Passing the half-way point of the fifth series, we sample a balloon bruschetta, a lot of cheeky texts, and a geographical inaccuracy.
As the contenders fight over five high-octane items, ranging from a custard pie attached to a grass rake to a stolen pair of trousers, the first task involved putting something inside a balloon and then inflating it so the balloon was bigger than the contestants heads: a tricky task for Aisling Bea and Mark Watson given that they can’t blow up balloons, but they still do surprisingly well (with assistance).
This was followed by the players generating a water cooler moment using an actual water cooler, that involved Bob Mortimer doing a trick he previously did on an episode of Would I Lie to You?, Nish Kumar performing some martial arts, and Sally Philips doing something that is best either seen or not described at all. This was followed by the first sneaky solo task of the programme, with Watson being given a task just for himself: sending Greg Davies an anonymous cheeky text message once a day for five months – a task that ended up dominating much of his life this year.
After that was one of the most complex tasks: stacking a pile of cans, while every ten seconds they had to shake Alex Horne’s hand and say that they were from a different country, while they were attached to a table with a length of rope. This resulted in several mistakes from some of the players, and a mistake by those setting the task, but we will get to that later. The final live task involved identifying some Finnish people in a line-up, with the challengers each asking them just one question.
This episode has some of the best moments of the series so far. One was with Philips and the water cooler, which as stated is something that needs to be seen to be believed. The other was the humiliation that Watson faced upon realising that he had been the only one sending cheeky texts to Davies over such a long period of time.
However, there is some controversy concerning this episode. In the can-stacking task, one of the countries that Mortimer named was Greenland. The problem is that Greenland is not a country, but a territory owned by Denmark. It would be like claiming Gibraltar was a country. As a result he should have actually scored fewer points, and if the final scores at the end of the series are very close, it could be that the real winner has been cheated out accidentally. We will have to wait to find out if this is the case.
Taskmaster is on Dave at 21.00 on Wednesdays.