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Friday 31 May 2024

Cast Revealed as Taskmaster Series 18 Set to Air on Channel 4


Image: Channel 4 Press

By Jon Donnis

The highly anticipated Taskmaster series 18 is set to grace our screens later this year on Channel 4. Following the conclusion of another epic season, the formidable Greg Davies and his loyal sidekick Alex Horne are eager to welcome a new group of contestants to their BAFTA and National Comedy Award-winning show. This announcement comes on the heels of confirmation that Taskmaster: The Live Experience will take place this September.

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The new lineup of hopefuls aiming to impress the Taskmaster includes a diverse array of talent: comedian and cricket statistician Andy Zaltzman, known for The Bugle Podcast and BBC Radio 4's The News Quiz; comedian, actor, and podcaster Babatunde Aléshé, famed for his appearances on Celebrity Gogglebox; actor, comedian, and writer Emma Sidi, recognized for her work on Starstruck (BBC Three/HBO Max); legendary stand-up comedian and writer Jack Dee, famous for I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue (BBC Radio 4); and stand-up, presenter, actor, and author Rosie Jones, best known for Trip Hazard (Channel 4).

Taskmaster series 18 boasts an impressive production team. The executive producers include Alex Horne, Richard Allen-Turner, Rob Aslett, James Taylor, Jon Thoday, and Andy Devonshire, who also serves as the series director. Andy Cartwright takes on the role of series producer. The series is commissioned for Channel 4 by Tom Beck, Head of Live Events, and Steve Handley, Head of Reality & Entertainment.

Taskmaster Fact Sheet:
Taskmaster, a BAFTA-winning and International Emmy-nominated show, was originally created by Alex Horne. It features Greg Davies as the all-powerful Taskmaster, who, with the help of Horne, challenges five comedians through a series of bizarre and hilarious tasks. Since its inception, Taskmaster has become one of the most beloved comedy entertainment formats on television.

As of now, 159 episodes of Taskmaster have been produced in the UK. The show, which began on UKTV's Dave, entered into a landmark six-season deal with Channel 4 in 2020, which has since been extended for another six series due to its continued success.

In the past year, Taskmaster has solidified its position as one of Channel 4's most popular programs. It ranked as the channel's third most-streamed title of the year, with 2.3 billion viewing minutes across all series in 2023. The launch episode of series 15 alone garnered 85.4 million streaming minutes. Taskmaster's move to Channel 4 saw its best performance on record, reaching 3.9 million consolidated views for its first episode and capturing the majority share of young viewers aged 16-34, making it the best-performing new entertainment show of the year in 2020.

The show's appeal spans generations, making it Channel 4's youngest-skewing series last year. Taskmaster is available on All 4, where it has consistently grown in average views per episode with each new series. Since its debut in 2015, Taskmaster's audience has grown by 80% from series one to series nine.

Taskmaster has received numerous accolades, including Best Comedy Entertainment Show at the National Comedy Awards 2022 and 2023, Best Comedy Entertainment at the BAFTAs 2020, and Best Entertainment Programme at the Broadcast Awards 2018. It has also been nominated for several other prestigious awards, further cementing its status as a top-tier entertainment show.

The Taskmaster format has achieved international success, sold to 120 countries, and aired on The CW in the U.S. in 2020. There have been 88 seasons and 881 episodes commissioned outside the UK, with local versions in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Nordics, Croatia, and Portugal. Each version has seen significant success, such as Taskmaster Australia becoming Network Ten's top new show of the year and Taskmaster New Zealand winning Best Entertainment Show at the NZ TV Awards.

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