ALAN DAVIES – DESIREE BURCH – GUZ KHAN – MORGANA ROBINSON – VICTORIA COREN MITCHELL
Embargo: Thursday 20th May 10:05pm – In the wake of another heroically fought task tournament, BAFTA winning and International Emmy nominated Taskmaster has revealed a new host of comedy minds signing up for a fresh round of surreal challenges, placing themselves under the scrutiny of Taskmaster Greg Davies, and the watchful eye of his obedient assistant Little Alex Horne. The news arrives as the series 11 champion is crowned in the finale episode of the critically-acclaimed show.
The five brave candidates limbering up for an assault course of absurdity are: comedian, writer, and actor Alan Davies (QI, BBC Two); comedian, writer and actor Desiree Burch (Live At The Apollo, BBC One); BAFTA nominated comedian Guz Khan (Man Like Mobeen, BBC Three); BAFTA winning impressionist and actor Morgana Robinson (The Morgana Show, Channel 4); writer, presenter and professional poker player Victoria Coren Mitchell (Only Connect, BBC Two). This quintet eagerly await their chance to impress the Taskmaster who will deliver his merciless verdicts on their efforts before administering points and awarding the ultimate prize in entertainment, and all time; a gold representation of his own head. As ever, Greg’s right-hand man and stats keeper, Alex Horne, will be diligently taking notes, recording times and offering very little assistance.
Set to air later this year and produced by Avalon, 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, while Andy Cartwright is Series Producer. Commissioned for Channel 4 by Head of Entertainment, Phil Harris and Head of Live Events, Tom Beck.
Transmission details to be revealed in due course
RECENT CRITICAL PRAISE FOR TASKMASTER
“Taskmaster is the show we need right now” ★★★★ Anita Singh, The Daily Telegraph
“Charming, batshit, hilarious…That something so pointless, so silly, so endlessly daft should exist is just delightful” ★★★★ Lucy Mangan, The Guardian
“Taskmaster’s 11th series is set to be an hour of gleeful absurdity we can look forward to on a weekly basis” ★★★★ Lauren Morris, Radio Times Online
“I wish I had discovered it earlier as it’s sublimely silly and funny” ★★★★★ Deborah Ross, The Mail on Sunday
“The funniest show on television” Luke Holland, The Guardian
“Greg and Alex make a strong double act… on screen they have natural rhythm” ★★★★★ Christopher Stevens, The Daily Mail
“The funniest double act on television… Taskmaster is one of TV’s most refreshing comedies. It’s nonsensical, silly and different from anything else on TV” Frances Taylor, Radio Times
“Taskmaster is a welcome dose of fun” ★★★★ Christopher Stevens Mail Online
“Anyone new to Taskmaster will quickly get the idea of its sublime silliness” ★★★★★ The Mail On Sunday
“This cheering show chimes deeply with the current need to make your own fun” Victoria Segal, The Sunday Times
“Brilliantly bonkers… this show will be the most joyous hour of your week” Sara Wallis, The Daily Mirror
“the beauty of Taskmaster has always been its winning format” Ian Hyland, The Daily Mirror
“genuinely laugh out loud… Taskmaster is one of TV comedy’s true gems and rarely anything but a pure joy” The Sun
“Surreal, downright silly and the most fun to be had on TV” Veronica Lee, The I
“it’s still the same delightful, daft show” ★★★★★ Steven Perkins, TV Times Magazine
“The funniest show on TV? Probably” Ammar Kalia, Guardian Guide
“More gold-standard Bafta-winning nonsense” Joe Clay, The Times
“From the beginning its clear that this season… will be a winner. Proper laugh-out-loud TV” The Daily Telegraph
“As ever, creator Alex Horne and Taskmaster Greg Davies fashion great humour from abject failure” Eaun Ferguson, The Observer
“Still one of the most inventive- and definitely the most reliably funny- programme on TV” Total TV Guide
“It places a smile on your face… very funny” David Butcher, Radio Times
“the most entertaining comedy talent show on TV” Keith Watson, Metro
“Huge fun” Dominic Maxwell, The Times
“Inventively silly… great fun” Gerrard Gilbert, The I
“hilarious as usual” Emily Baker, The I
“The hilarity still comes in waves” Lynn Gibson, Inside Soap
“Extraordinary and hilarious” Jennifer Kyte, Sunday Express
★★★★ Mike Ward, Daily Star
“an entertaining return of a joyous show” ★★★★ Steve Bennett, Chortle
“the novelty game show that struck comedy gold” The Mail on Sunday
“It’s big boisterous fun” The Daily Telegraph
“legendary” ★★★★★ Kay Ribeiro, Heat
“as inspired as ever” James Walton, The Spectator
“impressive” ★★★★ Boyd Hilton, Heat
“weird and wonderful” ★★★★★ Mike Ward, Daily Star
“silly and brilliant” ★★★★ Tessa Jones, Daily Mail
“uniquely brilliant” Mike Ward, Daily Express
“TV’s most anarchic laugh riot” Brian McIver, Yahoo Entertainment
For more information please contact:
Florrie Sheehan at Avalon: email@example.com
Kate Conway at Channel 4: KConway@Channel4.co.uk
Notes to Editors:
- Taskmaster is a BAFTA winning and International Emmy nominated comedy game show originally created by Alex Horne. Greg Davies stars as the all-powerful “Taskmaster” who, with the help of his loyal assistant Horne, sets out to test the wiles, wit and wisdom of five comedians through a series of strange and surreal challenges in what is the most hard-fought and ridiculous comedy entertainment format on TV.
