Reality TV

Neale Whitaker confirms whether he will return to The Block this year

He's scaling back his judging duties...
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Long-running The Block judge Neale Whitaker has confirmed that he will appear on the upcoming 20th season of the renovation reality show but in a reduced capacity.

The news comes as no huge shock to fans of the franchise after the beloved television personality also took a step back in 2023 so he could spend more time with his partner David who was, and sadly still is battling serious health issues.

“We all hoped that by this year I would be able to return full-time to the show, but life doesn’t always run to schedule,” Neale shared to his Instagram in mid-May. 

“David gets stronger with each passing month, but my decision remains to be at home as much as possible.”

While Neale made sporadic appearances throughout the season in 2023, real estate mogul Marty Fox filled in for Neale and his judging duties. 

“I’ve handed my judging sheet permanently to Marty Fox (who stepped in so brilliantly last season) and I know he will have a blast with Shaynna and Darren as I did for 17 seasons,” Neale added.

“It’s been such a privilege to be part of Australia’s most iconic TV show for an unbelievable 13 years.”

Scroll down to find out everything you need to know about the 2024 season of The Block!

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The Block will be filmed at Phillip Island in 2024. (Credit: RealEstate.com)

Where is The Block 2024 being filmed?

Channel Nine has confirmed that the upcoming 2024 season of The Block will be filmed at Phillip Island. 

Originally, the series was reportedly set to take place in the regional Victorian town of Daylesford where producers had purchased five pavilion-style homes on Raglan Street, before being moved in September to the new location.

Unfortunately however due to backlash from local residents and planning permit issues, the location was moved just five months out from filming. 

An anonymous Block insider told the Herald Sun at the time, “We’ve had so many successful series in so many different locations, but we don’t go where we are not welcome.”

Channel Nine has since purchased 2.5 acres of land for almost $9.6 million on Phillip Island. 

You can find more information on why the location was moved from Daylesford to Phillip Island, and what our 2024 blockheads may be renovating here.

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The Block 2023 contestants in their 1950s theme (Credit: Channel Nine)

Who is hosting The Block in 2024?

The only confirmation we’ve got so far is that Scotty Cam will be returning! Scotty’s “mammoth challenges” were mentioned on the 2024 application website.

However, if the past seasons of The Block are anything to go by, we’re sure Shelley Craft will be back in 2024. 

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Scott Cam and Shelley Craft (Credit: Channel Nine)

Long-running The Block Foreman Keith Schleiger will however take a step back from his full-time duties this year, and will instead appear sporadically as a special guest.

Citing family commitments, the father-of-two will not be as prominently featured in the upcoming 20th season given the lengthy commuting time between Phillip Island and his home in Melbourne. 

“With The Block shooting on Phillip Island this year Keith had to step back from his full-time duties because of his commitment to raising his two daughters,” a Nine spokesperson confirmed in early May.

“He couldn’t come to the island for three months straight. It was literally a bridge too far,” they added.

The bridge reference is of course the San Remo bridge that connects the island to the mainland.

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Neale has taken a permanent step back from his judging duties on The Block. (Credit: Channel Nine)

Who is judging The Block in 2024?

In 2023, the judging panel included veterans Neale Whitaker, Darren Palmer, and Shaynna Blaze.

Melbourne real estate tycoon Marty Fox also made his debut as a judge that year as Neale took time out from the renovation reality show.

For now, it seems like all four judges will be returning for the 2024 season of The Block.

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The Block judges Neale Whitaker, Darren Palmer, Shaynna Blaze, and Marty Fox (Credit: Channel Nine)

Does The Block 2024 have a theme?

The Block 2023 blew us away with their 1950s theme, with poodle skirts, big hair, and leather jackets in all the commercials.

Since they went back in time last year, we wonder if they’re going to the future this year – putting a modern twist on country homes.

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The Block 2023 1950 cast. (Credit: The Block Shop)

When will The Block 2024 houses go on auction?

The Block auctions usually happen around October and November.

Fingers crossed we’ll see Danny Wallis or Adrian Portelli make an appearance!

When will The Block 2024 premiere?

Going off previous seasons, The Block will likely premiere in August 2024. 

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Danny Wallis at The Block auction with Scotty Cam (Credit: RealEstate.com)

Who has been cast in the 2024 season of The Block?

The cast of the 20th season has not yet been officially revealed by Channel Nine.

Locals of Phillip Island however have spotted contestants filming around Phillip Island.

And if rumours are to be believed a couple has dramatically quit just weeks into filming!

An insider source also revealed to Yahoo Lifestyle that new contestants have been instructed to “cull” their social media accounts to under 1000 followers to “avoid looking like potential influencers” and to appear “humble” to viewers.

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