Around the block again

Shel­ley Craft hosts an­other se­ries i of f the DIY jug­ger­naut j

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - COLIN VICK­ERY THE BLOCK WIN, tonight, 6.30pm

SHEL­LEY Craft is ex­hausted. The 36- yearold has just fin­ished film­ing back- to- back se­ries of and on top of host­ing High Home Videos.

It’s a huge work­load for a mum who is jug­gling rais­ing two daugh­ters, two- year- old Milla and 11- month- old Eadie.

The past six months has been a slog for Craft – time away from cam­era­man hus­band Chris­tian Ser­gia­comi and their By­ron Bay home, con­stant in­ter­state trips and work­ing knee- deep in saw­dust on build­ing sites.

Ser­gia­comi has had to be Mr Mum, look­ing af­ter Milla while Craft trav­els with Eadie. “I don’t know how I’ve sur­vived,” Craft says. “Lo­gis­ti­cally, it is tough work. We have filmed

in Syd­ney and in Melbourne back- to- back.

“The most im­por­tant thing for me is that the girls are happy and or­gan­ised and then ev­ery­thing else comes sec­ond to that. It has been a manic six months.”

It isn’t only Craft who could be ex­hausted, as viewer fa­tigue is also a con­cern. Is two se­ries of in the same year one too many?

When flopped at the start of last year, Chan­nel 9 was in a quandary. It had no re­al­ity show to kick- start the 7pm time slot in 2013. Nine de­cided to plug the hole with a six- week sea­son of spin- off,

Set in Bondi and won by Phil Rank­ine and Amity Dry, rated solidly, but lacked spark. It felt like a stop- gap.

co- cre­ator Ju­lian Cress must know view­ers started to tire of when Chan­nel 10 in­tro­duced celebrity, ju­nior and pro­fes­sion­als spin- offs.

rat­ings slipped when Seven got greedy and ran it twice a year.

Nine has the added pres­sure of deal­ing with a new- kid- on- the- block, Seven’s ri­val

All Stars The Block

Ex­cess Bag­gage

Block: All Stars.

The Block’s

Danc­ing with the Stars’

Rules. The Block All Stars Sky

Aus­tralia’s Fun­ni­est

Sky High

The Block

All Stars

The

MasterChef

House

“I worry that peo­ple won’t watch one se­ries of in any given year [ let alone two],” Cress says. “The feed­back from the view­ers at the end of was that they wanted more. There’s no rea­son we shouldn’t give it to them.” Cress has come up with a novel twist for

to stem any viewer drop- off. No ter­race houses this year. In­stead, five cou­ples will ren­o­vate five floors of a for­mer South Melbourne ho­tel. Teams have 10 weeks to trans­form more than 80 rooms into five 220sq m lux­ury apart­ments.

It is clear this twist will pay off. The chal­lenge th­ese five teams have faced is daunt­ing, but with two weeks left of film­ing, the re­sults are stun­ning.

View­ers will be gob- smacked when they see the fin­ished apart­ments – they are go­ing to sell for big bucks.

“We al­ways have to make it harder,” Cress says.

The Block

High

All Stars

Sky High Kitchen Rules bor­rows one tac­tic from

and This se­ries, the five teams come from dif­fer­ent states.

Queens­land par­ents- of- three Mark and Ka­t­rina John­son, 40 and 37, re­spec­tively, are the old­est cou­ple on

Western Aus­tralia’s Matt DithCosta and Kim­ber­ley Owen, New South Wales’ Jar­rod and Madi­son Cop­pock, Vic­to­ria’s Ge­orge and Rebecca Douros, and South Aus­tralian iden­ti­cal twins Alisa and Lysan­dra Fraser com­plete the ros­ter.

Each cou­ple gets a base bud­get of $ 80,000 and Neale Whitaker, Shaynna Blaze and Dar­ren Palmer judge the weekly room re­veals.

Teams keep their auc­tion prof­its and the cou­ple whose prop­erty makes the most over re­serve wins an ad­di­tional $ 100,000.

House Rules.

Sky High.

My

Sky

“We’ve bat­tled hard to make ends meet,” say the John­sons, who are ex­pe­ri­enced ren­o­va­tors.

“is an op­por­tu­nity for us to make a real dif­fer­ence in our chil­dren’s lives.”

It isn’t hard to imag­ine Nine want­ing a dou­ble- help­ing of next year, but the per­sonal cir­cum­stances of co- cre­ator Cress may dic­tate there will only be one.

He and part­ner Sarah are set to have a child later this year, so fam­ily could over­ride tele­vi­sion.

Craft wouldn’t ob­ject to that. She fig­ures she will have to leave Eadie at home with hubby for the next se­ries. No mum likes that.

“I try to act tough and pre­tend like it is all roses, but to be hon­est I haven’t slept prop­erly for 11 months,” Craft says.

“I think ev­ery­one’s ready for a se­ri­ous break.”

The Block

The Block

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