Shelley Craft, the sunshine on renovation reality TV show The Block, loves the team experience

BRINGING THE SUNSHINE: Shelley Craft returns for the 15th season of The Block.

BRINGING THE SUNSHINE: Shelley Craft returns for the 15th season of The Block.

It would be hard to deny Shelley Craft is the perfect antithesis to her The Block co-host Scott Cam.

Her beaming smile rarely fades and that, according to the bubbly 45-year-old, is her job.

"I believe it's my job to bring the sunshine. Right from the start at Saturday Disney (host 1996-2002), and I'm grateful for every day. I hope it's a little infectious.

"In previous series Scotty has ruled with an iron fist, but he is a happy, fun-loving guy and tries to lead them [blockheads] in the right direction."

After 15 series, she thinks it's the contestants and The Block locations that bring the audience back.

"It's always going to be challenging, but with 10 fresh new faces, who go through similar experiences along the way. I love watching their personal journeys."

She loves the team experience and stays in touch with many former contestants.

"The Block is a family, and I hope they know they can always call on me in my big sister role.

"We're [she and husband Christian] in business [real estate] with Brad Cranfield (winner of The Block 2012 with Lara Welham)."

Craft feels the show resonates with audiences because it's a family program.

"There's not many you can sit down to watch where there is a bit of something for everyone. You don't need to be a renovation fan. Because of the great casting, the challenges and personalities, people get invested."

She says the contestants love the challenges because it's a chance to give their bodies and minds a break and earn extra cash.

"And just when you think it can't be done, somebody does it."

In this 15th season of the show the contest is between fans of the show and returning favourites.

"Faves Mitch, 58, and Mark, 59, from Sydney, got a hard time by the public for the way were perceived [in the Oslo series 2019]. They want to have fun this time and not get so involved in the drama.

"It's great to see them embrace the experience rather than be afraid of it. They are a great help to Scotty and me and have offered help to the fans, too."

Also returning are Perth's Ronnie, 45, and Georgia, 38, from the 2017 Elsternwich series.

Craft admits the entire journey is not an easy undertaking.

"Every couple will break at some stage throughout the show. Some do it early and can rebuild and get on with the show. Some hold on until the last and then get so overwhelmed by the whole experience.

"Some give up their jobs, others have great employers, but it's almost a year's involvement.

"They spend from February to May filming every day away from their family. Then once they finish filming, they go back to their lives with people wondering what they have been up to.

But there is no publicity until they get to see it on the tele. Then they start getting recognised on the street, then there's the lead-up to the auction. And some of them hate seeing themselves on the tv."

Craft says the hardest thing for the blockheads is getting used to cameras and microphones being on them 24/7.

"You can't prepare for it. Plus there's no time for procrastination and that's tricky for some. There's no down time because the builders have to get on with it.

"In the first few weeks they are finding out how their relationships will be managed in this pressure cooker situation;. It's a huge learning curve of who you are. Those who have kids have gone through more together, but they struggle with being away from their children."

This year's location is a cul de sac in Hampton, in Melbourne's east. It's a family suburb, so the blockheads must be mindful of the buyer target market, and with no plans to go by, they had to start from scratch.

"A few neighbours were a bit overwhelmed," Craft says. "But hopefully they realise the value of their home will increase."

Which teams will prevail ? Will it be the Faves or the newbie Fans, Josh and Luke from Sydney, Tanya and Vito of Melbourne or Kirsty and Jesse from Wangi Wangi?

This story Shelley is The Block's sunshine first appeared on The Canberra Times.