It was announced today that multi-award winning broadcaster UKTV has ordered a fourth and fifth series of hit show Taskmaster from Avalon Television for its entertainment channel Dave. BAFTA-nominated GREG DAVIES will once again assume the role of the Taskmaster with show creator and 2014 Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee ALEX HORNE returning as his assistant. With each series increasing from five to eight episodes, the two series recommission (16 x 60”) comes after Taskmaster was nominated for Best Entertainment Programme at the 2016 Broadcast Awards. The series was 2015’s most watched commission on UKTV Play.
In each series the Taskmaster and his loyal assistant will judge five new unwitting comedians as they compete against each other with creativity, cunning and genius in a series of stupefying tasks. Series one was won by JOSH WIDDICOMBE, KATHERINE RYAN took home the series two crown, but with series three, starring AL MURRAY, DAVE GORMAN, SARA PASCOE, PAUL CHOWDHRY and ROB BECKETT, beginning on Tuesday October 4th, Katherine’s reign as Taskmaster champion will be short-lived.
HILARY ROSEN, Deputy Director of Commissioning at UKTV, said, “Greg and Alex are growing into an irresistible double act and it’s a joy to watch the tasks unfold on each of the series. I’m thrilled to commission not just one, but two new series for the channel and look forward to getting our next contestants lined up.”
JON THODAY, Joint Managing Director of Avalon Television, said: “We look forward to working with Dave on series four and five of Taskmaster – the channel is a brilliant home for entertainment shows and we really appreciate their continued support.”
ALEX HORNE, executive producer and creator of TASKMASTER, and the Taskmaster’s assistant said: “As the Taskmaster’s personal secretary and trainer I have been instructed to state that we’re both satisfied that a total of ten apparently intelligent comedians will be doing more stupid things stupidly for Mr Davies. The Taskmaster has even bought me a caravan so this time I will be constantly on site to watch the desperate attempts and report back, before he ignores me and judges them.”
STEVE NORTH, Dave General Manager, said: “Taskmaster just keeps getting bigger and better, I look forward to seeing what fresh hell Greg and Alex bring to the new unsuspecting contestants. It’s fantastic that we have built a show on Dave which has generated such a brilliant fanbase and viewers are genuinely excited to see what tasks Alex Horne’s genius mind comes up with every episode.”
An Avalon Television production, series four and five of Taskmaster is commissioned by Hilary Rosen, Deputy Director of Commissioning at UKTV and ordered by Richard Watsham, Director of Commissioning and Dave General Manager, Steve North. Executive Producers for the series are Alex Horne, Richard Allen-Turner, Rob Aslett, James Taylor, Jon Thoday, and Andy Devonshire (The Apprentice and The Great British Bake Off), who also acts as series director, and Hilary Rosen for UKTV. Andy Cartwright is series producer.
For more information please contact Lottie Robertshaw: Lottier@avalonuk.com 020 7598 7222
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Avalon Television
Taskmaster is produced in the UK by Avalon Television for UKTV’s Dave. Avalon Television is a completely independently owned production house operating out of New York, Los Angeles and London. Avalon Television are currently in production with: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO), Not Going Out (BBC One), Catastrophe (Channel 4), Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central (Comedy Central UK), Russell Howard & Mum: USA Road Trip (Comedy Central UK), Man Down (Channel 4), The Chris Ramsey Show (Comedy Central UK), Adam DeVine’s House Party (Comedy Central USA), Unspun With Matt Forde (Dave) and Workaholics (Comedy Central USA).
About Dave Sky 111/246, Virgin 128/194, Freeview 12, BT & TalkTalk 12 On demand on Sky, Virgin and UKTV Play
Dave’s had a haircut and shave in recent years as it grows from awkward teenager to fully-fledged commissioner of new and original shows. And it’s not just comedy these days but entertainment and even some knock-out live sport. Hit UKTV Original commissions include Taskmaster, Dave Gorman Modern Life is Goodish, Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled and Crackanory, all laden with the biggest names in British comedy. Dave enjoyed critical success with two series of Hoff the Record, a mockumentary ensemble comedy led by the living legend David Hasselhoff.
As well as home-grown delights Dave also goes stateside, cherry-picking cult US Shows including the sharp-witted and sharp-suited Suits and much-loved Parks and Recreation along with Emmy-nominated The Last Man on Earth. This all contributed to Dave’s award win at the 2016 Broadcast Digital Awards for Best Entertainment Channel.
Dave is the UK’s most watched non-PSB channel broadcasting to over 27 million people per month, and viewers continue to enjoy the ludicrously addictive American Pickers and UK remake of Storage Hunters. The channel continues to grow its original commissioning slate with political show Unspun With Matt Forde, Red Dwarf XI, Dara O Briain’s Go8Bit, fantasy comedy Zapped! and Celebrity Storage Hunters airing later this year.
UKTV is the biggest multichannel broadcaster in the UK. The award-winning independent has eleven imaginative brands – UKTV Play, Dave, W, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food. These include the two most popular non-PSB channels in the UK and account for 9.31% of the British commercial TV market. The company’s most recent financial results showed record-breaking year-end revenue of £319m and EBITDA of £82m. It invested £148m in programming and related launches last year, and is becoming an increasingly significant investor in UK creativity.
UKTV has a truly innovative model, curating brand-defining commissions, high-profile acquisitions and the very best of BBC, alongside programmes originally shown on ITV and Channel 4. The network embraces technology to deliver inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat, Amazon Fire and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories.
Now celebrating its 23rd year at the forefront of digital television, UKTV – an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) – is proud to be the only British television broadcaster in The Sunday Times top 100 companies list.