The Australian public may know Neale Whitaker as the stylish English judge on Nine’s smash hit renovation series The Block, but his knowledge and expertise come courtesy of his successful publishing career after more than a decade at the helm of Aussie style bibles Belle and Vogue Living.
Since arriving in Australia from the UK in 1999, Neale has enjoyed an impressive career as one of Australia’s foremost style gurus and has become a respected media personality along the way.
London-born Neale started his career in the office of legendary British PR guru Lynne Franks (on whom the character of Eddi in ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ was based). After working as a fashion publicist and stylist, Neale took on publishing roles for high-profile retailers including Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and IKEA. He also launched Food Illustrated for upmarket British supermarket Waitrose, a magazine that was praised internationally and set new standards for food publishing in the UK.
In 1999, Neale moved to Sydney and edited directional home and interior magazine, Marie Claire Lifestyle. His impeccable taste and professionalism won him many fans and he was kept busy with regular columns in The Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Living supplement, and articles for American Gourmet magazine. During his five years at FPC Magazines (now NewsLifeMedia) he edited Vogue Entertaining + Travel and launched best-selling food magazine Delicious — the most successful magazine launch in the history of Australian publishing.
After successfully editing Belle for eight years, Neale joined Conde Nast International’s Vogue Living as Editor-in-chief in 2014. In mid-2017 he transitioned into the role of Editor-at-large to allow time for his increasing television and wider media commitments. Neale continues as a columnist for Stellar, the weekly colour magazine for News Corp mastheads Sunday Telegraph (NSW), Sunday Herald Sun (VIC) and Sunday Mail (QLD).
In 2009, the producers of Nine’s TV show homeMADE asked Neale to head up their judging panel and provide feedback to the young interior designers being put through their paces. Neale’s frank honesty, warm humour and British eccentricities charmed audiences, and the following year he was invited to be a permanent judge on the multi-Logie winning renovation reality series, The Block. For the past 11 series, millions of Australians have listened to Neale share his advice and insights with the show’s contestants. Neale will return for his twelfth series of The Block in 2018.
2017 saw Neale co-host the new Foxtel series, Love It or List It Australia, with Selling Houses Australia property guru, Andrew Winter. The show aired with great success and in 2018, Love It or List It Australia, returns in 2018.
Neale doesn’t sit still for a moment.