Block set to raise the roof

Block set to raise the roof

No place like home … Scott Cam and Shelley Craft host the grand finale of The Block.They’ve fought tooth and nail – well, OK, maybe just nail – to win The Block this year and tonight there will be plenty of nerves during the grand finale.

All four houses will go up for public auction, with this year’s contestants – Sophie and Dale, Dan and Dani, Brad and Lara and brothers Andrew and Mike – competing to win the $100,000 grand prize.

Each team gets to keep any profit they make over their reserve price, but the pair with the highest margin wins.

Despite the pressure of auction day, the contestants seem relieved to be one step closer to a well-earned break after working so hard on their renovations.

”It’s a very unusual experience to go onto The Block and have television cameras and audio guys around you 24/7,” Mike says. ”While I’ve absolutely enjoyed it, it’s abnormal to say the least.

”It will be fantastic to finish work at normal hours and spend some time with my lovely girlfriend.”

For host Shelley Craft, the show’s continued success has been remarkable, despite initial worries it might not reach the same number of viewers as previous seasons.

”I think we were all a bit taken by surprise at the popularity of last year’s show, so we were hoping the growth would be there and the appreciation of the show would be there, and it has been. I think the timing was right, where people were still excited about it coming back,” she says.

”The contestants we’ve had this year, they’re phenomenal.

”They all bring something different to the show and I don’t even think during the casting we knew quite what they were going to deliver.”

On social media, at least one media commentator jokingly labelled The Block as ”white people renovating” and there is no denying the line-up is homogenous.

But Craft maintains Nine is always keen to involve a diverse range of contestants.

”It depends on who auditions. There has been criticism about age group, that most of them are under 30, but maybe most people over 30 are smart enough not to put their relationship under the spotlight or mad enough to go on a show as a crazy as The Block,” she says, laughing.

”In regards to nationalities, auditions are open to everyone, it’s just who gets in there.”

Craft has worked on her own special project throughout the show – her pregnancy and the birth of her second child.

The presenter has been keeping news of the birth and details about her newborn under wraps but confirms she is now a proud mother of two – a toddler and a newborn. She has managed to find a balance between working and motherhood.

”I’m so proud to be a mum. I’ve now got two beautiful, beautiful babies. It’s the greatest miracle of my life, it makes me happy.”

Craft will be front and centre on tonight’s grand final auction show, with host Scott Cam, to see who triumphs this year.

”Come the auctions, there will be a few tears of sadness but hopefully a few tears of joy as well,” Craft says.

The Block’s two-hour grand finale screens tonight from 6.30pm on Nine.

Molly’s comeback

Molly Meldrum will make his return to reporting on Sunday Night this evening, following his recovery from a life-threatening fall at his Melbourne home.

Meldrum was already a legend but he has an even broader fan base since his courageous comeback. It will be poignant to see him back on the small screen tonight.

The subject of his first return interview is the singer Katy Perry, whom Molly spoke to in the US.

After presenting Meldrum with an honorary tour jacket, she tells him ”it’s nice to have you back”.

Meldrum, as humble as ever, tells Perry: ”Well, let’s judge that at the end of the interview because it’s my first in a long, long, long time. I hope I remember how to do it.”

Molly Meldrum is back in action tonight from 6.30pm on Seven.

Magnificent century

It was bound to happen, unfortunately. A marvellous documentary is screening on ABC1’s Compass tonight about people who make it to three figures, called 100+ Club.

But sadly, before the doco screens, an ABC publicist shared the sad news that one of the participants – a woman named Olive, who was 103 at the time of filming – had died. The footage can now be considered a celebration of her extraordinary life.

100+ Club screens on Compass at 6.30pm on ABC1 tonight.

Giggle and hitched

It’s hard to imagine him with any other sidekick than Hoot, as the star of Giggle and Hoot on the ABC. But James Rees, aka Jimmy Giggle, has somehow found the time (between driving ”the Giggle Mobile” and having fun with ”Super-Hoot”) to propose to his long-time girlfriend Tori.

The news may come as a shock to some female viewers who have taken a shine to Jimmy, with a Facebook page set up in his honour.

The star of the children’s programming on ABC2 has no plans to interrupt filming to get married. A spokesman says the couple will wait at least until the summer production break before tying the knot.

Euro recovery

Let’s be honest, the first season of Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year was a little underwhelming. So it’s a relief to see them back in form for Hamish & Andy’s Euro Gap Year. At times, the show has been laugh-out-loud funny. Executives at Nine, who spent huge sums on the pair, must be relieved.

Maybe Hamish Blake deserved that Gold Logie after all … though you can’t help feeling sorry for Andy, who is just as funny.

Hamish & Andy’s Euro Gap Year screens on Thursdays, 8pm on Nine.

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