DEBORAH MEADEN – KOJEY RADICAL – LENNY RUSH – STEVE BACKSHALL – ZOE BALL
As a New Year dawns, the supreme Taskmaster Greg Davies and his doting assistant Little Alex Horne welcome five famous faces from all corners of the entertainment world to step up and face a set of ludicrous challenges in the latest instalment of the one-off special, ‘Taskmaster’s New Year Treat’ on Channel 4. Set to air over the festive season, this unlikely quintet are united by a single aim – to impress the Taskmaster and task like they’ve never tasked before.
The courageous contestants set to compete in the most surreal and cutthroat competition on television are: Entrepreneur and star of Dragon’s Den Deborah Meaden, Mercury Prize and MOBO Award nominated music artist Kojey Radical, BAFTA winning actor Lenny Rush, TV presenter, adventurer, author and wildlife expert Steve Backshall, and radio and television presenter Zoe Ball. Each one of them are vying for points and scrapping for the Taskmaster’s fleeting praise while avoiding acerbic judgement in a bid to lay claim to Greg’s unique Trophy of Eyebrows.
Transmission details will be confirmed in due course
CRITICAL PRAISE FOR SERIES 16 of TASKMASTER:
“We salute Alex Horne’s ingenuity and Greg Davies’ quick wit – their superb game show is back for a 16th series”
Eleanor Relf, The Sun
“The singular Taskmaster vibes have, as ever, effortlessly incorporated another five comics – and this latest series suggests the show is in no danger of running out of steam any time soon”
Phil Harrison, The Observer
“There’s a reason we’re now watching the 16th series of Taskmaster – the inventive format is the real star of the show… it’s clear the behind-the-scenes team aren’t losing their touch”
Huw Fullerton, Radio Times
“Greg Davies’s chaotic game show is always a showcase of British comedic talent, and this new series promises to be no different”
Poppie Platt, The Daily Telegraph
“Every series has a unique feel, generated by the chemistry between the contestants and first impressions here are good”
Joe Clay, The Times
“Once a hidden gem watched by only a cult few, now big star comedians queue up for a place on this bonkers game show”
Sara Wallis, The Mirror
“Greg Davies and ‘little’ Alex Horne welcome a new batch of celebrities to take part in silly games and twisted challenges over the coming weeks… We can surely look forward to plenty of funny moments”
★★★★ Mike Mulvihil, Daily Mail
“the wacky tasks and game-for-a-laugh celebs ensure Taskmaster shows no signs of going stale. And as we’re pleased to say, this run has amassed a strong line-up including Julian Clary, Lucy Beaumont, Sam Campbell, Sue Perkins, and Susan Wokoma”
Gemma Graham, The Sun
“The return of one of Channel 4’s most popular shows. Little wonder it rarely seems off our screens”
Gerrard Gilbert, The I
“This latest series of entertaining comedy game show has one of the best line-ups yet”
“Another batch of comedians take on more weird and wonderful challenges as the hugely entertaining comedy game show returns for a 16th series”
★★★★★ Judy Ewens, TV Times Magazine
“Greg Davies and Alex Horne reoccupy their thrones for the 16th series of the comedy show”
★★★★ Jason Arnopp, Heat Magazine
“weeks of hilarious tomfoolery”
TV & Satellite Week
“Taskmaster has had 15 series in 8 years but is still as funny and inventive as when it started”
“easily one of the best shows on telly and definitely one of the maddest. This 16th series has one of the biggest casts yet with telly legends Sue Perkins and Julian Clary among the celebs being given silly things to do by Greg Davies… Just watch it. It will make you smile”
For more information contact:
Kate Conway – email@example.com
Florrie Sheehan – FSheehan@avalonuk.com
Taskmaster Fact Sheet
- Taskmaster is a BAFTA winning and International Emmy nominated comedy entertainment 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.
- 159 episodes have been produced in the UK so far, as part of a landmark six season deal with Channel 4 in 2020, which has recently been renewed for a further six series by the broadcaster following nine record-breaking series on UKTV’s Dave.
