Remember thinking you’ve reached the end of a Christmas stocking, and then discovering an additional lump of festive fun stuffed right in the toe? Such joy. Thanks to Channel 4, that’s the case with this year’s Taskmaster, which has announced a one-off Christmas Special episode for 2020.
There’s no air date confirmed for the festive episode as yet, but seeing as the currently airing series 10 finale arrives on Thursday the 17th of December, it’ll be after that.
In 2017, the comedians-do-silly-challenges show aired a two-part Champion of Champions special at Christmastime featuring the winners of the first five series (Bob Mortimer, Josh Widdicombe, Katherine Ryan, Noel Fielding and Rob Beckett). This time, the Special will feature an all-new cast of five contestants brand new to Taskmaster. They are: actor John Hannah, journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Derry Girls‘ Nicola Coughlan, presenter Rylan Clark-Neal and Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas.
Now we know what the production company meant when they described the new contestants as “experts in their respective fields” rather than comics. Traditionally, the Taskmaster line-up features comedians and actors, so this will be the first time they’ve cast a wider net. Testing the ground for future series, perhaps?
The prospect of a full complement of Christmas-themed tasks is a life-giving one. If you’ve been watching the current series, you’ll have seen a quasi-festive challenge as the current competitors (Daisy May Cooper, Johnny Vegas, Katherine Parkinson, Mawaan Rizwan and Richard Herring) were tasked with bagging up the heaviest item from the furthest distance using a Christmas tree net bagger.
What could be next? Stuff a turkey with the most unusual filling? Bowl a strike using a Christmas pudding? Surprise Santa when he comes out of his grotto? Every one’s a winner.
As soon as an air date is confirmed, we’ll pass it on.