The show might be moving from Dave to Channel 4, but it won’t lose any of the insanity or absurdity that’s come to define it
By Laura Rutkowski, Staff Writer
Greg Davies and Little Alex Horne are back for series 10 of the hit show. If you’re expecting a very different setup due to social distancing measures, 95% of the tasks were filmed prior to lockdown, which means only 5% of the tasks will have slightly different rules to take safety measures into account.
Each episode features pre-filmed tasks, which are watched by the five comedians who completed them, alongside Taskmaster Davies and assistant Horne in the studio. They’ll still be judged, just with no studio audience to hear the results, and a live task will be filmed on stage at the end of the episode as normal.
Here’s everything you need to know as Taskmaster takes on Channel 4…
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, Horne, who created the series, stars as the assistant to Taskmaster Davies. Five comedians are put through their paces as they carry out tasks, all of which are just as bizarre as each other. Past examples include throwing a tea bag into a mug from the farthest distance, ordering a pizza without using specific words and performing a miracle!
The programme and format has been sold to 106 countries, with Belgium, Spain, New Zealand, Norway and Denmark getting in on the shenanigans. The game show is particularly popular in Sweden, where it won Programme of the Year at the 2019 Kristallen Awards (television awards ceremony), and Finland, where the first episode became one of the top ten most watched shows in the country.
As well as being a hit on TV, Taskmaster has an official book, Taskmaster: 200 Extraordinary Tasks For Ordinary People, written by Horne, and a board game.
Since 2015, Taskmaster has run for nine series on UKTV’s Dave, where its audience grew by 80% from series 1 to series 9, but series 10 to 15 will air on Channel 4. Channel 4 passed on the chance to pick up Taskmaster in 2015, something the broadcaster brilliantly pokes fun of in the trailer above.
Horne confirmed the news at the end of 2019 with a tweet: “Hello! Taskmaster is moving. To Channel 4. I promise the show won’t change & there’ll be the same amount of personal and professional humiliation. Thank you to everyone at UKTV for looking after us so brilliantly for 9 series. V excited. But now I have to go and clean the house.”
BAFTA-winning actors Daisy May Cooper (This Country) and Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd) join comedians Johnny Vegas, Mawaan Rizwan and Richard Herring as they throw their hats in the ring to take on the outlandish and hilarious challenges.
At this year’s virtual BAFTAs, Horne teased what we can expect: “All five bring something to it – Johnny Vegas and Daisy May Cooper are sat next to each other and they do have a chemistry which I've not seen before on the show, it’s quite extraordinary.”
He continued, “At the other end, you’ve got Katherine Parkinson and Richard Herring trying to cope with what’s going on around them. Mawaan Rizwan is wearing the best clothes we’ve ever had and I think steals the show many times.”
At the 2020 Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards, Taskmaster took home the Best Comedy Entertainment Programme Award. It was previously nominated in the category in 2017 and 2018. Third time’s a charm for this well-deserved win!
#HomeTasking was launched on the Taskmaster YouTube channel, where Horne set fans of the show a task at 9am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on his Twitter page. Entries were scored, with a winner announced each week with help from Davies. From March until June, 125 countries tuned in for clever ways to pass the time.
When is Channel 4’s Taskmaster on TV?
Taskmaster airs on Channel 4 HD (CH 104/141) on Thursdays at 9pm, with the first episode screening on October 15th. It is also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > All 4.
The ten-part series will subsequently air ever week until Thursday 17th December.
TV channels: Channels, content and features available depend on your chosen package. Channel line-ups and content are subject to change at any time and to regional variations.
HD: HD TV set, V HD Box, TiVo box or Virgin TV V6 connected with HDMI cables required for HD channels. Number of inclusive HD channels depends on package.
Catch Up TV: Catch Up TV content available for up to 7 days or up to 30 days after broadcast, depending on content.