This week’s Taskmaster has been marked with a touch of sadness following recent news concerning Paul Sinha.
Last Friday Sinha revealed in a blog post that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The news obviously makes watching the series harder because of what we now know. However, as Sinha himself posted on Twitter that his current poor run of form in the show is due to him being, “an absolute dolt when it comes to common sense, lateral thinking and visual creativity. The illness was only a tiny aspect of why I floundered.”
Well, Sinha certainly didn’t flounder in the prize task this week, as he was challenged to bring in the slipperiest thing, offering a banana skin, surrounded by jelly, surrounded by a pair of slippers. It certainly impressed Greg Davies more than Sian Gibson’s donation, which was just the slippers. The first task proper involved having to find five pink lady apples that had been placed under upside-down fruit bowls. However, if they instead found a green egg, they are disqualified. Sinha played it safe by banking the apples he found early, while Iain Stirling got cocky, trying to uncover as many bowls as he could after discovering how many pink ladies they were.
The next challenge was a two-part task. Part one involved having to choose an outfit, that the next person who comes after them alphabetically in order of first name, has to wear for the next task. That task was to identify five different flavours of specially-made crisps. This was especially difficult for Joe Thomas, was had to do the task dressed as a boxer, while Sinha and Lou Sanders had to wear oven gloves as they were dressed as chefs. Still, that was the least of their problems when they ended up having to eat crisps flavoured with toothpaste and tomato, burnt toast, and vegan chocolate.
After that, the contestants had to do the most powerful thing using their little finger. These mighty feats ranged from powerful messages about recycling, to donating money to charity, and Gibson seemingly reviving a guinea pig. Last of all was a live team task, answering questions where the answers are numbers. They had to pull the correct number from a line, and if they pulled the wrong number they would again release the dreaded green egg.
Obviously the news about Sinha’s diagnosis impacts watching the show. I had previewed the episode before and after the news was revealed. Fortunately, none of the tasks in this edition involved anything that should have posed a major problem. The person who really stands out in this edition is Thomas, who ended up with one of the strongest performances to date across all of Taskmaster.
Also worth of mention was Little Alex Horne and his segment at the top of the show, getting Davies some squash – and then getting him to drink the water later to dilute the pure squash he just drank.
Taskmaster is on Dave at 21.00 on Wednesdays.