- 105 episodes have been produced in the UK so far, with a further 33 ordered by Channel 4 as part of a landmark six season deal in 2020. Series 10 – 15 air on Channel 4 from Autumn 2020, following nine record-breaking series on UKTV’s Dave.
- The show enjoyed its best performance on record with it’s Channel 4 launch which reached 3.9 million consolidated views after the first episode, winning the majority share of young viewers 16 – 34’s and making it the best-performing new entertainment show of this year (Broadcast, 2020). Since the programme’s initial launch in 2015 on UKTV’s Dave, Taskmaster’s audience has grown by 80% from series one to series nine.
- Taskmaster was crowned Best Comedy Entertainment at the BAFTAs 2020 and won Best Entertainment Programme at the Broadcast Awards 2018, having previously received two more nominations for both awards. It has also been nominated for Best Entertainment Programme at the RTS Awards, Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, the Broadcast Digital Awards, and the TV Choice Awards.
- The original Taskmaster programme has been sold to 94 countries, while the format has been sold to 12 with 150 local episodes being made outside the UK including local versions of the show produced for VTM in Belgium, TVE in Spain, and two series for TVNZ in New Zealand. While the original show aired on The CW in the U.S. in 2020.
- The format has seen huge success in Europe, with the Swedish version winning Programme of the Year at the Kristallen in 2020 and 2019 (Sweden’s TV Academy Awards) and its fourth series for SVT reaching ratings of over a 50% market share in a primetime weekend slot. Norway’s original version of Taskmaster, ‘Kongen Befaler’’s won Best Entertainment Show at the prestigious Golden Screen Awards 2020 where a second has been commissioned by Discovery. Two new series have been ordered for MTV in Finland after its first episode ranked in the top ten most watched shows in the country, and there are returning series for TV2 in Denmark, and Discovery in Norway which won the Norwegian TV Academy Award (Gullruten) for Best Entertainment in 2020.
- The Taskmaster YouTube channel has received over 151 Million views and has 600,000 subscribers. International versions of the show are available to view, with series 1-8 of the UK original are available in the U.S.
- #HomeTasking had over 100 million impressions across all content on YouTube. Viewing grew by 42%, while subscribers grew by 85% since it launched on the Taskmaster YouTube channel. It was watched in 125 countries with viewers ranging from the US to the UK and from Moldova to Mongolia.
- The Taskmaster Book 200 Extraordinary Tasks for Ordinary People has sold over 150,000 copies.
- A Taskmaster boardgame was released in Autumn 2019 and entirely sold out a week after it went on sale. It has sold over 130,000 copies to date along with an expansion pack which was released this year along with the launch of the official Taskmaster shop.
- Taskmaster is working with Homeless Link; the national membership charity for frontline homelessness services, creating a virtual Taskmaster at Home event with all the money raised going to homeless charities across the UK. Having raised over £115,000, the virtual event is running throughout the winter months and further information can be found here.
Avalon is a multi-award-winning talent management, television production and live promotion group with offices in London, Los Angeles and New York.
Avalon, Artist Rights Group (ARG) and The Agency represent a prolific roster of artists including comedians, actors, presenters, writers and directors. Avalon’s numerous ground-breaking returning television shows currently in production include: Not Going Out (BBC), the UK’s longest running sitcom on air; Taskmaster (Channel 4), the BAFTA-winning hit entertainment format showing in 100 countries; multi Emmy-winner, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO); The Russell Howard Hour (Sky), the network’s most successful entertainment show launch since 2010; Starstruck, a new sitcom from the 2018 Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Rose Matafeo (HBO Max/BBC); Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, from creator Josh Thomas (Freeform); Breeders, a sitcom starring Martin Freeman and Daisy Haggard (FX/Sky); a new series of the iconic British satirical puppet show, Spitting Image (BritBox UK); and multiple comedy specials for Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max and Netflix.
Other landmark Avalon shows include BAFTA winning and multi Emmy nominated Catastrophe (Amazon Prime Video/Channel 4), Fantasy Football League (BBC/ITV), multi BAFTA-winning TV Burp (ITV), and Workaholics (Comedy Central USA). Avalon also distributes its catalogue of programmes to over 150 countries worldwide. Avalon has produced many globally successful podcasts and is at the top of the UK iTunes chart with the multi-award-winning Shagged. Married. Annoyed by Chris and Rosie Ramsey.