With his piercing whistle and cry of "Tools down!" Scott Cam is the man with the ultimate power over contestants on The Block.
Calling them out for challenges, to the weekly judging or in extreme cases – like when Covid-19 hit – to send them home, he's the builder who runs their world.
But after one of the most challenging seasons the TV WEEK Gold Logie award-winning host has ever faced, Cam admits he might be getting closer to putting a nail in his Block journey.
"Ah, the old nail bag!" Cam, 58, says to TV WEEK over the phone. "I did a lot of work in lockdown and I had the bag on every day. I did one of the bedrooms at home, I enclosed the verandah and things like that… but I do need to slow down as time goes on.
"I'm heading toward 60 and you've got to slow down when it comes down to those tools. You can't be swinging the hammer like you used to!"
However, that doesn't mean the veteran TV host is set to retire from our TV screens just yet.
Cam still gets excited at the start of a new season, still gets butterflies for the contestants on auction day and loves that he's managed to combine the two joys of his work life: building and making TV.
"I mean, what a job!" he exclaims. "What a job to come to work on a building site with all your mates, hang out for three months and build an incredible show, houses or units - then sit down and watch it!"
It's been a long ride for the carpenter-turned-TV star, one that started when Cam was relaxing in his local pub and a television producer walked up.
He'd noticed the tall, loud and laughing tradie holding court with a few mates and thought he might be a good fit for a television project he had in mind.
"I said: 'Not really… that's not my go!' But a couple of days later he rang me – he'd got my number off my ute - I did a screen test and I ended up getting the job," Cam recalls. "That was 20 years ago!"
Since then, Cam says he's made "about ten" different building-style shows for the Nine network, won a TV WEEK Silver Logie as Australia's most popular television presenter and a Gold Logie as most popular personality: "And I've loved every minute of it."
"It's always up my alley, talking about building and working on the tools – I'm probably a bit old to be working on the tools, I like supervising and pointing the finger these days - but it's been fantastic and I'm very lucky to be still there 20 years down the track."
Not even the curveball Covid-19 threw at The Block could put a dampener on things, he says.
After the massive build that was The Block Oslo in 2019, the plan for this year had been to have a more manageable project and let the contestants enjoy their time on the show a bit more.
All that went out the window when building supplies started drying up, social distancing pushed many trades off site and Cam was eventually forced to shut the build down entirely.
It was surreal, Cam says, but part of what makes him love The Block.
"This year we're a building show, a real estate show and a documentary about a world-wide pandemic and how it affected us all," he says.
And as the The Block 2020 comes to a close, Cam says he still doesn't know exactly what to expect, but that's fine by him.
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