, and I'm 50, we all used to sit down together and watch The Sullivans or Gilligan's Island. I think we've gone back to that time where the whole family sits down and I really love that concept. I'm a family man with three kids and I know it would be better if the whole family went down to the park and kicked the footy around, but sitting down to watch a TV show after dinner is still pretty cool.

TV profile

What: The Block Australia

Who: Host Scott Cam

When: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, 7.30pm, TV3, until February

- NZ Herald

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