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The Block: Elle and Joel quit because she ‘didn’t want to wear hi-vis for 12 weeks’

The Block’s executive producer has accused ‘quitters’ Joel Patfull and Elle Ferguson of throwing in the towel because they couldn’t handle 12 weeks on a building site in country Victoria.

Julian Cress, the show’s creator who has overseen all 18 seasons of Nine’s popular renovation show, said the crew was blindsided when the Sydney couple downed tools during the first week of shooting in April.

While Elle and Joel insist they quit because of a family emergency, Mr Cress told the Herald Sun it may have been due to more superficial concerns.

The Block’s executive producer has accused ‘quitters’ Joel Patfull and Elle Ferguson (pictured) of throwing in the towel because they couldn’t handle 12 weeks on a building site

He claimed Elle, a 36-year-old fashion influencer from Bondi, baulked at the idea of donning hi-vis workwear instead of her usual chic wardrobe.

Mr Cress also cast doubt on the couple’s claim they were forced to leave the show to care for Joel’s ailing mother after she had a nasty fall at her home in Adelaide.

‘[Elle] seemed a bit shocked that she was going to have to spend 12 weeks in hi-vis on a worksite,’ he said.

Julian Cress (pictured), who has overseen all 18 seasons of The Block, said the crew was blindsided when the Sydney couple downed tools during the first week of shooting in April

Julian Cress (pictured), who has overseen all 18 seasons of The Block, said the crew was blindsided when the Sydney couple downed tools during the first week of shooting in April 

Mr Cress said he was impressed by the couple’s performance in the first challenge of the season, so was ‘dumbstruck’ when they called him late on April 15 to say they weren’t enjoying themselves and feared the show ‘was not quite on brand for them’.

He arranged to have a meeting with them the next morning, but by the time he arrived at the building site they had already packed up and left.

‘They never spoke to any of us again,’ he added.

While the pair insist they quit the production because of a family emergency, Mr Cress told the Herald Sun that Elle (pictured), a 36-year-old fashion influencer from Bondi, baulked at the idea of donning hi-vis workwear instead of her usual chic wardrobe

While the pair insist they quit the production because of a family emergency, Mr Cress told the Herald Sun that Elle (pictured), a 36-year-old fashion influencer from Bondi, baulked at the idea of donning hi-vis workwear instead of her usual chic wardrobe

Mr Cress acknowledged Joel’s mother did have an accident in Adelaide, and confirmed production had paid to fly the couple interstate to see her the week before filming began.

But he disputed claims in the media that Joel and Elle only quit because they had been unable to get confirmation from producers that they could ‘come and go’ from the construction site in Gisborne to visit his ailing mother in South Australia.

‘I can understand why they did not feel they didn’t get an answer to that question, because they never asked it,’ he said.

Mr Cress added that The Block is always willing to accommodate teams during family emergencies, and once shut down production for an entire week in 2013 when the mother of one of the contestants fell ill.

The couple downed tools in April - just two days into filming and after the first challenge - after Joel's mother Trish fractured her neck during a fall at her home in Adelaide

The couple downed tools in April – just two days into filming and after the first challenge – after Joel’s mother Trish fractured her neck during a fall at her home in Adelaide 

‘We are not the kind of program that says no to somebody going to visit a sick mother. We never have been, we never will be,’ he said.

Elle and Joel, a 37-year-old retired AFL player, downed tools in April – just two days into filming – after his mother Trish fractured her neck during a fall at her home.

The blogger later posted a cryptic message on Instagram hinting at their exit: ‘Wherever you are in the world. Whatever you are doing. Family always comes first.’

As reported by TV Week, The Block host Scott told the other contestants they left because the show wasn’t ‘on brand’ for them as glamorous influencers.

Mr Cress acknowledged Joel's mother did have an accident, but disputed claims the couple only quit because they had been unable to get confirmation from producers that they could 'come and go' from the construction site in Gisborne to visit his ailing mother in Adelaide

Mr Cress acknowledged Joel’s mother did have an accident, but disputed claims the couple only quit because they had been unable to get confirmation from producers that they could ‘come and go’ from the construction site in Gisborne to visit his ailing mother in Adelaide

He also said they had complained ‘the toilet paper was too scratchy’. 

Like Cress, Scott wasn’t convinced by the team’s reason for quitting the show, saying: ‘Of course, family comes first on The Block – we’ve stopped production before when people have had family emergencies.

‘And of course, I wasn’t referring to somebody going to visit their sick mother… It was because they’d given us no reason.’

Scott previously said at the Logie Awards that Elle and Joel giving up so soon into the competition was ‘unAustralian’ and ‘p**s poor’.

Mr Cress said The Block is always willing to accommodate teams during family emergencies, and once shut down production for an entire week in 2013 when a contestants' mother fell ill

Mr Cress said The Block is always willing to accommodate teams during family emergencies, and once shut down production for an entire week in 2013 when a contestants’ mother fell ill 

He told TV Tonight: ‘We had a 48-hour challenge to choose the house that you get and they scarpered after 48 hours. It’s something that’s never happened before.’

‘Forty-five thousand people applied to be on The Block and win life-changing money. These guys got on and they just couldn’t handle the pace after 48 hours,’ he continued.

‘Which to me is a bit unAustralian! Have a go! It’s p**s poor.’

As reported by TV Week, The Block host Scott Cam (pictured) told the other contestants that Elle and Joel left because the show wasn't 'on brand' for them as Sydney influencers

As reported by TV Week, The Block host Scott Cam (pictured) told the other contestants that Elle and Joel left because the show wasn’t ‘on brand’ for them as Sydney influencers 

The couple made the difficult decision to leave the Channel Nine renovation show two days into filming, after Joel’s mum suffered the nasty fall. 

The former footy star’s mother reportedly broke her coccyx and fractured her wrist.

A Nine spokesperson confirmed their departure to Daily Mail Australia, saying: ‘Over the weekend, we were surprised to have one of our new contestant teams depart The Block a few days into filming for the upcoming season.

‘We wish them all the best for the future and we’re excited to cast two new Aussies for the opportunity of a lifetime on The Block. The Block Tree Change will air as scheduled later this year.’

Their exit from The Block will be a major storyline in the first few episodes of the new season, which premieres Sunday, August 7, on Channel Nine and 9Now.

After their exit, Elle shared this photo to Instagram of their suitcases at Melbourne Airport, and wrote: 'Wherever you are in the world, whatever you are doing, family always comes first'

After their exit, Elle shared this photo to Instagram of their suitcases at Melbourne Airport, and wrote: ‘Wherever you are in the world, whatever you are doing, family always comes first’ 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk