Mark still up for a beer with Dun­can

Herald Sun - Switched On - - New Series -

OBODY on The Block, Scott Cam is say­ing in his best least lar­rikin voice, was pre­pared for the ‘‘ sud­den de­par­ture’’ of one of their mates.

Sud­den de­par­ture? Yikes. That sounds like funeral in­dus­try code. It isn’t. Mark of Mark and Dun­can (you’ll no­tice no­body calls them the Two Fat Tradies any­more, es­pe­cially not now) has had a ‘‘ health scare’’. And sure, none of the con­tes­tants prob­a­bly was pre­pared for it, but we were. Nine showed se­lect grabs of Mon­day night’s episode, in­clud­ing the am­bu­lance, in a ‘‘ high­lights’’ package at the start of the se­ries.

So far I’ve only seen Mon­day night — when it hap­pens — and Tues­day— the af­ter­shock— but Scott Cam says it’s too early to say if it was a ‘‘ full blown heart at­tack’’.

My feel­ing, based on the show’s re­ac­tion to it, is it isn’t. The fact that Nine pro­moted it, for one thing. You’d like to think if it was a se­ri­ous heart at­tack, or any kind of heart at­tack, Nine would re­sist us­ing it as an ad­ver­tis­ing tool. Plus Mark was up­right and func­tion­ing and man­ag­ing a ther­a­peu­tic lager when Nine had a Block PR event in Mel­bourne last week. But look, Nine was in a bad spot here. Pre­tend noth­ing had hap­pened and some­one hears about it and they look like they’re cov­er­ing it up. And then they’d have to ex­plain why some­one who isn’t Mark was work­ing on Mark and Dun­can’s house.

And spoiler alert: the cri­sis grows on Tues­day when Phil an­nounces he’s de­cided to lend a hand. Phil who can’t drive a nail. Phil’s the one most af­fected by Mark’s leav­ing. ‘‘ All the boys would come down and we’d all have a beer and a chat and all old school stuff, you know?’’ Phil’s say­ing this to his wife, Amity.

Drink­ing with friends is old school? Only to Phil. Clearly part of him has died at some point — was it when he got mar­ried to Amity? Or when they moved to Ade­laide? Ei­ther way, he’s not the man to help Dun­can fin­ish the house. Dun­can’s wife Jen isn’t ei­ther. I’m re­minded of Scott Cam’s in­ter­view with Karl Ste­fanovic the day The Block started, when he said there was no way he’d do The Block with his wife, or with any­one. So Dun­can is sat down in front of a large book of pho­tos and asked to go through it and pick a face, the way they do on Law & Or­der or, I don’t know, eHar­mony. Jen finds she has press­ing com­mit­ments with their chil­dren and af­ter a morn­ing of phone calls for her hus­band it’s with no re­luc­tance she takes off her Mitre 10 T-shirt and leaves the set. This show is al­ways an an­gle grinder away from a law suit. It’s amaz­ing noth­ing really ma­jor has hap­pened on it. Of course, it’s not over yet.


Scare tac­tic: Mark (right) and Dun­can.

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