3rd May 2018
The launch of the new series of Taskmaster on Dave has eclipsed all previous series with record overnight ratings. The opening episode of series six of the BAFTA-nominated show peaked at 778k, which is the highest overnight rating in the show's history. Taskmaster was also watched by more 25-34-year-olds than any other channel at 9pm last night, with the show's 11.9% share of the demographic up from a 2.1% slot average, beating BBC1 and ITV1.
Taskmaster features Greg Davies as The Taskmaster, setting tasks to a group of well-known competitors and ultimately deciding who wins. He is assisted by his right-hand man, Alex Horne, who coaxes and cajoles the participants to be as comedic and creative as they can, while channeling their seriously competitive natures. The current series line-up includes: Alice Levine (BBC Radio 1, My Dad Wrote A Porno); Asim Chaudhry (People Just Do Nothing); Liza Tarbuck (Upstart Crow); Russell Howard (The Russell Howard Hour); and Tim Vine (Not Going Out).
Taskmaster started out as a critically acclaimed live show, devised by Alex Horne, which ran at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2010 and 2011. The TV version has proved a ratings smash hit for UKTV's Dave channel and it is now an award-winning series, most recently winning Best Entertainment Series at the Broadcast Awards 2018. It's also received nominations at the International Emmys, the RTS Broadcasting Press Guild Awards and the Broadcast Digital Awards. Plus, Taskmaster will battle it out at the BAFTAs later this month in the Best Comedy Entertainment Programme category.
An Avalon production, Taskmaster series six, along with a further three series, has been commissioned by Richard Watsham and Hilary Rosen, Deputy Director of Commissioning at UKTV. Executive Producers for the series are Richard Allen-Turner, Rob Aslett, Alex Horne, 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.
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 a commercial broadcaster reaching over 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 Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) - is proud to be the first British television broadcaster in The Sunday Times top 100 companies list.