TV discussion

Dave sets task of making four more series of Taskmaster

Fresh off its Best Entertainment Show win at this year’s Broadcast Awards, it was announced today that UKTV has ordered four more series of BAFTA and EMMY-nominated Taskmaster from Avalon for its award-winning comedy and entertainment channel, Dave. Greg Davies persists as the all-powerful Taskmaster alongside his ever-loyal assistant Alex Horne for series six, seven, eight and nine, of the UKTV Original series.

The four-series commission, each extended to 10 episodes (10×60’), follows Taskmaster’s continued success in 2017 becoming UKTV Play’s most popular programme of the year and one of Dave’s highest rating original commissions.

The highly anticipated sixth series, which will air in the spring, welcomes five new competitors willing to take on the fiendish and frivolous challenges. Alice Levine (BBC Radio 1, My Dad Wrote A Porno), Asim Chaudhry (People Just Do Nothing), Liza Tarbuck (Upstart Crow), Russell Howard (The Russell Howard Hour), and Tim Vine (Not Going Out) will all compete to lift the hallowed hollow head-of-Greg-Davies-trophy.

Taskmaster, created by Alex Horne, is a comedy game show where the omnipotent Taskmaster (Greg Davies), with the help of his meek assistant (Alex Horne), sets out to test the wiles, wit and wisdom of five hyper competitive comedians through a series of ingenuous and ingenious challenges. With the chance to be crowned show champion, rivalry amongst the comedians is encouraged, dodgy tactics rewarded and bribes accepted in what is the most hard-fought and ridiculous comedy entertainment show on TV.

Alex Horne, executive producer and creator of Taskmaster, said: “Once more I’m surprised by and indebted to the hitherto-respected performers who have agreed to put their careers on hold to do this stupid thing, and to UKTV for allowing it to happen 9 (NINE!) times. Also, for the record, I’m well over six foot tall.”

Taskmaster most recently received a 2017 BAFTA nomination for Best Comedy and Comedy Entertainment Programme, a 2017 International Emmy nomination in the category of non-scripted entertainment and won the award for Best Entertainment Series at the Broadcast Awards 2018. Taskmaster has also been nominated for RTS, Broadcasting Press Guild and Broadcast Digital Awards. Following five hit series, UKTV commissioned a two-part special Taskmaster: Champion of Champions which reunited the victors from the previous series and saw Josh Widdicombe crowned the ultimate Taskmaster victor. Airing in December, the special was one of Dave’s highest rating programmes with a consolidated audience of over 900k.

Richard Watsham, director of commissioning at UKTV, said: “I couldn’t be more proud of Taskmaster and Alex Horne’s brilliant creation.

“Once in a while a startlingly original bit of TV comes along that redefines an entire genre and I’m just pleased it’s on Dave. Can’t wait to work with Andy Devonshire and the fantastic team at Avalon on another 40 episodes which will enable us to keep booking the very best comic talent both new and established.”

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