Scott Cam says Aussies were tougher in ’20s as he recalls horror work injuries

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Scott Cam has had around 100 stitches throughout his career. Source: SBS (supplied).

He’s known for his down-to-earth banter and no-nonsense attitude on The Block and Scott Cam has now revealed he got that tough personality from his father – and it’s helped him out in some painful situations.

The 56-year-old carpenter, builder and popular TV star has worked tirelessly for decades in the building industry, before going on to enjoy his famous TV roles – all while running the family building business with his wife Ann.

But while he’s suffered a fair few injuries during his career – including having around 100 stitches – he’s not let it phase him in the slightest. Instead, he’s adopted the stiff upper lip that was once the norm in Australia a few decades ago.

Speaking in an exclusive chat with Starts at 60, Cam has recalled the moment he almost severed his right-hand index finger during a bandsaw accident a few years ago. Instead of waiting for an ambulance, he instead drove himself to hospital to have the emergency treatment he needed.

“I’ve had the bandsaw injury, but yeah I’ve had 100 stitches or something like that after 28 years in the business, but that’s part of the building game. You get nipped and cut, that just happens to everybody,” he said. “If you speak to any carpenter they’ll say they’ve had 50 stitches over the first few years or something like that!”

While the bandsaw cut right through to the bone, Cam still managed to drive himself – and ended up having 24 stitches on that occasion, he previously told The Kyle & Jackie O Show.

While suffering these nasty injuries may be the norm in his industry, it certainly isn’t elsewhere and when asked if he thinks society has lost its resilience in recent years and some people perhaps need to ‘man up’ instead of rushing straight to hospital with a small scrape, he added: “You compare Australia now to the 1920s there’s a fair gap!

“Men and women back then were extremely tough and solid people and I try to live like that. That’s just the way I am anyway, my father was a tough bloke so we grew up like that.”

Meanwhile, he’s currently busy filming the latest series of The Block, which requires him to be away from home for around three months every year. In that time, the filming schedule is tough and often requires long hours almost seven days a week.

“I started at about seven o’clock yesterday and got home at about 10.30pm. I get a half day here and there, but you’ve got to manage it because you get pretty tired,” he admitted.

Asked how it can impact his health, he said: “I think you just get run down, I don’t get stressed but I get a bit run down. You miss home and those sort of things. But what happens is you get home, and that’s when you tend to get sick. You’re hanging on an hanging on, working hard, and then when you stop and rest that’s when your body tends to shut down a bit.”

However, once again adopting his famously tough attitude, he insisted: “Apart from that it’s healthy, I have a few beers with the lads and I don’t panic or anything like that, it’s not like I’m working 15 hours a day.”

Having taken inspiration from his own father, Cam revealed he sees family values as hugely important and has worked hard to ensure he’s passed good ones down to his own adult children – Charlie and twins Sarah and Bill.

“We’re a really close family and my wife and I give the kids free rein. They make their own decisions, they’re adults, they can do whatever they want really,” he explained.

“We don’t have many rules when it comes to that because they’re good people. I’ve always said that to them, good people have good things happen to them, and if you’re a good person there’s no rules.”

It’s been a busy time for Cam and he’s also recently filmed a segment for SBS’ Who Do You Think You Are? where he travels back to Italy to find out more about his ancestors and family history.

Along the way, he discovered a few shocks that both he and his mum knew nothing about. He explained: “There was some interesting history there like gypsy travellers and things like that, that’s where it all kicked off. It was a bit of a rogue situation, there were a few rogues in the family and that carried on over the years.”

Scott Cam will appear on Who Do You Think You Are? on Tuesday, April 30 at 7.30pm on SBS.

Do you agree with Scott Cam that some people have lost their resilience in recent years?

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