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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

THE BLOCK (article first published : 2004-04-25)

The contestants of M-Net's new reality programme The Block will spend 12 weeks redesigning, renovating and decorating four apartments ... and then leave it all behind. But they won't go away empty handed. The winning couple will head home with a guaranteed R500,000 in cash!

That's on top of the profit they make when the apartment comes under the hammer to determine the show's winner. As consolation, the other three couples on The Block will also keep the profit from their respective sales.

M-Net is currently looking for residents for The Block. The ideal candidates are couples who are funky, energetic and up for a challenge. They must have a flair for finishes and furnishings, and not be afraid to fix faulty plumbing or fill up some cracks. Or to burn the midnight oil.

The four chosen couples will get an equal-sized budget to bring their personal renovating touch to one of four similar apartments. All the DIY action takes place with camera crews watching. The contestants have to keep tight decorating deadlines while doing a day job.

The Block was the standout success story of Australian TV in 2003, making waves across the globe. The first series became Australia's most-watched programme in five years and the show's format has since been licensed to 17 countries, including the USA. South Africa is the first of these to go into production. Adam and Fiona, the couple who had prospective buyers grabbing for their chequebooks in the Australian version of The Block, screened on M-Net earlier this year, banked a profit of 156,000 Australian dollars.

Those wanting to become part of this top-rated TV show as The Block takes up residence in South Africa, need to enter as soon as possible. Entry forms online at www.mnet.co.za; at the B On M-Net studios at Gateway in Durban or Multichoice offices. It will also be printed in the May edition of House and Leisure magazine.

Closing date for entries is May 9.




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