BIRCHIP has its very own reality TV star.
Norm Hogan, born and bred in the town, features on Channel Nine’s latest season of The Block.
“I don’t reckon people would think I would get onto a reality show, I didn’t even think I was that type of person,” he said.
“One night we were just joking around and thought we would have a crack. We did our five minute video submission and then we were called up for an interview in Brisbane.
“Then we had to go to Melbourne to do an interview there. We applied last year but didn’t quite get on and then we had a phone call for this year.
“I think they liked the fact that we are just pretty easy going and like to have a good time. We have been labelled as the bogans and the lovable larrikins.”
Mr Hogan appears on the show with his partner Jess Eva. His brother Mick, who is also a carpenter, also helped out with the build.
The couple now lives on the Sunshine Coast where Mr Hogan, a builder by trade, runs his own business.
Mr Hogan said the experience was tough but invaluable.
“I learnt that nothing is impossible,” he said.
“At the start of some weeks we thought with some of the stuff we were doing that there would be no chance of doing it all, but you just get it done.”
Mr Hogan, who played more than 200 football games for Birchip and grew up on a farm, said he returned home shortly after the filming finished.
“Mum and dad – Roma and Hayden Hogan – were farmers and sold it about 20 years ago,” he said.
“I wanted to take the farm over but dad didn’t want us to take over the hardships of running a farm. They still own about 400 acres at Birchip and dad just runs his horses on that.
“When I finished the filming I went back home for a few days and the town was a buzz. Everyone was up and about and were pretty keen and interested in it all. I’ve had great support from the Birchip community.
“I reckon there would have been 700 people at Birchip on Sunday night all watching The Block. I reckon you could have shot a gun down the main road on Sunday night and you wouldn’t have hit anyone.
“Times are tough over there with no rain at the moment, so it’s good to have something like this.”
Mr Hogan said on Monday night’s episode he had an emotional moment.
“During Monday night’s episode I had a bit of a teary moment; after the 48-hour challenge it was just too much,” he said.
“It was just the most hectic 48 hours of my life. I had a few mates sending some texts through and I thought they were being genuine but then I realised they were just being sarcastic.”