Sports star turned broadcaster Mark Richardson is to host the first local version of international hit renovation-reality format The Block, coming soon to TV3 screens.
The former Black Cap says he is feeling very excited about the new role. “It is a great opportunity for me to do something outside of sport. It will be incredibly interesting to work on a big budget primetime show, with some of the best in the business.”
Mark says he’s most nervous about handling the real-life drama. “Dealing with contestants who have ‘lost it’ could be a challenge – I am a bit conflict averse.”
The Block NZ sees four couples, from throughout New Zealand, compete to renovate four dilapidated houses in one of Auckland’s most desirable suburbs – room by room, week by week, challenge by challenge – and sell them at auction for the highest price. The winning couple is simply decided by the toughest judge of all, the real estate market. All four couples will receive profits from the sale of their house at the LIVE TV auction, and the winners will take home an additional cash prize of $80,000.
Mark will be joined by Shannon Ryan as The Block NZ challenge presenter. Best-known as host on FOUR Live, Shannon has also presented the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards and the LIVE televised finale of New Zealand’s Next Top Model.
Shannon says she is thrilled to be part of the show: “The Block is the ultimate project! The couples have such a huge task ahead of them. My experience in DIY consists of building huts, forts and a pen for my calf when I was a kid, so witnessing how they progress and deal with what is ahead will be a huge highlight for me.
“As challenge presenter I will have to award the winners, which in turn means saying no to the others, and that will be the hard part for me.”
MediaWorks TV Head of Factual Production Sue Woodfield says The Block NZ is one of the most exciting reality formats in the world. “We looked extensively to find the right person and it was clear from his first audition, that Mark ticked all the boxes. He’s a real Kiwi bloke, is genuinely warm and good with people, and has great presenter skills. Having renovated a house of his own in Dunedin, he’s pretty handy at DIY too. We are very happy to have him onboard for such a great TV3 project.
“Shannon is one of the network’s bright young stars and did an amazing job presenting the first ever LIVE final of New Zealand’s Next Top Model last year. We know she’ll be the perfect challenge presenter.”
The Block is one of the biggest reality formats in the world, with a compelling blend of real estate dreams and high-stakes drama that has made it a global phenomenon. The New Zealand series is produced by Eyeworks Television for TV3. Foundation partners are Bunnings Warehouse, Kiwibank, Mazda and Wild Bean Cafe.
To find out more, visit www.tv3.co.nz/theblock.