Wednesday 10 July 2019
In the aftermath of another heroically fought tournament, Taskmaster Greg Davies and his sidekick Little Alex Horne are set to open the doors of the Taskmaster House to welcome a new quintet of contenders for the 9th series of the double BAFTA-nominated and Broadcast Award-winning UKTV Original series; Taskmaster, which returns to Dave in September.
Competing to win the Taskmaster's golden likeness and the coveted title of 'Taskmaster Series 9 Champion' are: David Baddiel (Olivier Award nominated comedian, author, and presenter), Ed Gamble (comedian, BBC Two's Mock The Week) regular and chart-topping podcaster with Off Menu), Jo Brand (comedian, writer and star of BAFTA-winning series BBC Four's Getting On), Katy Wix (comedian and actress featuring in BBC One's Ghosts, and Channel 4's The Windsors), and Rose Matafeo (Edinburgh Comedy Award Winner 2018, comedian and writer, ITV's Royal Variety Performance). Subjecting themselves to the Taskmaster's characteristically unpredictable rulings and flippant scoring system, this band of hopefuls will be put through a relentlessly bizarre series of tasks spread over ten nail-biting episodes to determine the next Taskmaster Champion.
Produced by Avalon, the eighth series of the Dave show starring Iain Stirling, Joe Thomas, Lou Sanders, Paul Sinha and Sian Gibson is the most successful to date with an average of 1.7 million viewers per episode, increasing by 16% compared to the last series and remains the most watched show on UKTV Play with over 5.5 million views since January 2019*.
Taskmaster was crowned Best Entertainment Programme at the Broadcast Awards 2018. The series has been nominated for an International Emmy for Best Non-Scripted Entertainment, two BAFTA nominations for Best Comedy Entertainment Programme plus nominations at the RTS Awards, Broadcasting Press Guild Awards consecutively for the past four years. 2019 has seen nominations for Broadcast Digital Awards for Best Entertainment Programme and Best Gamechanger Programme, and two further nominations earlier this year at the Broadcast Awards 2019 for Best Entertainment Programme and Best Multichannel Programme.
The Taskmaster format has been sold into 17 countries including local versions of the show being developed for Comedy Central in the U.S. (starring Reggie Watts as the Taskmaster), TV 2 in Denmark, VTM in Belgium, TVE in Spain, and two series on Sweden's SVT channel.
The launch of the Taskmaster Book 200 Extraordinary Tasks for Ordinary People was met with huge popularity, sold over 60K copies following publication, and swiftly rose to join top 20 bestselling hardback books in the UK four days after its release during the competitive Autumn/Winter sales period. A paperback version will be released on 5th September, while a Taskmaster boardgame is set to be released in Autumn this year.
The ninth series of Taskmaster will air on Dave in September, catch up on series 1-8 on UKTV Play
What the press has said about Taskmaster
Funny, revealing, and glorious...Caitlin Moran once wrote that the comedy panel game is one of the glories of British TV. A new one shone bright last night
***** Andrew Billen, The Times
"The kind of Dave thing that shouldn't quite work but is actually wildly stupid fun. Mainly thanks to Alex Horne, late of so much splendid radio, and Greg Davies...a winner"
Euan Ferguson, The Observer
"No other TV show makes the jeopardy of losing self-respect quite so funny... brilliantly entertaining"
Frances Taylor, Radio Times
"Never less than brilliant"
Mike Ward, Daily Star
"Winning as ever"
Sharon Lougher, Metro
***** Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail
"One of the funniest game shows on TV"
**** Natasha Holt, TV Times Magazine
"The keynote themes are ludicrous absurdity and moderately cruel sadism. Somehow, however, it all works brilliantly, with the presence of Horne adding the barest modicum of civility to proceedings...prepare for tears of laughter"
Mark Wareham, Mail on Sunday, Event Magazine
"Taskmaster is an unashamed celebration of the bizarre and the mediocre"
Sam Wollaston, G2 Guardian
"Never before has anything so absurd, so stupid, so utterly pointless, made such good television"
Sara Wallis, Daily Mirror
Mike Ward, Saturday Magazine, Daily Express
"Reassuringly absurd and funny as ever"
The Sun, TV Magazine
Emma Messenger, TV Choice
"This seems to be a series that really brings families together"
Bruce Dessau, Beyond the Joke
Sunday Times, Culture
David Stephenson, Sunday Express, S Magazine
"The show routinely delivers the funniest, most unexpected comedy of the TV week...The cleverest spin on the panel show format in years, it's must-watch TV"
Wesley Mead, Den of Geek
Notes to Editors
*UKTV Play data from Monthly pivots (Adobe Analytics / pay platform data) from Jan - May 2019
Freeview 19, Sky 111, Virgin 127, YouView 19, Freesat 157, BT & TalkTalk 19
On demand on UKTVPlay
Ever since it was knee high to a TV remote, Dave had an idea. It wanted to be the first place viewers would come for brand-new, award-winning entertainment from the biggest and brightest stars and production companies in the UK. And in the years since, it has launched some of the most exciting and best-loved titles on TV.
There are names like BAFTA and Emmy-nominated Taskmaster - now in its ninth series -, Judge Romesh, Hypothetical, Jon Richardson: Ultimate Worrier and Comedians Giving Lectures. And of course there's Dave Gorman, whose inquisitive mind is returning to the channel for Terms and Conditions Apply. It's not just in front of the camera where the comic genius lies either, with a wealth of scripted treasure such as Sliced, Porters and the globally popular Red Dwarf.
Dave's not content just to make you laugh and share gags with your mates though. Expedition with Steve Backshall and Hurricane Man are showing you regions and aspects of the earth never before seen on TV. Red Bull Soapbox continues to delight with its boundless capacity for invention. And stepping away from the TV entirely, Dave's partnered with CALM to launch the "Be The Mate You'd Want" campaign and the "Conversations Against Living Miserably" podcast.
Reaching 20million viewers a month, Dave's come a long way, but it's only just getting warmed up.
About Avalon Avalon is a multi-award winning talent management, live promotion and television production group with offices in the UK and the USA. Avalon and ARG, the talent management arm, has discovered and represents many artists that are household names, both in the UK, the USA, and around the world.
In 2018, Avalon was again named the number one true independent television production company in the UK and has produced numerous ground-breaking television shows including: Emmy and Peabody award winner Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO), multi-award winning and Emmy-nominated Catastrophe (Channel 4/Amazon Prime), RTS and Rose d'Or winning Not Going Out (the BBC's longest running sitcom currently on air), BAFTA and RTS-nominated Taskmaster (DAVE/UKTV), multi-BAFTA award winning TV Burp (ITV1), Russell Howard's Good News (BBC2), Fantasy Football League (BBC/ITV) and Workaholics (Comedy Central USA). Avalon and Topical Television form the television arm of the company and other shows recently in production include: Catastrophe (C4/Amazon Prime), Taskmaster (Dave), The Russell Howard Hour (Sky One), Not Going Out (BBC One), Stand Up Central with Rob Delaney (Comedy Central UK) and Russell Howard & Mum: Road Trip (Comedy Central UK); whilst the catalogue is sold worldwide by Avalon Distribution.
Avalon produced Newman and Baddiel: Live at Wembley, the UK's first arena comedy show; Jerry Springer: The Opera, the first West End show to win all four UK 'Best New Musical' awards; and has continued to produce live shows globally, as well as promoting more winners and nominees of the prestigious Edinburgh Comedy Award than any other company. For Avalon news visit: www.avalon-entertainment.com or @avalonent.