Q&A

tradie and tele­vi­sion pre­sen­ter

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - In­ter­view by MEG MA­SON The Block 2017 will air 7pm, Sun­day July 30, on the Nine Net­work.

Gold Lo­gie win­ner Scott Cam is still a down-to-earth tradie at heart.

Kate Moss was scouted in an air­port and be­came one of the world’s most fa­mous su­per­mod­els. You were scouted in a pub and be­came Aus­tralia’s most fa­mous

tradie. Is that right? That’s right. I used to have a drink at the same pub on the way home af­ter a hard day on the tools, and one day there was a TV pro­ducer there who said, “Do you want to do a screen test?” And I said, “Nah mate, that’s not my go.” But he got my num­ber off the side of my ute, called me a few days later and said, “Come on.”

That was 18 years ago. Things pretty much took off from there. I’d been a car­pen­ter for 30 years so it was a bit of an ad­just­ment, but I just looked at it as a good hourly rate. How did your work­mates feel about your move from build­ing site to show busi­ness? Ev­ery­one was pretty ex­cited. We came from an area where tele­vi­sion was an­other uni­verse. We didn’t make TV – we just watched it. Even though you’re so skilled Diy-wise, do you still strug­gle to put an IKEA bookshelf to­gether like the rest of us? Look, I can get through the in­struc­tions. But it’s just as te­dious for me as it is for you, and I al­ways have a few screws left over at the end. As a rule, I avoid flat packs as much as pos­si­ble. Did you knock to­gether a per­sonal tro­phy cab­i­net for all your Lo­gies? I’ve got a cou­ple on dis­play be­cause it’s just a fan­tas­tic thing – sur­real, re­ally – to go from hav­ing a beer at the pub to stand­ing up and re­ceiv­ing a Gold Lo­gie. But I did turn an­other one into a stubby opener, and made one [stubby opener] for Karl [Ste­fanovic], as well. You’re a TV star now, so how do you stay in touch with those work­ing­class roots? I was out the other day and walked past a group of brick­lay­ers, good knock-around tradies, a bit rough around the edges. And yeah, we shook hands and had a photo. Peo­ple bang­ing on about their ren­o­va­tions at a din­ner party is a mod­ern-day scourge. You must at­tract it ten­fold. Peo­ple do usu­ally have a few ques­tions for me. It’s par for the course. It’s like be­ing a doc­tor – some­one al­ways asks you to look at their sore arm. Speak­ing of which, you had a pretty nasty run-in with a band­saw a few years back. Tell us what hap­pened – bear­ing in mind that some read­ers may be eat­ing their break­fast right now. I was muck­ing around in my work­shop and, even though I’ve been at it for 35 years, you can’t for­get about safety. I was sup­posed to be tak­ing my daugh­ter to a con­cert, but I nearly took my fin­ger off – it got down to the bone – so my wife took her to the con­cert and I drove my­self to the hospi­tal, and waited three hours to have it sorted. We can prob­a­bly skip the “big­gest DIY dis­as­ter” ques­tion then. Those of us who grew up in the ’70s will

“It’s sur­real – I went from hav­ing a beer at the pub to stand­ing up and re­ceiv­ing a Gold Lo­gie”

re­mem­ber be­ing shunted out­side to play with a ham­mer, nails and a few of­f­cuts. Do you think that to­day’s kids miss out be­cause par­ents are too keyed up about safety to even con­sider such a thing? I think so. I’d say kids are hav­ing a lit­tle bit too much screen time, in­stead of head­ing out to the garage with mum or dad. I was in my dad’s work­shop from eight years old, push­ing tim­ber through a table saw be­cause he’d al­ready taught me how to at age three. It’s up to par­ents, but I do think it’s good to have some DIY skills. Even if you end up as an ac­coun­tant. Con­tes­tants on The Block have their fair share of trou­bles. Do you feel for them when things start to go awry? We have had about 100 con­tes­tants go through and I love them all like my chil­dren. The Block is such a hard thing to do – both phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally drain­ing – and they will play up a bit as they are ex­hausted and emo­tional and be­ing be­rated by judges. I have had a cou­ple of blokes al­most in tears by the first week, but ev­ery­one goes back to their nor­mal selves when it’s over. Rapid-fire round: name the top three mis­takes that new­bie ren­o­va­tors make. Num­ber one is un­der­es­ti­mat­ing how much it’s go­ing to cost. Num­ber two: get­ting overex­cited and rip­ping out a wall that they don’t know how to put back to­gether… so they end up with a hole for six months. Then the DIY ac­ci­dents. You can do a lot of dam­age to your­self with a nine-inch grinder.

``I avoid flat packs as much as pos­si­ble´

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