As this year's season of The Block nears the end, it's been reported that next year, the show will be setting up camp on Phillip Island, a popular day trip destination just 90 minutes from Melbourne with a population of 7,000.
According to the Herald Sun, “rumours are swirling” bosses are planning a “sea change” despite previous reports the 2024 season would be set in rural Victoria town Daylesford.
When asked about the rumours by Yahoo Lifestyle, a production source said no location has been “100% locked in yet” – but if Phillip Island or Daylesford are chosen, that'd mark 11 years in a row that New South Wales has been snubbed.
The insider explained there are two reasons the show has never returned to Sydney: “Strict councils and terrible traffic”.
In 2017, host Scott Cam echoed this, telling The Daily Telegraph: “The councils in Sydney are too hard on us. Melbourne, down here, they look after us a treat. Mind you, we bring about $20 million into the economy of that area.”
The Block hasn't been based in New South Wales since season six in 2013, when the All-Stars contestants renovated rundown heritage-listed houses in Bondi. However, during production, councils reportedly “fined production $2,000 at least 10 times”.
Producers' 'mad scramble' after location flop
It comes after The Block producers were reportedly left in a 'mad scramble' to lock in a new location for the renovation reality show’s milestone twentieth season next year after their original plan of setting up shop in Daylesford fell through.
A source tells Yahoo Lifestyle that producers were “devastated” over the sudden change of plans, especially because they had spent over nine months preparing to film in Daylesford.
“The producers were so far along in the process that other options hadn't been considered,” the insider says.
“So it is a mad scramble for Julian Cress and David Barbour, who created and still produce the show. They have been frantically working through options with [the show’s architect] Julian Benchley to find a new location.
“They usually have the locations locked in 12 months in advance to make sure permits and everything are all in place, so I'd say production will be pushed back. It is too close to start all over again.”
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