Greg Davies

Rose Matafeo (Junior Taskmaster)


Umpire: Alex Horne

Mike Wozniak (Junior Taskmaster)


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; ignoring adjustments for COVID-19, about all they changed was the credit sequence.

Pre-watershed editions were made of each episode, which wasn't too much trouble for the most part. When aired on E4, these editions were aired as Taskmaster Bleeped. These evidently went down well, so much so that Channel 4 announced a Junior version, with Rose Matafeo and Mike Wozniak doing Davies' and Horne's jobs.

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. Also from that series: Greg taking James Acaster to one side after an outburst after he struggled to open Phil Wang's "confusing little box".

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
Spring 2022 Sophie Duker
Autumn 2022 Dara Ó Briain
Spring 2023 Mae Martin

Champion of Champions

2017 Josh Widdicombe
2022 Richard Herring

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)
2019 (Spring series)
2019 (Autumn series)
  • 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)
2022 (Spring series)
Champion of Champions
  • Ed Gamble
  • Kerry Godliman
  • Liza Tarbuck
  • Lou Sanders
  • Richard Herring
2022 (Autumn series)
2023 (New Year Treat)
2023 (Spring series)
  • Frankie Boyle
  • Ivo Graham
  • Jenny Eclair
  • Kiell Smith-Bynoe
  • Mae Martin
2023 (Autumn series)


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.

One of Alice Levine's task attempts had to be so badly censored that the censored version had to add a line to explain just how much had been taken out. Way to spoil the illusion.

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 contestant with the most appearances is Kerry Godliman, with twelve appearances.

For the first series, the trophy was a bog-standard off-the-shelf trophy, while subsequent series winners took home a golden replica of Greg's head. Champion of Champions episodes forked over a replica of the rest of Greg's body. Josh Widdicombe won the first series and the first Champion of Champions series, meaning that - as of the 2022 episode - Richard Herring is actually the only owner of Greg's body.

The first half of series twelve suffered from a number of broadcasting failures; the Bleeped version of its premiere was aired by accident on first broadcast, while episodes two to five aired without subtitles as a result of residual technical errors following an activation of the fire suppression systems at Red Bee Media's broadcast centre.

As of the first fifteen series and excluding New Year Treats, Romesh Ranganathan, Joe Wilkinson, Sara Pascoe, Aisling Bea, Nish Kumar, Phil Wang, Judi Love, Frankie Boyle are the only people to never win an episode. Wang's, Love's, and Boyle's failures were that bit more abject than the others as they lost ten episodes rather than six, five, five, eight and eight episodes respectively.

In 2023, a pilot was shot for a culinary version, with five celebrity contestants competing to please series nine winner Ed Gamble. They called it Foodmaster.

Web links

Dave webpage

Channel 4 site

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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