As a landscaping expert and gardening and lifestyle television host, Brendan Moar has undertaken some pretty ambitious assignments.
When he signed on as host and judge of The Renovators, he knew the show was going to be big. He knew he was wrong the minute he first stepped into the cavernous Sydney warehouse that is the permanent home for Ten’s new reality renovation show.
“It wasn’t big. It was massive,” says Moar. “I realised this show was a mammoth beast and I was desperately happy to be part of it.”
Moar will front the show alongside former Vogue Living editor Robyn Holt, architect Peter Ho and Bondi master builder Barry Du Bois.
Moar is known to pay-TV audiences as a presenter for Dry Spell Gardening on the LifeStyle Channel and is the only one of the new crew with television experience. He and his cohorts would rather The Renovators be compared to Ten’s MasterChef than to Nine’s The Block.
“This is MasterChef with nuts and bolts. No couples, they all have some experience. It’s every contestant for themselves and it’s mammoth,” Moar says.
“The difference between us and The Block will be crystal clear as soon as the show goes to air. Of course, they share the same space in that they’re the same genre and subject matter.
“Yet there is space for both shows – that goes without saying. The beauty of The Block is the way they throw people into houses and they have to live with the renovations around them. The Renovators is done on a far vaster scale. The warehouse and challenge component is different, and then there are the houses.”
For Moar, merging his ideas on landscape design with those of his fellow judges on styling, construction and architecture has provided plenty of great television moments, lively debates and learning experience all round and the four quickly established a close working relationship.
“By the time a whole house [code-named ‘Toby’ to keep the 26 contestants off the scent] was brought in by road from Queensland as part of an early challenge, we four were on as much of a high as the contestants were,” Moar says.
The Renovators begins this week with one-hour shows before settling into a six-nightly stripped format next week. As it unfolds, the contestants face a series of pressure-based tests.