Taskmaster: Series Two – Episode 1: Fear of failure

Taskmaster Series Two 1

Dave’s comedy game show makes a welcome return with brand new bunch of contestants willing to take on the challenges set by the Taskmaster himself Greg Davies.

This time around the contestants are Canadian comic Katherine Ryan, humorous rapper Doc Brown, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown stars Jon Richardson and Joe Wilkinson, and Pointless co-host Richard Osman, who are all competing to win a bust of Davies and are being supervised by his assistant Alex Horne (who also invented the show during the Edinburgh Fringe). There are also some other prizes on offer, as the first task, the “Prize Task”, involved offering their most important document to be won. This was a really big deal for some people as Wilkinson offered his own wedding certificate.

The challenges this week revolved around packing for your holidays, throwing a potato into a golf hole without touching a red putting green, obtaining information from a Swedish person who refused to speak English, and placing giant exercise balls on a yoga mat – which had been placed on the top of a hill during windy weather.

The star of this week’s episode was Wilkinson. Not just for putting his own marriage on the line, but also for his own potato throwing skills when he managed to successfully complete the challenge on his first go – or so he thought, until a slow-motion replay showed otherwise. The audience quickly swept from cheers of joy to cries of anguish, in what had to be the most bizarre sporting event ever recorded on television.

Taskmaster is great at displaying people’s lateral thinking. For example, Osman gets around the issue of the exercise balls by bring the mat down from the hill to ground, while Ryan calls Danish comedian Sofie Hagen to translate the Swedish person. It is a show that manages to get laughs from the unusual ways people solve problems, as well as the way everyone reacts to each other: not just the contenders, but their relationship with Davies and how they use Horne. A great show.

Taskmaster goes out on Dave on Tuesdays at 22.00. Previous episodes including the entire first series are available to watch on UK TV Play.