FOR­MER COW­BOY NOW A BLOCK STAR

For­mer Cow­boys hooker Clint Amos and wife Han­nah are thrust into a whole new ball game as the new kids on The Block.

Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - By Seanna Cronin and Chris Sil­vini

HOW many of us are guilty of watch­ing a re­al­ity TV show and say­ing “I could do that!”?

Well, for­mer North Queens­land Cow­boy Clint Amos and his wife Han­nah de­cided to put their money where their mouth is, land­ing them­selves in the lat­est series of The Block.

“I got sick of lis­ten­ing to Clint say, ‘ We could do this,’ and I’m as­sum­ing he prob­a­bly got sick of lis­ten­ing to me say the same thing,” Han­nah laughed.

“We’re huge fans of the show and I al­ways be­lieved that we would make great con­tes­tants. The tim­ing is fi­nally right for us with our chil­dren be­ing that lit­tle bit older.”

And they’ve cer­tainly got a chal­lenge ahead of them. This year’s series of the long- run­ning re­al­ity pro­gram is be­ing touted as more of a res­cue mis­sion than a ren­o­va­tion.

Teams this year will be tak­ing on the show’s big­gest chal­lenge to date: re­lo­cat­ing five crum­bling her­itage homes from across Mel­bourne to new foun­da­tions in El­stern­wick, where they will be gut­ted and made over into mod­ern fam­ily homes.

The con­cept came about the day af­ter last year’s fi­nale, when Queens­land’s Will and Kar­lie were crowned the win­ners.

“We were at the auc­tion of the Port Mel­bourne series last year and one of the agents said to me, ‘ Are you look­ing for new sites? I’ve got a 3000sq m block of land in El­stern­wick’,” The Block’s ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Ju­lian Cress tells Play.

“The day af­ter the auc­tion I got in my car and drove over here. I walked around the site and I had the idea of putting old houses on it.”

That turned out to be eas­ier said than done. “What sounded like a re­ally great idea in my head turned into some­thing that was far more chal­leng­ing than any­thing we’ve ever done be­fore,” he says.

“Usu­ally we buy a build­ing and ren­o­vate it but we started with noth­ing and then we had to go out and find the houses.

“We’re sav­ing these houses from de­mo­li­tion and giv­ing them a new lease on life, and by the time we fin­ish this project these houses are go­ing to stand here for an­other 100 years. I think the au­di­ence will re­ally em­brace that.”

Host Scott Cam trans­ported one half of one of the homes to the job site.

“I’ve done it twice ac­tu­ally, both times in the bush,” he says.

“We brought the house in, put it to­gether and put it on stumps. It’s a ru­ral thing to do and that’s why this is so unique. We’re do­ing five of them in a row in the suburbs and cre­at­ing the set of The Sul­li­vans, re­ally. If some­one else bought this block of land they would have put 60 town houses here. We’re putting five beau­ti­ful old homes that are go­ing to be ren­o­vated within an inch of their lives.”

Don’t be sur­prised to see mul­ti­mil­lion- dol­lar price tags come auc­tion day. “This chal­lenge we’ve cre­ated here is cer­tainly big­ger than any­thing we’ve given any­one be­fore,” Ju­lian says.

“Not only do they have to com­pletely ren­o­vate a four- bed­room home, they also have to build two ex­ten­sions on that and they’ve got to do a front and back gar­den.

“It’s a ridicu­lous thing to ask any­one to do in three months ... If they can pull this off, then they can po­ten­tially do bet­ter than any­one’s ever done on The Block.”

Clint Amos in ac­tion for the Cow­boys in 2011; ( right) with wife Han­nah.

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