Your task is simple: watch series 9 of Taskmaster. And… GO!
Wednesday 4 September, Dave/HD (CH 127/227). Also available for 7 days in Catch Up > Channels > Dave
“What?” we hear you cry. “Taskmaster’s back already?!” You’d better believe it. Just two months after the series 8 finale, series 9 is here with more wild and wacky requests and even more hilarious and entertaining guests. In short, anything goes as comedians are asked to complete absurd tasks, which are then scored by the Taskmaster himself, Greg Davies (The Inbetweeners).
Hoping to get their hands on the trophy (a big, golden representation of Davies’ face) are Olivier Award-nominated comedian, author and presenter David Baddiel; groundbreaking stand-up and writer/star of BAFTA-winning series Getting On Jo Brand; Mock The Week regular Ed Gamble; comedian and Stath Lets Flats actor Katy Wix; and 2018 Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Rose Matafeo.
The Taskmaster House opens its doors for ten episodes, with Davies and his right-hand man “Little” Alex Horne casting their watchful eye over the unpredictable competition. Many have stepped over the threshold – some exceeding expectations, others crashing and burning. Let’s recap previous contestants’ best bits and find out what the new crop of contestants have to live up to…
Tim Key, series 1
As one Reddit user put it: “His combination of earnest competition, occasional cheating, cheeky demeanour and stylish tracksuit really seals the deal for me.” Key acts as “task consultant” for the show, so maybe that gives him an unfair advantage? Hey, it’s more important to be funny than fair on this show! He gained full points for creativity – like the time he told a stranger he was working on something for Comic Relief so they’d help him complete a task…
Noel Fielding, series 4
The out-there, eccentric Fielding was in many ways the perfect Taskmaster contestant, because he was always thinking outside the box and casting a creative eye on anything thrown his way. For the exotic sandwich challenge, he adorned Horne with pieces of bread and made him perform a sultry dance. Between that, his abstract yet strikingly accurate portrait of Davies and his uncanny resemblance to a banana, it’s no wonder the Bake Off presenter came out on top in series 4…
Romesh Ranganathan, series 1
When the participants were tasked with producing something that looks impressive in reverse, the greatest possible result was Ranganathan’s Tree Wizard. The song, the majesty of his moves, the WTF-ness of it all – just ingenious. If we leave some balloons out in our garden, is there any chance it’ll summon something so magical?
Sally Phillips, series 5
Please enjoy this wholesome content of Phillips laughing her way through Taskmaster. It’s infectious! She looked like she was having the best time and came across as just an all-round lovely person on the show, if occasionally unhinged and maniacal. Another Reddit user said her “enthusiastic, kind-hearted psychopathy was pretty glorious”.
Doc Brown, series 2
While we couldn’t include a clip of Doc Brown’s explicit rap rendition of the nursery rhyme “1 2 3 4 5, Once I Caught A Fish Alive”, just take our word for it that his revamp was... inventive and a bit bloody, to say the least. Now we can’t get it out of our head! “What’s your problem with fish, mate?” Davies asked afterwards. “I’m not a fish man,” Brown responded. Clearly.
Joe Wilkinson, series 2
To impress the Mayor of Chesham, Wilkinson treated him to 42 orange Calippos and an eight-pack. They do say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach… The bearded comic’s off-the-wall brand of humour delivered some of the biggest laughs, especially during his potato throw ordeal, when contestants had to get a potato in a golf hole without touching a surrounding mat.
For Wilkinson, it was a piece of cake and he simply threw it in in precisely 14.3 seconds, only for Davies to take it all away when a replay revealed the tip of his shoe was touching the mat. He went from crowing “I think that’s the best thing I’ve ever done” to begging “Please don’t take it away from me” faster than you can say “hole in one”.
Roisin Conaty, series 1
Horne told Digital Spy that Conaty was the worst contestant on the show “but also one of my favourites… She set a pretty low bar.” Her plan to get a boulder as far away as possible was foiled when there were no couriers who could pick it up in time. Eventually she resorted to just rolling it… better luck next time, eh Roisin?
Bob Mortimer, series 5
Everything Mortimer touches turns to gold. Not only did the series 5 victor win us over in this show (by, among other tasks, creating a bizarrely ingenious banana-based flip book and successfully making a coconut look like a businessman), he’s been winning us over for years – in Shooting Stars, The Smell Of Reeves And Mortimer and, most recently, in Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing. For that, we are crowning him the ultimate Taskmaster Champion.
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Image credits: Taskmaster © UKTV / Simon Webb