Greg Davies


Umpire: Alex Horne


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


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 or Mike Wozniak bursting a haemorrhoid trying to fart.

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.

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'.


"All the information's on the task."


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
2020 Richard Herring
Spring 2021 Sarah Kendall
Autumn 2021 Morgana Robinson

Champion of Champions

2017 Josh Widdicombe

New Year Treat

2021 Shirley Ballas
2022 Adrian Chiles


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
  • Daisy May Cooper
  • Johnny Vegas
  • Katherine Parkinson
  • Mawaan Rizwan
  • Richard Herring
2021 (New Year Treat)
  • John Hannah
  • Krishnan Guru-Murthy
  • Nicola Coughlan
  • Rylan Clark-Neal
  • Shirley Ballas
2021 (Spring series)
  • Charlotte Ritchie
  • Jamali Maddix
  • Lee Mack
  • Mike Wozniak
  • Sarah Kendall
2021 (Autumn series)
2022 (New Year Treat)
Champion of Champions
  • Ed Gamble
  • Kerry Godliman
  • Liza Tarbuck
  • Lou Sanders
  • Richard Herring


Alex Horne, who also wrote and produced the show.

Title music

The Horne Section.

Incidental music by Dru Masters.


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 pre-watershed edition of the series 12 premiere was aired by accident in that slot, while the following four episodes - as a result of residual technical errors following an activation of the fire suppression systems at Red Bee Media's broadcast centre - aired without subtitles.

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 off to CW Seed and replaced by Supernatural reruns.

Kerry Godliman, Katherine Ryan and Alan Davies covered for Katy Wix, Katy Wix and Jonnie Peacock in series nine, episode five, series nine, episode six and the 2022 New Year Treat respectively.

After Greg and Alex, the contestants with the most appearances are Kerry Godliman and Alan Davies, with eleven appearances.

Web links

Dave webpage

Wikipedia entry

British Comedy Guide entry

taskmaster.info, a database about Taskmaster around the world.

See also

We Need Answers

Weaver's Week review


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