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.


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
Autumn 2023 Sam Campbell

Champion of Champions

2017 Josh Widdicombe
2022 Richard Herring
2023 Dara Ó Briain

New Year Treat

2021 Shirley Ballas
2022 Adrian Chiles
2023 Lenny Rush



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)

2024 (New Year Treat)

  • Deborah Meaden
  • Kojey Radical
  • Lenny Rush
  • Steve Backshall
  • Zoe Ball

2024 (Champion of Champions)

2024 (Spring series)

  • Joanne McNally
  • John Robins
  • Nick Mohammed
  • Sophie Willan
  • Steve Pemberton

Key moments

Some of the most memorable solo tasks included Josh Widdicombe counting the numbers of beans, spaghetti hoops and grains of rice in their respective containers during the ad breaks, Mel Giedroyc trying to hid a huge inflatable ball on a football pitch from Alex, Mark Watson tasked to sending 150 anonymous cheeky text messages every day for five months but fell short of two, to which he received no points and Tim Vine being given £150 to buy stuff from a stationary shop to make an outfit in 10 minutes, not only that, his opponents then had to guess what pun Tim has gone for on his stationary outfit for an extra point, not surprisingly, they didn't get it right. But the most memorable solo task of them all has to be the one that backfired on the Taskmasters themselves when Aisling Bea who was given a golden pineapple and being tasked to take a bunch of photos of it in esteemed company for six months, but instead of doing the task herself, she actually sent the pineapple to her mother who has been doing the task for her for the whole duration.

At times during a task, an additional rule would be instated for one person for more fun punishment, such as Rob Beckett being tasked to spend a task trying to sweat in an eggcup while talking in an accent other than his own, Joe Lycett tasked to paint Greg on a canvas without touching the circular mat while also smiling throughout the task or Mark Watson taking a lit candle on a cupcake to the caravan with obstacles in the way while not saying any words that contain the letters from the word Taskmaster.

There were a number of occasions when contestants would be disqualified for a specific reason. They could either be an honest accident like with Joe Wilkinson's potato-gate incident where he threw the potato in the pot in the fastest time with 14.3 seconds, but was quickly crushed when during a replay, the front end of his shoe slightly touched the mat, Greg gave his opponents a chance for Joe to keep his points, but they were unable to come to a unanimous decision and Joe's attempt was null and void. Or they could be a dishonest cheater like Dave Gorman who cheated not once but twice during his tenure as a contestant on the show. His first cheating occurrence was sticking the pea inside the tennis racket and then pretended to hit the pea with the racket, his second occurrence happened when transferring water from one bucket to another, he poured his cup of tea inside the second bucket, but this happened straight after when the challenge finished.

The final task of the fifth series when both teams had to come up with a song for a stranger with Nish Kumar and Mark Watson's really catchy upbeat track and Bob Mortimer, Aisling Bea and Sally Phillips' less than affectionate tribute to an unwitting victim called Rosalind…

The entirety of the seventh series, with James Acaster's many breakdowns during his tenure on the show, Rhod Gilbert being, well, Rhod Gilbert, and Jessica Knappett falling off the stage during a live task. There are so many memorable moments in that series to list down, we could be here for months. You can find the whole series playlist here on YouTube.

During a live task on the ninth series, Ed Gamble lost his marbles on the "Draw the same drawing alongside the person behind you without communication" task when David Baddiel decided to carry on drawing as Ed left his drawing finger behind David's back. If that wasn't enough, the following year on the tenth series, there was a similar drawing task with Daisy May Cooper drawing three lines of an animal and Richard Herring trying to guess what it is and every time he was wrong, Daisy got increasingly frustrated as she was drawing three more lines after that and ultimately when they ran out of guesses, Daisy let it all out on Richard and everyone else just losing it laughing.


"All the information's on the task."


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 and Dara Ó Briain are actually the only owners of Greg's whole body. It could have been worse; Mae Martin was not available when the third Champion of Champions was filmed, and so their place was taken by that series' runner up Kiell Smith-Bynoe.

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

UKTV Play programme page

Channel 4 programme page

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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