Taskmaster

(Participants: https://www.comedy.co.uk/tv/news/6089/taskmaster-special-line-up/; not convinced enough that this'll air new year's day to say it)
(Participants: https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/entertainment/2020-12-17/taskmaster-series-11-lee-mack-line-up/)
 
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*[[Rylan Clark-Neal]]
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*Ed Gamble
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*Kerry Godliman
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*Liza Tarbuck
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*Lou Sanders
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*Richard Herring
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*Charlotte Ritchie
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*Jamali Maddix
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*[[Lee Mack]]
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*Mike Wozniak
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*Sarah Kendall
== Inventor ==
== Inventor ==

Current revision as of 22:52, 17 December 2020

Contents

Host

Greg Davies

Co-hosts

Umpire: Alex Horne

Broadcast

Avalon Television for Dave, 28 July 2015 to 6 November 2019 (72 episodes in 9 series + 2 specials)

Avalon Television for Channel 4, 15 October 2020 to present

Synopsis

Comedians are given very strange things to do.

Alex Horne's mind is a strange place. All of the usual elements are there, but they're all mixed up. He makes hot toothpaste pies. He plays golf with hen's eggs. He draws horses while riding horses.

But a problem shared is a problem halved, so Horne has invited some comedy friends to perform these surreal dreams. Greg Davies hosts the programme, ranks the performances, and the best player over the programme (and over the series) is the winner.

The players from Series 1: Ranganathan, Skinner, Conaty, Widdicombe, Key (seated) Davies and Horne

Taskmaster is theatre of the absurd, sensible people doing insensible things. The atmosphere was heightened by the filming location - almost all the tasks took place in a hired cottage, decorated as a shrine to the Taskmaster. There was no narration over the films, just the natural sound of the players talking.

Fans of bizarre television flocked to this show, and it gained audience as the first series went on, and as each subsequent series aired. Taskmaster turned into a massive hit for Dave, their first since Argumental about five years earlier. After five years, during which the format was honed to perfection, UKTV's contract expired and the show went up for new bids. Channel 4 bought the rights; we'll have to see what Taskmaster is like on its new home.

Key moments

The blatant I'm-only-doing-this-because-the-recommission-of-my-show-depends-on-it apathy of Dave Gorman's performance.

Any episode where a participant is subjected to extra punishment, such as Josh Widdicombe being asked to count the numbers of beans, spaghetti hoops and grains of rice in their respective containers or Rob Beckett being asked to spend a task talking in an accent other than his own.

Nish Kumar getting fed up with one of the live tasks and throwing a coconut at the Taskmaster's head and promptly being disqualified. Mind you, the highlight of that series was Bob Mortimer, Aisling Bea and Sally Phillips' less than affectionate tribute to an unwitting victim called Rosalind…

Rhod Gilbert using his prize tasks to embarrass Davies, especially when he gets Greg's mother involved.

Catchphrases

"All the information's on the task."

Champions

2015 Josh Widdicombe
Summer 2016 Katherine Ryan
Autumn 2016 Rob Beckett
Spring 2017 Noel Fielding
Autumn 2017 Bob Mortimer
Spring 2018 Liza Tarbuck
Autumn 2018 Kerry Godliman
Spring 2019 Lou Sanders
Autumn 2019 Ed Gamble

Champion of Champions

2017 Josh Widdicombe

Participants

2015
2016 (Summer series)
2016 (Autumn series)
2017 (Spring series)
2017 (Autumn series)
Champion of Champions
  • Josh Widdicombe
  • Katherine Ryan
  • Rob Beckett
  • Noel Fielding
  • Bob Mortimer
2018 (Spring series)
2018 (Autumn series)
  • James Acaster
  • Jessica Knappett
  • Kerry Godliman
  • Phil Wang
  • Rhod Gilbert
2019 (Spring series)
2019 (Autumn series)
  • David Baddiel
  • Ed Gamble
  • Jo Brand
  • Katy Wix (but see Trivia)
  • Rose Matafeo
2020
  • Daisy May Cooper
  • Johnny Vegas
  • Katherine Parkinson
  • Mawaan Rizwan
  • Richard Herring
New Year Treat
  • John Hannah
  • Krishnan Guru-Murthy
  • Nicola Coughlan
  • Rylan Clark-Neal
  • Shirley Ballas
Champion of Champions
  • Ed Gamble
  • Kerry Godliman
  • Liza Tarbuck
  • Lou Sanders
  • Richard Herring
2021
  • Charlotte Ritchie
  • Jamali Maddix
  • Lee Mack
  • Mike Wozniak
  • Sarah Kendall

Inventor

Alex Horne, who also wrote and produced the show.

Title music

The Horne Section.

Incidental music by Dru Masters.

Trivia

Based on a stage show at the Edinburgh Festival in 2010 and 2011.

In early series, judgement was pronounced at the Clapham Grand theatre. Later series used a proper studio set.

Series 1 participant Tim Key was retained for future series as a Task Consultant.

Pre-watershed editions were made of each episode, which wasn't too much trouble for the most part. However one of Alice Levine's task attempts had to be so badly censored they had to add a line to explain just how much had been taken out. Way to spoil the illusion. When aired on E4, these editions were aired as Taskmaster Bleeped.

The barely concealed look of glee on Horne's face after successfully predicting that someone, namely Ed Gamble, would answer the task 'Say a letter of the alphabet' with 'a letter of the alphabet'.

Just as they had done with Penn & Teller: Fool Us, The CW bought the eighth series in 2020 with a view to producing a remake. It lasted one episode before being hauled on to CW Seed and replaced by Supernatural reruns.

After Greg and Alex, the contestant with the most appearances is Kerry Godliman, with eleven appearances; ten in series seven, and one in series nine, episode five after covering for Katy Wix when she was ill. Katherine Ryan covered for Wix in episode six of that series.

Web links

Dave webpage

Wikipedia entry

British Comedy Guide entry

See also

We Need Answers

Weaver's Week review

Feedback

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