Following weeks of speculation, The Block producers have finally confirmed the location for next year’s season of the popular renovation series.
The show’s milestone twentieth season was originally set to take place in the country Victorian town of Daylesford but was forced to relocate in September due to permit issues and complaints from locals.
The reality show has now opted for a sea change, with executive producer Julian Cress announcing on Friday morning that the 2024 season will be filmed on Phillip Island.
The island, which is well known for its colony of little penguins, is located 90 minutes south of Melbourne. It’s a popular tourist destination visited by 3.5 million people annually and has a permanent population of around 14,000.
“The mayor of Phillip Island recently posted we were bringing the show down there. I’m as thrilled as he is,” Julian told TV Tonight.
“We obviously had our location previously lined up for Daylesford but that blew up. We were very, very lucky to be able to find a magnificent site in Phillip Island. So far from what I’ve seen the feedback from the audience and the fans who’ve heard that we’re going there, they’re all thrilled to bits.”
Julian added that Phillip Island is “such an iconic location” where so many Australian families have created happy memories on holidays.
“I’m really thrilled to bring the show down there,” he continued. “I mean, how can you go wrong making your 20th season on an island by the sea with penguins?
“And a Hemsworth, we should definitely get them involved,” he joked about the famous brothers being raised on the island.
Herald Sun reported in September that Channel Nine had purchased the holiday resort Island Cove Villas on Phillip Island for $9.5 million to be used on The Block.
The resort is described on realestate.com.au as “breathtaking from the moment you arrive”, and comprises nine homes and a shared pool, tennis court and children’s playground.
What else do we know about the new season?
Channel Nine recently confirmed at their annual Upfront event that Scott Cam will be returning to host the show, while Neale Whitaker announced on Instagram in July that he will be back as a full-time judge for season 20.
Casting is currently underway for the new season, however, there is potential for the new season to feature the return of some past contestants.
An insider tells Yahoo Lifestyle: “There is still some chatter about bringing back some celebrated contestants for the 20th season but applications are still open for newbies. So the rumour is it will be half newbies and half returnees.”
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