Season 16 of ‘The Block’, an Australian reality television series, kicked off on Channel Nine last night.
A series where reality meets renovation – The Block, hosted by Scott Cam, offers an around the clock view of what happens when you take determined couples, rundown properties, give them equal-sized budgets and just weeks to out design and out-renovate each other to see who becomes the ultimate winner.
And this season is set to be full of love, laughter and drama as two of the five renovation pairs are Greek and Cypriot.
This year’s ‘Block’ features five period homes from the 1910s, 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. They were uprooted and transported to a 2761-square metre block of land in the affluent suburb of Brighton in Melbourne, within walking distance of the beach and minutes from the Brighton Beach Boxes.
Harry and Tash:
Harry and Natasha Pavlou are the first-ever father-daughter team to compete on The Block.
57-year-old Harry Pavlou was born in Cyprus and came to Australia when he was four. He has renovation experience but he wouldn’t call himself an expert.
“We renovated a smaller Californian bungalow, the front and a back extension, but that was about thirty years ago,” Harry told Nine.
“The second house that I live in now, we finished six years ago, put on a second storey, and I thought that came up really well.”
His daughter, Tash lives with her partner Brad in the inner Melbourne suburb of Richmond and works on social media and production management at a PR agency.
Speaking to The Herald Sun last week, Natasha said her mother, ‘went above and beyond’ for the other contestants while filming The Block amid the coronavirus pandemic in Melbourne. “There were days she would drop off moussaka for everyone for dinner, or cakes.”
Harry and Tash are proud of their Greek heritage and have a fiery side, but always get the job done.
“With production management there are so many skills that I think will be great on The Block. I am used to working with tight deadlines and ensuring the job gets done,” Tash said.
George and Sarah:
Together for eight years and married for three, George and Sarah Bragias have a relationship built on old-school values and new-school quirk.
They self-describe themselves as “westies” because they live in the Western Sydney suburb of Oran Park.
George is a proud Greek Australian with a huge Pokémon collection and a deep joy in his Harley-Davidson. He has worked as an electrician in Sydney for 13 years but even with that experience, he admits a lot of the tradies’ tools on The Block will be quite foreign to him.
Apparently it isn’t unusual to catch him with a measuring tape and scissors, hand trimming any blade that is fractionally too long.
“We watched the show like anyone does and thought, ‘I can do this, this is easy’,” George told the Camden advertiser. “It’s not until you’re there that you think ‘what the hell have we done’.”
Sarah, a high school teacher, hopes the experience on The Block could lead her in a different career direction. “Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but I am not the same person when I’m teaching. It’s just not the dream,” she said in the introductory video.
She also told the Camden advertiser that there were no ‘secret painters’ hiding on The Block, completing half the work for the contestants. “You do it all yourself, all the painting and everything, there’s no help whatsoever,” she said.
“One of the things I was worried about was lack of sleep, as we haven’t had kids, so we don’t know that fatigue. One of the other biggest things was just being away from family. We’re quite close-knit, and this was a long time to be in a different state without the support of loved ones around you.”
Like the rest of the country and world, the set of The Block called ‘tools down’ and sent contestants home for a six-week hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Imagine you’ve got contestants who are watching the Prime Minister’s press conference together in the morning and then having to finish the bathroom in the afternoon. That’s interesting TV,” Producer Julian Cress told TV Tonight.
From the GCT team, we wish all the couples all the best as they battle it out!