By ccarter @corrin80
With episode names like 'Hollowing Out A Baguette', 'Residue Round The Hoof' & my personal favourite 'Little Polythene Grief Cave', I wasn't sure what exactly 'Taskmaster' was about. Late to the party I started watching from series 4 as a new hero of mine, Joe Lycett was among the contestants. Within minutes of watching episode 1 ('A Fat Bald White Man') I loved it. The idea is straight forward enough - for the 5 contestants to carry out a variety of tasks over the series to gain points. The overall winner of the series wins (in his words) a near exact replica of my saggy old head. That's the 'saggy old head' of the Taskmaster - comedian and actor Greg Davies who judges the contestants efforts. Devising the tasks along with show creator Alex Horne who is both assistant to the Taskmaster and also umpires the challenges. It's ridiculous & hilarious. The contestants are comedians so watching how their off the wall brains take on the same task in a variety of weird & wonderful ways is also strangely fascinating.
After laughing my way through series 4 I had to watch the previous 3 series to see what I had missed. Tasks including making a coconut look like a business man, conceal a pineapple on your person & a straight forward game of hide & seek it's simply brilliant fun. Much needed light relief to enjoy & laugh until you cry for an hour each week. Billed as a gameshow, it's more 'Shooting Stars' than a regular gameshow - contestants should be playing to become champion but it doesn't matter who wins, they are all trying to simply entertain themselves & the viewers & pretty much every time they manage to. The manor in which Greg Davies dishes out the points is also irrelevant but hilarious, with one effort simply being described as 'horse shit'.
The show has gone from strength to strength becoming Dave channels most viewed show. After watching every series I wasn't sure who they could book for series 5 to match what we've already enjoyed. It was another triumph, possibly even my favourite series. Stand out contestants for series 5 were Aisling Bea, Sally Phillips & of course Bob Mortimer. Bob's mind doesn't work like anybody else's and the results were glorious. The final episode & team challenge to write & perform a song about a lady called Rosalind is my TV moment of the year. Both songs by both teams were quite frankly incredible.
I might be a little late to be telling you to watch this show but they are all available on Dave & UKTVPlay. A two-part 'Champion of Champions' special will air from December 13th for the winner of each series to battle it out. So without giving any more away I urge everyone to watch them. From the enthusiasm of Mel Giedroyc, the deadpan no-nonsense approach of Paul Chowdhry or the wonderful wierdness of Noel Fielding it has become my 'go to' show - the show you can happily re-watch when you just want to laugh. It's my new current favourite show & hopefully will be yours too.
'Taskmaster: Champion of Champions' starts Wednesday 13th December on Dave.