Thursday 5 July 2018
The double BAFTA nominated and Broadcast Award winning comedy game show is set to return for its seventh series with 10 brand new episodes this September. Greg Davies, the almighty Taskmaster, once again makes himself comfy on his majestic throne, painstakingly polished by his sidekick and assistant Little Alex Horne, as he welcomes a new host of brazen contenders for the latest series of the international hit show.
Setting perplexing challenges, the Task Tzar will preside over the inspired genius, or utter ineptitude of a new host of comics, each scrapping for his fleeting and often fickle respect, praise, and points. Record breaking stand-up James Acaster (Netflix's Repertoire), comedy writer and actress Jessica Knappett (E4's Drifters), actress and stand-up Kerry Godliman (Channel 4's Derek), internationally acclaimed comedian Phil Wang (BBC Two's Live At The Apollo, Dave's Unspun with Matt Forde), and renowned Welsh comic Rhod Gilbert (BBC Two's The Apprentice: You're Fired) are the new line-up battling for a chance to win the most prestigious title in showbiz, and possibly the world, and be crowned a Taskmaster Champion.
Series seven is the second installment of a four series commission marking Taskmaster's growing success for UKTV. Following the two-part special, Taskmaster: Champion of Champions in 2017, series six launched with its biggest overnight to date of over 700K and quickly consolidated to over 1.1 million viewers. Taskmaster remains the biggest show on UKTV Play with over 7 million views.
Taskmaster is one of the top UKTV Original commissions on Dave having been crowned Best Entertainment Programme at this year's Broadcast Awards (beating Strictly Come Dancing, I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!, Love Island, The Voice UK, and All Round To Mrs. Brown's), receiving a 2017 BAFTA nomination for Best Comedy Entertainment Programme followed by a 2018 BAFTA nomination in the same category, a 2017 International Emmy nomination for Best Non-Scripted Entertainment, as well as previous nominations for RTS and Broadcasting Press Guild Award.
Since its inception, an increasing number of other countries have developed their own versions of Taskmaster, including 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 format is also in development in five additional territories while the finished programme has been sold to New Zealand's TVNZ and UKTV in Australia.
Taskmaster, produced and distributed by Avalon Television, series six, seven, eight and nine of Taskmaster have been commissioned by Hilary Rosen, deputy director of commissioning at UKTV. 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.
What the press have 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
"Brilliantly madcap comedy game show"
**** Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail
**** Mike Ward, Daily Star
"Dave's hit show is pulling in record audiences for the channel"
**** Sean Marland, TV Times Magazine
"Funny, silly, surreal, charming, imaginative and a bit rude"
David Butcher, Radio Times
"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
"The funniest show on telly"
The Sun, TV Magazine
Emma Messenger, TV Choice
"Taskmaster is one of the most consistently innovative and funny series on telly"
Joe Clay, The Times, T2
"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
"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
"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
"This delightfully daft game show was a big hit for Dave last year, and it makes a triumphant return this week"
"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
**** EVENT, Mail On Sunday
**** TV & Satellite Week
**** TV Times Magazine
Sky 111/246, Virgin 127/194, Freesat 157 Freeview, BT & TalkTalk 12/79
On demand on Sky, Virgin and UKTV Play
Since bursting onto TV sets in 2007, Dave has been putting in hours at the gym and is now a beefed-up powerhouse of brand new and original commissions from some of the biggest stars and production companies in entertainment. Romesh Ranganthan, Jon Richardson and YouTube sensation Yianni Charalambous are just some of the latest additions to the channel's ever-increasing slate.
Whether it's innovative comedy entertainment like the BAFTA and Emmy-nominated Taskmaster, Unspun with Matt Forde, and Dara o Briain's Go 8 Bit or scripted sitcoms including the worldwide hit Red Dwarf, Zapped, and Porters, Dave's guaranteed to work your funny bone like never before.
Dave's also committed to bringing live sport back to free-to-air and has an ongoing deal to show fights from David Haye's Hayemaker Ringstar venture. There's also Red Bull Soapbox, Cop Car Workshop, Sin City Motors and a whole host of much loved programming, all shot with Dave's unique personality that's led to the channel reaching 20million adults a month.
UKTV is the biggest multichannel broadcaster in the UK reaching nearly 40m viewers every month.
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 nearly 10% of the British commercial TV market.
The network delivers 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 over 20 years at the forefront of digital television, UKTV - an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Studios and Discovery, Inc. - is proud to be the first British television broadcaster in The Sunday Times top 100 companies list.
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 which are household names, both in the UK, the USA, and around the world.
In 2017 Avalon was 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 currently in production include: Taskmaster USA (Comedy Central), Man Down (C4), Dave Gorman's Modern Life is Goodish (Dave/UKTV), The Chris Ramsey Show (Comedy Central), and Stand Up Central with Chris Ramsey (Comedy Central); 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