- The show enjoyed its best performance on record with its 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 the year (Broadcast, 2020). Watched by a broad multi-generational audience, it was Channel 4’s youngest skewing series last year. In terms of audience share of young viewers (16-34) it is in the top three in the coveted 9pm slot, with Gogglebox and Derry Girls. Taskmaster is also hugely popular on All 4, where it is available for free and, since 2021, the average views per episode [0-7Days, O+O] have grown for the title with each series. 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 Show at the National Comedy Awards 2022 and 2023, Best Comedy Entertainment at the BAFTAs 2020 and won Best Entertainment Programme at the Broadcast Awards 2018, having previously received two more nominations for the Broadcast Awards and recently picking up its third BAFTA nomination for the 2023 ceremony. It has also been nominated for the Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award at the NTA’s 2021 and 2022, Best Comedy Entertainment at Rose d’Or 2023, Studio Entertainment at Rose d’Or 2021, Best Entertainment Programme at the RTS Awards, Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, the Broadcast Digital Awards, Edinburgh TV Award, the TV Choice Awards, and Best Returning Format in the International Format Awards 2020.
- The original Taskmaster programme has been sold to 94 countries and aired on The CW in the U.S. in 2020.
- Over 61 seasons and 560 episodes have been commissioned outside the UK with local versions now in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Nordics, Croatia and Portugal where it ranked first for most watched entertainment programs on its channel RTP 1. Taskmaster Australia launched on Channel 10 where it became the channel’s top new show of the year and received a nomination for Most Outstanding Comedy at the Logies, produced by Avalon Television with Kevin&Co and featuring Tom Gleeson as the Taskmaster with Tom Cashman as the Taskmaster’s Assistant, and Taskmaster New Zealand has received funding for a fourth season from New Zealand On Air to play on TVNZ and TVNZ+ in 2023. The first season of Le Maitre du Jeu for Bell Media, which aired in Canada in September 2022, increased Noovo’s performance in the Thursday time slot by 50%, while the UK original won Canada’s film and TV Rockie Awards 2023 for best Comedy and Variety show.
- The format has seen huge success in Europe, with the Swedish version reaching ratings of over a 50% market share in a primetime weekend slot on SVT and now in its seventh series. Norway’s original version of Taskmaster, Kongen Befaler, won the Norwegian TV Academy Award (Gullruten) for Best Entertainment Show in 2022, where an eighth season is in production for Discovery. Finland’s version of Taskmaster, Suurmestari, won Game Show of the Year at the Venla Gaala awards, with a fourth series ordered by MTV, and Stormester, Denmark’s Taskmaster, which is now in its seventh series, won Best Game Show at the 2022 Vindere Awards, with TV2 commissioning a ‘Champion of Champions’ series for 2023.
- The Taskmaster YouTube channel has seen huge success internationally, reaching over 8.6 billion impressions since it first launched in October 2019, with just over 600 million views and over 1.3 million subscribers, of which over a third are from North America. The channel has had over 138 million hours’ worth of content viewed with 52% of those hours from North America (72 million hours watched). The show has grown significantly in popularity with American audiences and over the last year there have been a total of 92 million views.
- The Taskmaster book ‘200 Extraordinary Tasks for Ordinary People’ was published in 2018, while a second book ‘Bring Me The Head of the Taskmaster’ was published in September 2021 and combined they have sold 180,000 copies to date. Both books featured as Sunday Times Bestsellers at launch. The Swedish version of the book has sold 108,000 copies to date.
- A Taskmaster boardgame was released in Autumn 2019 and entirely sold out a week after it went on sale. It has sold over 250,000 copies to date along with an expansion pack. A second game, Taskmaster The Secret Series Game was released in 2022. Taskmaster The Card Game was released in September 2022 and has sold over 70,000 copies to date. All the games are available to buy from the official Taskmaster shop, www.TaskmasterStore.com.
- Taskmaster Education takes elements of the show and uses them to inspire, engage and teach children and young people. Tasks can be adapted to meet a near infinite range of teacher objectives, whether curriculum-based or more focused on social and emotional development. Taskmaster Club launched in September 2023, offering schools across the country the opportunity to host after school clubs that bring Little Alex Horne and the silly joy of Taskmaster into their classrooms. Over 800 schools in the UK have registered to date on taskmastereducation.com.
- Taskmaster worked 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 £125,000, more information on the virtual event can be found here.
- The launch of series 13 also saw the unveiling of the brand new Taskmaster App; a show companion where viewers can watch the show on TV and score along at home, taking on the role of the mighty Taskmaster themselves. The app also features the Taskmaster Academy with quizzes from every series of the show, group and solo tasking games, and a Jukebox featuring all of the music from the show.