You never know a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes, and you never know a comedian until you’ve watched them walk through a doorway in the longest shoes, hastily fashioned out of drainpipes they found in the Taskmaster shed, and then argued about with Greg Davies for points. Taskmaster is a window into the souls of our nation’s clowns, and here’s whose souls we’ll be nosying into for series 14: Dara Ó Briain, Fern Brady, John Kearns, Munya Chawawa and Sarah Millican!
(No, it’s still not Richard Ayoade. Maybe we should try a gov.uk petition.)
It’s a very solid line-up of up-and-coming comics flanked by two household name comedians, and follows on from the second Champion of Champions special and Series 13’s excellent collection of Ardal O’Hanlon, Bridget Christie, Chris Ramsay, Judi Love (JUDI. LOVE.) and Sophie ‘Don’t call me Ducker’ Duker.
That series finished with crowning Sophie Duker rightful queen, with Judi Love never even winning a single episode despite winning every episode for the quality of her blagging, and with Bridget Christie having coined an unsettling knee-based Taskmaster dance, henceforth to be performed by schoolchildren around the UK on bank holidays.
If tradition is followed, expect to see Series 14 debut on Channel 4 in the UK in September/October. Until then, here’s a wee introduction to the new faces tackling the Taskmaster’s weird demands.
Dara Ò Briain
After countless massively successful stand-up tours and DVD releases, hosting Mock the Week and Robot Wars and Go 8 Bit and that one with Professor Brian Cox where they look through telescopes at the Orion constellation, Irish comic Dara O’Briain needs no introduction, but we’ve just done one anyway. Get a little taste of his fast-talking, precise, absurdist humour below. The neutrinos have mutated!
Visit his official website here for more.
Scottish comedian Fern Brady is one of the best around, with a string of tours, Edinburgh Fringe performances and TV spots under her belt, as you’ll see below. Be warned, the content is Not Safe For Work (but in all probability if you’re watching this at work, the sound’s coming through your headphones so if anybody asks, you can just tell people the lady in the polka dot dress is talking about biscuits not blow jobs).
Visit her official website for more.
Professional weirdo and acclaimed stand-up, John Kearns is a collaborator of Taskmaster extended family member Tim Key (official task consultant, Series One contestant and long-time mate of Little Alex Horne’s). In addition to award-winning stand-up shows, Kearns has popped up on plenty of TV from 8 Out of 10 Cats to Drunk History and recently released a series of audio plays available to hear on BBC Sounds.
Follow him on Twitter here.
Comedian, TV presenter and the creator of hit parody sketches, Munya Chawawa is a big YouTube and Instagram star who’s rapidly crossing over into wider fame. A collaborator with Mo Gilligan, Yung Filly (see below) and multiple musicians, his characters include posh drill rapper Unknown P and TV chef Johnny Oliver. The Guardian called him Instagram’s finest satirist in 2020.
See more on his YouTube channel.
Seller-out of massive stand-up shows and big live DVD releases, TV personality and co-founder of the excellent Standard Issue (listen to the podcast here), Sarah Millican is surely on the list of comics in contention for the future title of national treasure. You’ve seen her bringing filth, wit and realism to Live at the Apollo, Would I Lie to You and countless other TV programmes. Once again, expect some NSFW fruity subject matter in the below video.
Visit her official website here for more.
Taskmaster Series 14 will air on Channel 4 later in 2022.