Kendall. Robinson. Duker. Ó’Briain. Martin. The fight is ON.
The winners of Taskmaster series 11-15 are currently doing sit-ups, drinking pints of raw egg, and running up and down the steps outside Chiswick Library (there are only three so it’s not taxing, but they do keep getting in the way of people trying to return their Dan Browns). They’re in training for Taskmaster’s third Champion of Champions contest.
A little reminder of the contenders for this title now, on account of the internet having destroyed everybody’s attention spans, and shrunk our ability to retain information for longer than it takes a toaster to pop.
Champion of Champions 3 Line-Up
Representing series 11 is the magnificently-maned Sarah Kendall, Australian comic, writer and actor. She’s technically the dunce of this operation going in with a whole-series points score of just 158, but a dynamite chick like her isn’t about to let that get in the way. The woman’s ready for the apocalypse at all times, do not underestimate her.
The series 12 champ, who already has 10 points on Kendall, is Morgana Robinson – interestingly also Australian (well, she was born there. Is there an ingredient in Vegemite that makes a person excel under Taskmaster conditions? To the lab to find out!) The comedy actor and impersonator’s series highlights include a creepily intense and mermaid-based proposal of marriage to Alex, and a love for Guz Khan that’s hopefully ongoing to this day. She has one of Khan’s coats anyway.
Then comes Sophie Duker, comedian, actor and brainbox who won series 13 with a sweet 173-point total. Her obsession with the death of Alex Horne could swing things in her favour if he’s so intimidated that he kicks her a few sneaky points under the table.
Next comes Big Daddy himself, Dara Ó’Briain, who’s weighing in with an impressive 184 points from his series 14 victory. The man has a degree in Mathematical Physics, which he put to excellent use transferring flour between containers with scuba-diving flippers on his hands, and getting irate at John Kearns.
Finally, representing series 15 is stand-up, writer and actor Mae Martin. Their victory was decided early on when they proved the sole contestant in the line-up with a shred of nous about them. Apologies to Jenny Éclair, Frankie Boyle, Kiell Smith-Bynoe and Ivo Graham, but you know it’s true. Ivo in particular knows that it’s true.
We’ll Have to Wait For it to Air
The main tasks will have been filmed already, but the points have yet to be decided and the often-decisive stage task is still to take place. That happens at the end of November 2023 during the studio record (apply for free tickets here).
As this year’s New Year’s Treat (line-up tba) is being filmed the day before and will go out over the festive period, we’re probably going to have to wait until after series 17 has concluded in spring/summer 2024 for the Champion of Champions 3 special episode (yes, just one episode again) to air.
The first Champion of Champions special pitted Josh Widdicombe, Katherine Ryan, Rob Beckett, Noel Fielding and Bob Mortimer against each other, and was duly won by Widdicombe, which earned him the honour of being namechecked in a task in the current series. The second Champion of Champions saw Liza Tarbuck, Kerry Godliman, Lou Sanders, Ed Gamble and Richard Herring compete for the trophy, which was won by Richard Herring.
After the latest clutch of winners do battle, the wait begins for Taskmaster to reach series 25, at which glorious point we will presumably be able to enjoy the first Champion of Champions of Champions, and then we can all die happy.
Or how about this as an idea – an international Champion of Champions pitting UK winners against those of the New Zealand, Swedish and other iterations of the show. Every nation picks their champion and sends them to Chiswick, UK to compete in one glorious Taskmaster Olympics! Come on, Channel 4, give the people what they want.
Taskmaster series 16 airs on Thursdays at 9pm on Channel 4.