Taskmaster: Series 8, Episode 1 – Hello

Taskmaster Series 8
Taskmaster - Series 8 Picture shows: Lou Sanders, Iain Stirling, Greg Davies, Sian Gibson, Alex Horne, Paul Sinha and Joe Thomas. ©UKTV/Simon Webb

Greg Davies and Little Alex Horne return for the eighth outing of the comedy challenge quiz.

This time the contestants are Love Island narrator Iain Stirling, Inbetweeners actor Joe Thomas, stand-up Lou Sanders, The Chase’s Paul Sinha, and Car Share’s Sian Gibson, who are all playing for the golden bust of Greg, and for tonight’s prize task – five powerful smells, including some cider vinegar, perm lotion, and a fart in a jar.

The opening task proper involved shouting into a baby monitor and having to locate where the speaker was in the fastest time. In this case, it seemed simplicity was the key to working it out, with those just speaking and listening being the fastest. This doesn’t always work, with Sinha demonstrating that just shouting, “Hello!” over and over again while standing out aimlessly wearing a dressing gown is not the best way of doing things.

After that the next task involved being chatted-up by a ventriloquist puppet that they themselves had to make, which saw Stirling getting furious with the other players for just making normal dummies rather than actual ventriloquist puppets. Next up, the contenders had to travel from one railway bridge to another, without Horne spotting them. It was a task in which we witness great athleticism from Thomas, great hiding from Sanders as he disguises herself as a bin, and great determination from Gibson, who refused to give up even after Horne spotted her. The final live task featured the filling a bucket full of donuts – the donuts were on a rope above them, and they couldn’t use their hands.

While it is of course to early to tell who is the most dominant in this series so far, there are some things we can already gather. Chief among these is that the Sinnerman is not as smart as he looks. Yes, he has a lot of general knowledge, but when it comes to locating baby monitors, he are getter off using someone who is likely to say something than just one word for about half-an-hour.

Thomas was also intriguing. For much of the show he was lagging behind – his idea of a powerful smell being the stem of a tomato plant – but when it came to the railway bridge task, he utterly stormed. You can hear the crowd’s appreciation as he ran from one piece of cover to another during his time available.

It certainly looks like things are going to be fun for the next few months.

Taskmaster is on Dave at 21.00 on Wednesdays.