STEELY RESOLVE A MUST
The Gatwick Hotel may not be the biggest building renovated on The Block, but it comes with its own quirks challenging enough to leave amateur renovators shell-shocked.
Nine’s long-running reality reno show returns for a 14th season, and five fresh-faced teams will have just 11 weeks and a budget of $220,000 to transform the notorious Gatwick into five luxury apartments.
“There’s 150 tonne of steel going in which is an enormous amount of steel,” host Scott Cam says. “I think people are pretty shell-shocked.
“When it was a timberframed home (like last year) it was achievable … but I think these guys are looking at it as almost unachievable; it’s too hard and too big and too much concrete and demolition.”
At least the teams had the advantage of knowing where they would be renovating before filming started, right?
“Our contestants are still surprised by the amount of work required,” Cam says.
“They knew they’d be renovating the Gatwick but when you speak to any of the contestants they (admit) never really realising how intense it is and how quickly they have to make decisions on the spot.”
The teams will compete in a 48-hour kids’ bedroom challenge to determine who gets first pick of the apartments.
Three of the apartments are located within the old, heritage part of the building, while two grand penthouses will be newly constructed on the roof.
As always, Cam acts as mediator, sounding board and disciplinarian. “There have been lots of meltdowns, but just internal meltdowns within couples as opposed to couple versus couple,” he says.
Shelley Craft returns as cohost along with judges Neale Whitaker, Shaynna Blaze and Darren Palmer, foreman Keith Schleiger and his right-hand man Dan Reilly. The Block premieres on Sunday at 7pm on Channel 9
Scott Cam is back as host of Nine’s The Block.