The Junior Taskmaster Hosts Are the Perfect Choice

There’s a new Taskmaster in the house. Former contestant Rose Matafeo will be sitting on the golden throne for the Channel 4 kids’ spin-off.

Taskmaster Greg Davies Alex Horne
Photo: Avalon

It was the big question. When the Junior Taskmaster spin-off was announced back in March with new hosts welcoming the nation’s children to complete a series of absurd and pointless challenges, who would be sitting in the golden thrones? A new Taskmaster was required, along with a new Taskmaster’s assistant. One had to be masterful and imperious, the other detail-oriented and servile, and crucially, they both had to be good with kids.

The answer: series nine and 11 contestants Rose Matafeo and Mike Wozniak! Matafeo will be taking the Junior Taskmaster role scoring the young contestants’ efforts, with Wozniak providing admin-based support in the studio and on-site child wrangling during tasks as the Junior Taskmaster’s Assistant.

Matafeo came second in her series of Taskmaster, in which she competed against winner Ed Gamble (now the host of the show’s official podcast), and fellow not-winners David Baddiel, Katy Wix and Jo Brand. She’s described the Junior Taskmaster appointment as “one of the greatest honours of [her] already wildly successful career,” and is looking forward to the power trip.

Originally from New Zealand, Matafeo is a stand-up, writer and actor whose romantic comedy series Starstruck met widespread acclaim. It’s the story of a not-famous Londoner Jessie (Matafeo) who starts a relationship with a famous Hollywood actor Tom (Nikesh Patel). Series one and two are already available to stream on BBC iPlayer, and series three is currently in the works. Pointless fans can also see Matafeo as part of the weekday celebrity co-host line-up following the departure of Richard Osman in July 2022.

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Mike Wozniak was the unforgettable series 11 contestant who committed big time to the ‘Thing that makes you look tough’ prize task (no spoilers here for anybody still catching up), and generally charmed everybody with his polite manners and enthusiastic geography-teacher-on-a-school-trip vibes. He may not have won series 11 – that honour went to the fiercely competitive Sarah Kendall, who came top over Charlotte Ritchie, Jamali Maddix and Lee Mack – but he certainly won our hearts.

Wozniak’s history with Taskmaster goes back much further than his televised series. He was the original winner of Alex Horne’s very first iteration of the show, back when it was on stage as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2010. Here’s what he said about joining the Junior Taskmaster team:

“All I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a Little Alex Horne (or a regional manager for a major provider of motorway service stations) so this is literally a dream come true. I hereby vow to do my utmost to hold the office of Junior Taskmaster’s Assistant in the spirit of the original Little Alex Horne: with his courage, his grit and his dignity”.

Taskmaster Junior makes a lot of sense as a spin-off. The show is hugely popular with kids, families and especially teachers, who, since Taskmaster at Home during lockdown, have adopted its format to support the primary curriculum and enthuse children about all manner of creative, exploratory fun.  

Plus, we’ve already seen it work for Junior Bake-Off, a well-cast, slimmed-down version of the parent show that features genuinely charming kids having a great time generally being more mature than host Harry Hill. The more Taskmaster, the merrier!

Taskmaster is available to stream on Channel 4 and (series 1-6) on Netflix.

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