Neale, Shaynna and Darren

One of the OG judges has quit The Block for good

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The Block judges Neale Whittaker, Shaynna Blaze and Darren Palmer were joined by Marty Fox in 2023, and one of the OG’s is leaving the show for good.

After 13 years as a judge, Neale has announced that he won’t be returning for The Block 2024.

Neale shared the sad news on Instagram and said that he’s prioritising spending time with his partner David, who’s unwell.

“Lots of people have been asking me if I’m back on the show this year. I thought now was a good time to answer those questions,” Whitaker began his post.

“In 2023 – as many of you will know – I took a break from The Block to spend more time with my partner David who was dealing with some serious health issues. We all hoped that by this year I would be able to return full-time to the show, but life doesn’t always run to schedule.

“David gets stronger with each passing month, but my decision remains to be at home as much as possible.

Who will be replacing Neale?

Yup, you guessed it, newcomer judge Marty will be taking on a full-time judging role, alongside Shaynna and Darren.

“I’ve handed my judging sheet permanently to Marty Fox (who stepped in so brilliantly last season) and I know he will have a blast with Shaynna and Darren as I did for 17 seasons,” Neale said in his post.

“It’s been such a privilege to be part of Australia’s most iconic TV show for an unbelievable 13 years – unbelievable to me, anyway.”

The Block judge Darren Palmer with Shaynna and Marty

Shaynna Blaze reacts to Neale’s news

Shaynna took to Neale’s post to share support in regards to his career move.

“How can you thank someone for all their talent, intelligence & class who has been an integral part of your life on the screen? You can’t. But I do know The Three Amigos live on outside of the screen, always. Huge love to you Neale, and to David too – Miss you xxxx,” She wrote.

Stream The Block 2023 on 9Now.

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