Fun, fame and farms for Mr Fixit

Scott Cam
Scott Cam hosts Channel Nine’s The Block

Scott Cam does not see himself sailing off into the sunset when he retires.

“No, I’ll be chugging out to sea at eight km/hr in a 30-foot lobster trawler I converted for fishing,” says the television veteran over the phone from his Sydney home.

After his 20 years with Channel 9, Scott reckons he has a few years more on the box before looking to different pastures. And that will include the pastures north of Sydney which he’s restocking with Black Angus following the bushfires and downturns.

A keen surf swimmer, the boy who braves the breakers at Bondi is a familiar face. People just want to say g’day.

“It’s a privilege, people wanting to meet you and maybe take a photo. I’m not a red carpet kind of guy. I’m a carpenter who just happens to work on TV. I’m very lucky,” he says.

Scott and members of his family are also a constant at rugby games, wearing their Roosters colours and jerseys.

“I’m lucky my wife, Ann, was already a Roosters fan when we met. Sometimes my son (Charlie, 24) and I will go along to a game but we’re all fans.” 

There’s also twins Billy and Sarah, 21.

Coming up to 58, Scott spends three months in Melbourne working on being the face for the long-running Nine series, The Block, as he has for all those years.

He bought an apartment “in Port Melbourne, a good, working class suburb” to make life away from home more enjoyable.

“We work so hard on The Block, seven days a week. I’m happy to get to a nice space,” he says.

He makes occasional quick visits to his family in Sydney and ex-teacher Ann might go to Melbourne, juggling their business affairs: media, including Scott’s regular radio program, their cattle (they have a farm manager), vehicle management and his public and TV appearances.

“It’s a privilege, people wanting to meet you and maybe take a photo. I’m not a red carpet kind of guy. I’m a carpenter who just happens to work on TV. I’m very lucky.”

Since 2011, Scott Cam has been brand ambassador for Mitre 10 plus Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador for the Australian Government.

Featured on the SBS program, Who Do You Think You Are?, Scott the young carpenter, worked up and down the WA coast, fishing off Wedge Island and Exmouth and swimming at Ningaloo Reef. 

“Bringing-in a big bream and putting it straight on the hot plate at Wedge Island. Ahh!,” he says, living in Fremantle for a while.

Scott returns three or four times a year to Rottnest pursuing fresh fish and lobsters.

Keen on history, Scott ponders the possibility of someday working on a TV show featuring historic Aussie characters. He names WA legend Alfred Canning who set up water tanks along the 1,850 km Canning Stock Route, the world’s longest. 

“Cattle drink 75 litres-a-day each and there’d be herds of 300. The water would have to be hand-pumped. Really incredible,” said the part-time cattle man.

In true, legendary form, the carpenter who loved a beer after work was talent-spotted by a TV producer in a Sydney pub. 

He teamed on Nine’s lifestyle show Backyard Blitz in 2000 with WA-born Jamie Durie, doing building segments, then onto Reno Rumble and Domestic Blitz.

After 16 seasons of The Block and two books: Out The Back and Home Maintenance For Knuckleheads, Scott says he has no thoughts of breaking-away from his TV family.

The Block concept is simple. Five couples transform five dilapidated houses into luxury homes, delivering a room each week to be judged and scored.

This season the chosen houses date from the 1910s, 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. All in a dire state, they have been transported to a 2761m2 block of land in Melbourne’s affluent suburb, Brighton. Architect Julian Brenchley designed the renovations. 

“People can watch The Block, see what the contestants are doing and get inspired to do it themselves,” says Scott.

When The Block shutdown for the pandemic, executive producer, Julian Cress, said: “It was an incredibly tough decision but we were able to get our contestants back to their kids and loved ones, the most important thing.”

The five couples chosen from a record number of entries this year include Perth chippy Luke, 35, and Perth teacher Jasmin, 36. 

The Block’s Shelley Craft, Scott Cam with Perth’s Luke and Jasmin
The Block’s Shelley Craft, Scott Cam with Perth’s Luke and Jasmin

But for chippy turned gold-Logie-winner Scott, there are his own renovations.

“When I’m home in Sydney, I do it bit-by-bit. Last year we did the house painting. We’ve done my son’s room, some outside paving and enclosed a veranda.

“I’m not on the tools all day any more so when there’s something to be done around the house, it’s not a burden,” said the seasoned face of renovating.

Watch The Block, Sundays 7pm, then Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7.30pm on Channel 9.