Taskmaster is one of those shows you really have to watch to get. Sure, it's essentially five comedians, competing against each other by taking on a series of ridiculous tasks. But that doesn't really do the show justice.
What makes the show unique and such an enjoyable watch is how they go about those tasks and the chemistry between the five comedians.
A brand new series means a brand new set of comedians. The first series saw Frank Skinner, Josh Widdicombe, Roisin Conaty, Romesh Ranganathan and Tim Key each compete for the title of Taskmaster 2015.
This time around they've opted for four comedians, plus Richard Osman - a joke they don't shy away from in the opening episode. Joining the Pointless presenter for the second series are Doc Brown, Jon Richardson, Katherine Ryan and Joe Wilkinson.
The Taskmaster cottage remains the base as the feckless five attempt to conceal pineapples, rescue cats and hurl potatoes whilst they take to the peaks of massive man-made mounds, wade through rivers and perform before civic royalty in Chesham’s Town Hall. Up for grabs are the quintet’s own possessions from their Most Important Documents to their Trendiest Clothing and Coolest Blue Thing, all of which the episode winner takes home after the uproarious live task featuring all five scrapping it out at once.
As the Taskmaster, Greg Davies will again set a series of stupefying tasks to this brand-new group of comedians with Alex Horne assisting as his right-hand-man, coaxing the hopeful champions to show their creativity and conniving competitiveness.
Last series, highlights included filling an eggcup with tears., emptying a bathtub as quickly as possible and making a Swede blush, but this year it's all about getting a potato in a hole. No, really. I never thought getting a potato into a hole would be so entertaining and dramatic in equal measure.
I don’t want to ruin what happens, but when you’re watching the first episode of Taskmaster, and that task in particular, not all is as it seems. And when you find out why, your jaw will fly open, and it’ll remain open for some while!
Of course episode one isn’t all about chucking a potato in a hole, there are other tasks too, such as placing three exercise balls on top of a yoga mat, placed on top of a hill, getting information from a Swede and packing for their holiday.
I know what you’re thinking, that last one doesn’t sound that difficult, but when you take into account that all their items must either be in their hand luggage or worn on their body, then you’ll find it’s a little more challenging than you’d think!
Nursery rhymes are the flavour for episode two as Jon Richardson “treats” us to a disturbing take on Three Blind Mice as he strives to create the perfect music video and you’ll also find out why Doc Brown isn’t an egg man.
For episode three, the rivals find themselves confronted with an intimidating man in gold chains, The Mayor of Chesham, in an episode that is not to be missed!
A third series has already been commissioned. In fact, it's already been filmed! And whilst the line-up hasn't officially been released, a quick google will bring up next year's comedians and they are all comedians in series three, no Richard Osman's.
Although speaking at the launch for the new series, Alex Horne who originally created the show in 2010 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, addressed having more non-comedians on the show for future series and said “It was interesting having Richard Osman this series, as he was the first non-comic and I feel that there is room for that. You could have four comedians and Gabby Logan. There’s room for that now! I want Gabby Logan on the show."
So Gabby, if you’re reading this, get in touch with Dave as there’s a spot on series four of Taskmaster with your name on it. Following on from Alex’s comments, Greg Davies added:
“It’ll be really interesting when we move away from comedians, which we inevitably will, I would think. Well maybe not move away from, but include people who are not necessarily comedians. I’m essentially repeating what Alex said. And I’m doing it less eloquently (Laughs)"
I didn’t expect to enjoy Taskmaster as much as I did the first time around, so you can imagine my delight when I heard that it was recommissioned for not one, but two more series.
I did have some worries though when I heard that there will be a new line-up of comedians each time. What if they don’t get on? What if they don’t enjoy it? Because what made the series such a joy to watch the first time around was the chemistry/competitiveness that the five comedians had, as well as the ridiculous tasks of course.
But fear not, because Dave have absolutely pulled it out the bag yet again and picked a terrific mix of people who are each so different, but unite in stupidity. And let’s not forget the loving/loathing relationship between Greg Davies and Alex Horne which thankfully continues.
So it’s for these reasons that I can’t wait to see the rest of the series, and indeed series three!