Taskmaster: Series 5, Episode 3 – Phoenix

Taskmaster Series 5 Episode 3
Taskmaster S5 Ep 3. Picture Shows: Aisling Bea and Alex Horne. ©UKTV/Avalon

The challengers this time struggle opening a suitcase, retrieve Greg Davies’s favourite ping pong ball, and try to carry out three tasks at once.

With five things on offer to make people proud, or in the case of Bob Mortimer to keep him alive, the first task proper was to get a ping pong ball out of a hole-riddled drain pipe, without moving the pipe – something that one person singularly failed to do. However, we did witness a lot of paper plugs and clever use of a vacuum cleaner.

Perhaps the best task of the series so far came next: make a coconut look like a businessman. Laughs already came when the challenge was presented inside an unlocked suitcase: a fact lost on Mark Watson who spent six minutes trying to open the case. Tactics ranged from Aisling Bea making a feminist statement based on what she said was the sexist way the task was phrased; Sally Phillips shaving a coconut that she later clothed; and Nish Kumar in his strongest performance of the series so far, using among other things money stapled to a tie.

Afterwards the players had to do three tasks at once: being presented with Weetabix, a Twiglet and some jelly, they had to eat one, balance one on a poll and throw another into a bucket, which featured Phillips’s strongest turn this series when she threw her item. Lastly the live task involved playing table tennis with words, in which Alex Horne was accidentally unfair to one of the players.

This is certainly the best episode so this series. Actually, it’s one of my favourite of all the Taskmaster episodes. The audience reactions to both Kumar in the coconut challenge and Phillips in the three-task challenge spoke for themselves. Kumar was hilarious with his use of his coconut, while Phillips was skilled with throwing.

Taskmaster is on Dave at 21.00 on Wednesdays.