As LEGO Masters heads towards its finale (airs Tue., May 14 at 7.30pm; Nine), the show’s resident LEGO Certified Professional, Ryan McNaught (aka Brickman), 46, discusses the hit series.
Do people call you Brickman in day to day life?
No, purely on the TV show. I first got involved in taking LEGO commissions about 12 years ago and we needed a name for the business. It was one of the options suggested and I thought it was pretty cool so we went with it.
How does one become a LEGO Certified Professional?
There are 13 of us in the world, and we all got our title in a totally different way. There’s no LEGO university. I was doing some IT work with LEGO, and they kept getting me to do more and more things. Eventually, they said, “Hey, we’d like you to become a Certified Professional.” They tend to be fairly low-key about these things.
How did you take to the judging side of things?
I didn’t really see myself as a judge. I was more of a coach – making sure people built incredible stuff. But the first elimination was really hard. I’ve never told anyone before that their LEGO wasn’t good enough. It’s not that their stuff isn’t good – it’s amazing – but compared to the others, it’s not as good as theirs.
You seemed to have a good rapport with host Hamish Blake. Did that come quickly?
Definitely. The thing about Hamish, apart from the fact that he’s so much fun and makes you laugh, is that he’s a big LEGO fan. He absolutely loves LEGO, so he was totally nerding out.
Ever have a LEGO fail?
I’ve dropped plenty of LEGO in my day – it’s a rite of passage. But it’s very cathartic, because you can always rebuild.