Taskmaster. Image shows from L to R: Greg Davies, Alex Horne. Copyright: Avalon Television


  • TV comedy
  • Channel 4 / Dave
  • 2015 - 2024
  • 160 episodes (17 series)

TV format in which Greg Davies and Alex Horne set a group of comedians various outlandish challenges. Also features Romesh Ranganathan, Frank Skinner, Roisin Conaty, Josh Widdicombe, Tim Key and more.

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Taskmaster's New Year Treat 2021 - The Fastest Duck

Taskmaster. Image shows from L to R: Shirley Ballas, John Hannah, Greg Davies, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Alex Horne, Nicola Coughlan, Rylan Clark-Neal. Copyright: Avalon Television
Film actor John Hannah, Channel 4 news anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy, actress Nicola Coughlan, television and radio presenter Rylan Clark-Neal and renowned dancer-now-Strictly head judge Shirley Ballas complete a series of tasks in the hard-fought, high-stakes, ridiculous game show. Assistant Alex Horne helps coax the contestants, but it's Taskmaster Greg Davies who determines the victor, who win his golden eyebrows.

Prize task: The best thing to bring to a party.

* Shirley Ballas: Her drinks trolley with a record player. - 5
* Nicola Coughlan: A skeleton holding a bottle of tequila. - 4
* Rylan Clark-Neal: A robot vacuum cleaner. - 3
* Krishnan Guru-Murthy: A disco light. - 2
* John Hannah: The game Bop It. - 1

Task 1: Get the biggest thing through the doughnut without breaking the doughnut. You have twenty minutes. Your time starts now. [Bonus rule on the back of the task, only mentioned in the Taskmaster podcast: If you put the words, "The biggest thing", through the doughnut, you will be disqualified and lose one point.]

* Rylan: 800,000 cubic centimetres, using a life-size model cow he names Linda and some camera trickery. - 5
* Shirley: 9,000 cubic centimetres, using a drain pipe. - 4
* Krishnan: 5,000 cubic centimetres, using several objects tied together. - 3
* John: 1,500 cubic centimetres, using tea. - 2
* Nicola: Less than one cubic centimetre, using the tip of a cactus. - 1

Task 2: Sculpt the scene on the other side of this wall. Most accurate sculpture wins. You have 15 minutes. Your time starts now.

* Rylan - 5 [Scene was of a lollipop man holding a rubber duck.]
* Krishnan - 4
* John - 3
* Nicola - 2
* Shirley - 1

Task 3: Build the lightest tower on this set of scales. You may not move the scales or tape anything to them, and you may not tamper with or block the fan. The fan will be on for one minute every other minute. At the end of ten minutes, your tower must be taller than a wolf and stand by itself for ten seconds. Lightest tower wins. Your time starts now. [Rule only for Rylan: Also, every time Alex rings his little bell, you have to pretend you've had a brilliant idea.]

* John: 160g. - 5
* Krishnan: 185g. - 4
* Shirley: 265g. - 3
* Nicola: Disqualified as her tower was not tall enough. - 0
* Rylan: Disqualified as he did not build a tower and it was not standing on its own (just taped up some fairy lights to the scales). - 0

Live task, Part 1: Without your fellow contestants seeing, select one object from your box. If you select the same object as one of your fellow contestants you will both lose 1 actual point. You have 30 seconds. [Objects: Anchor, balloon, cabbage, diagram, equilateral triangle.]

* Rylan: Diagram - 0
* John and Shirley: Cabbage - -1
* Krishnan and Nicola: Equilateral triangle - -1

Live task, Part 2: Strike the most balls into the bath with your object. If any of your balls touch the Taskmaster you lose one actual point. You have one minute.

* Shirley: 2 - 5
* Nicola: 1, with no balls hitting Greg - 4
* John - 1, with 4 balls hitting Greg. - 0
* Krishnan and Rylan: 0 - 0

Final scores

* Shirley - 17
* Rylan - 13
* Krishnan - 12
* John and Nicola - 10

Broadcast details

Friday 1st January 2021
Channel 4
60 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Sunday 3rd January 2021 11:05pm E4
Monday 4th January 2021 9:20pm 4seven
Wednesday 6th January 2021 10:20pm 4seven
Thursday 7th January 2021 11:05pm C4
Monday 11th January 2021 10:35pm 4seven
Friday 17th December 2021 9:00pm E4
Friday 19th April 2024 8:00pm E4

Cast & crew

Greg Davies Host / Presenter
Alex Horne Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Shirley Ballas Self
Rylan Clark-Neal Self
Nicola Coughlan Self
Krishnan Guru-Murthy Self
John Hannah Self
Writing team
Alex Horne Writer
Tim Key Task Consultant
Production team
Andy Devonshire Series Director
Andy Cartwright Series Producer
Richard Allen-Turner Executive Producer
James Taylor Executive Producer
Jon Thoday Executive Producer
Rob Aslett Executive Producer
Andy Devonshire Executive Producer
Alex Horne Executive Producer
Vicky Winter Line Producer
Thomas Perrett Editor
Mark Sangster Editor
James Dillon Production Designer
Sam Montague Director of Photography
John Ford Lighting Designer
Dru Masters Composer
Tom Howe Composer
Martin Rosten Graphics

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