Entertainment

Former Mooroopna man to judge Lego Masters series

By Tara Whitsed

Being the only certified Lego professional in the Southern Hemisphere, Ryan McNaught was the obvious choice as judge and mentor for new series Lego Masters.

The former Mooroopna man, or Brickmaster as he is known, will join host Hamish Blake on the new channel Nine series that has groups of contestants battle it out for $100000 in prize money.

‘‘I’ve got two roles — so I’m the judge, the person they have to impress or not impress,’’ he said.

‘‘But also I’m pretty much like the coach and my role to encourage them through the challenges.’’

Just one of 13 certified Lego professionals in the world, Mr McNaught said he moved to Mooroopna in 1980 when he was seven years old.

‘‘I was certainly well into Lego by then, but I certainly grew up playing Lego at St Mary’s in Mooroopna,’’ he said.

At the time, becoming a professional Lego builder was not on Mr McNaught’s career radar, but he said he felt lucky to have worked in the field for some time now.

He attributed the popularity of the Danish building block to its ability to transform into absolutely anything with the right builder.

‘‘If you think about a Lego brick, it’s pretty plain and not remarkable,’’ Mr McNaught said.

‘‘It can be part of a car, a part of a spaceship ... Lego bricks can be a part of anything.’’

While he could not give too much away about the creations the eight pairs of contestants make on the show, he said working with fellow Lego fan Hamish Blake had been a highlight.

‘‘Hamish Blake’s the host and he’s an incredibly funny and amazing guy,’’ Mr McNaught said.

‘‘He’s a huge Lego fan too and what he gets the contestants to do is really funny.’’

Mr McNaught highlighted the fact this was not the typical reality television series.

‘‘It’s so wholesome and fun and such a good vibe to it,’’ he said.

Nine television director Michael Healy said Lego Masters was set to redefine family entertainment this year.

‘‘This program is a celebration of creativity and wonderment and we believe it will have broad appeal across the generations,’’ he said.

Lego Masters will set eight pairs of passionate creators loose on The Brick Pit each week where 2.5million Lego bricks await, ready to build mind-blowing models and masterpieces that must be seen to be believed.

There is no instruction manual in sight and only the strongest and most creative team will survive.

Mr McNaught said there would be several creations made in the series that challenged people’s perception of Lego.

‘‘The first episode should give people an idea what to expect,’’ he said.

Lego Masters will air on Nine and 9Now on Sunday, April 28, from 7pm.