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.
Production company Avalon is staying coy about the newcomers’ identities, only announcing that “Our well-known contestants are experts in their respective fields, and will be revealed in due course.”
Experts in their fields, hmmm? There could well be some big comedy names in the mix, seeing as the pandemic has cut a swathe through touring schedules this year, and the one-off episode requires a far shorter time commitment than your average series.
Might it be the year for creator and co-presenter Alex Horne to finally get his Christmas wish and welcome Jack Dee onto the show? Could Channel 4 stalwart Richard Ayoade be making his eventual debut? A Jennifer Saunders perhaps? Dare we hope for a Kathy Burke? A Sir Lenny Henry? Bill Bailey would be excellent, but he’s currently tripping the light fantastic over on BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing. As soon as the names are confirmed, we’ll let you know who to expect.
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.