In a rare quiet moment on the set of LEGO Masters, host Hamish Blake is watching the contestants work.
He's not plotting the next challenge with his LEGO expert co-host Ryan "The Brickman" McNaught, nor counting down to the moment he calls for them to step away from their build and have their creations judged. He's just watching, genuinely fascinated to see what the concentrating builders are coming up with.
"I have the best job!" Hamish, 39, tells TV WEEK when he catch up with him on set in Melbourne.
"I get to come in and see people just be endlessly creative and have fun – and I get to be a nuisance all day."
For funnyman Hamish, it's all just part of a dream run that started three years ago when he was asked to host LEGO Masters – solo and not with his long-time TV partner Andy Lee.
Saying yes was easy – he knew he loved playing with LEGO bricks and thought it could be fun to watch others do the same – but he admits he wasn't sure if viewers would agree.
"There was a moment in the very first episode where everyone had to build a city block, but ran out of time," Hamish says.
"The contestants went home and it was just Brickman, me and the crew wandering around the studio looking at what they'd been building.
"Nobody said, 'Cheers, that was a long day!' and left. We were all just fascinated by what we were seeing. In that moment, I knew this was great. It was exciting that day and it's been exciting every day since."
Hamish isn't alone in his enthusiasm for LEGO Masters, which launched in 2019 and became one of the most-watched series of the year.
That led to a second – and now third – season. Even better, Hamish says, it led to families picking up LEGO to build things together.
"It's incredible the number of times people say, 'I had a crack at that challenge myself,'" he says.
"I love that they're being inspired to play. I don't know if Scotty Cam [The Block host], for example, gets a lot of people saying, 'I had no interest in building, but then I watched The Block and I built my own apartment.'"
That enthusiasm is a feeling Brickman knows well. The only officially certified LEGO builder in the Southern Hemisphere, Ryan, 48, admits to being a proud AFOL (Adult Fan Of LEGO). He built his mate Hamish a LEGO Logie in his spare time and still eagerly rips into every new LEGO kit that hits the market.
"A new kit might have a new colour or new piece that opens possibilities," he says.
"So of course I want to see what's in there!"
It's those possibilities that make LEGO Masters so much fun, Ryan explains.
"If we set a challenge like 'Make a bee', we'd get one bee riding a motorcycle, one on a throne, one in a helicopter and more. Even if you give everyone the same starting point, they go in massively different directions."
He and Hamish are making sure that continues in season three, with more than 3.5 million pieces in the LEGO Masters brick pit for the builds in 2021.
"It's funny, because you'd think three-and-a-half million bricks is more than anyone would ever need," Hamish says.
"But then with something like a big tree, it's possible to use all of one colour."
"There are actually moments when we get dangerously low of something such as grey two-by-two bricks. How does that happen?"
And the challenges this season are tipped to be bigger than ever.
Without giving anything away, Hamish points out the current task is to add to a construction that took Brickman and his team more than 500 hours to build. It's complex, surprising and is what has him glued to his studio monitor.
"Every time I imagine something, they give me a whole bunch of examples I would never have thought of and they're all brilliant," he says.
- PuzzlesThe Australian Women's Weekly July Issue Online Entry
Prizes To LoveToday 12:00am