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The Block Redemption's Chloe and Ben reveal: 'the truth about us'

They aren’t a couple, but these Block buddies do make a formidable team

By Debbie Harrison
Chloe Hes and Ben Speedy have been through life-changing experiences since we last saw them on our screens on the The Block NZ in 2018, with a baby and a world trip. But let's get one thing straight – they did them separately.
"No, we're not together!" Ben hoots. "People always ask if anyone from the girls' team got together with anyone from the boys on our season. There was a little flirtation and fun, but we were all just really good mates."
Nodding, Chloe adds, "The Block isn't somewhere where people fall in love. Gib dust in your nose, you haven't showered in days, you're exhausted… You're certainly not your best."
However, the firm friendship Chloe, 29, and Ben, 28, forged set them in good stead for The Block NZ: Redemption. Chloe's former teammate and buddy Emily Blanchett was out of contention because she'd just welcomed her baby daughter Penelope. Instead, fellow Aucklander Ben stepped up and Chloe is grateful to have him by her side as she navigates being away from her son Noah for the first time.
"I'm so happy to be doing this with Ben," she smiles. "He's out-the-gate fun and has great energy. We've found we balance each other out – if I'm feeling flat, Ben will bring the positive vibes and vice versa."
The teammates have seen each other at their best and worst.
Chloe's upfront about her struggles with being away from her two-year-old son Noah, who was born a month before we went into our first national lockdown.
Because it was just Chloe, her partner Angus and Noah for so long, the poor wee lad wasn't used to other people and was clingy for ages. He's slowly come out of his shell, and now Chloe says the affectionate little blondie is confident at daycare and happy to stay with family members by himself.
Knowing he's loving his time at home with his dad makes it slightly easier for Chloe, but there are days where she questions being away from Noah.
"I'm doing surprisingly well, but there are really tough days in there," she admits. "I'm so happy when I get to see him, but it's also so hard. I want to give him my all, but I'm also so physically tired and exhausted at the end of the week. I cry when I leave him and it's hard to reset, but I know I'm doing this for my family. They're my motivation."
Chloe and Angus recently purchased their first home – a do-up in Palmerston North. They currently live in Auckland for Angus' army work, but they have plans to eventually move to the Bay of Plenty to be closer to family and hopefully have another baby. After eight years together, Chloe adds that she'd love to get married, but it's not on the cards right now.
"We're probably not in the right situation for it financially. For now, we're focused on raising our boy. Noah's definitely the best thing that's ever happened to us."
"He's really cool," Ben chips in. "A really friendly, happy little fella."
Chloe's partner Angus is looking after son Noah while she is filming.
While Chloe's been busy putting down roots, Ben has been off seeing the world. Following his season on The Block, where he and teammate Tom Waalkens came second, the childhood mates took part in a charity rally, driving from London to Mongolia in a Suzuki Swift they named Suzie.
"We travelled 35,000km through 31 countries over three months, raising $7000," he tells. "It was a great way to see the world and experience new cultures. Europe was great, but the trip really got fun once we hit Turkey and Iran.
"We got to experience parts of the world you hear terrible things about, but it was the best part of the trip. They were the nicest people. People with seemingly nothing were possibly the happiest people I've ever met and so generous. It was incredible."
Ben then landed a dream job at the United Arab Emirates Pavilion at the World Expo in Dubai, where he worked for two years, before the pandemic saw him pack up to head home. Back in Aotearoa, he's been busy working as design director for The Development Collective, putting his architectural degree to good use.
Taking part in a charity rally was a highlight for Ben.
When asked whether there's anyone special in his life, he responds, "I'm single and ready to mingle! Actually, I'm quite happy being single, but if I found the right girl…"
At this, Chloe suggests a stint on Married At First Sight.
"I'm going to sign him up," she giggles. "He should do more reality shows. Love Island? Dancing With The Stars? I can see him on that – he can do a good worm!"

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