Every time Alex Horne is asked about his dream Taskmaster contestant, he says Jack Dee. Every. Single. Time. And yet in fourteen series and two (soon to be three) New Year Specials, they still haven’t managed to book Jack Dee for the show.
The Taskmaster team have posted this teaser ahead of tonight’s final, after which we’ll discover the Series 15 cast, so there’s hope yet that Dee is one of these elusive one-man-bands:
While we wait to discover their identities, we’ve got a few names of our own to throw into the ring for potential future Taskmaster contestants/victims:
Richard Ayoade is always at the top of Taskmaster fan’s ‘dream contestant’ lists, and this dream has already been perilously close to becoming reality: Alex Horne revealed that they’d previously almost managed to sign him up but his Travel Man commitments got in the way. There’s no denying it would be an utter treat to see how Ayoade’s unique and brilliant brain would interpret the tasks, so let’s not give up hope just yet.
Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders
Another name on Horne’s list of ‘ones that got away’ is Dawn French. She’s previously been too busy to do the show, but maybe if we squeeze our eyes shut and wish very, very hard, the stars will somehow align and not only will French be free, but her comedy partner Jennifer Saunders can do the show too. Imagine the fantastic shenanigans those two would bring to the group tasks.
She’s bold, outrageously funny and utterly fearless – we think she’d be a scream. She’d probably try and cheat at half the tasks and use her wry charm to get away with it. And she’d make mincemeat out of poor Alex Horne. She might even make mincemeat out of Greg Davies.
We’ve already been blessed with Victoria Coren-Mitchell taking part in Series 12 (she came last, but it was a good last!), so think how much fun it would be to see how her husband fares in comparison? Besides, there’s not much that could throw the mighty Taskmaster Greg Davies off his stride, but we reckon one of David Mitchell’s famous rants might.
David and Georgia Tennant
Speaking of celebrity couples, what about pitting the brilliant Tennants against each other in the same series? David and Georgia Tennant are both chock full of wit and certainly no stranger to appearing in the same show together, and we feel the competition between them would be entertainingly fierce. Besides, think how happy it would make about a gazillion Doctor Who fans, us very much included.
Imagine the pure, blissful chaos! Especially if he was on a series with David Mitchell, as the few times they’ve appeared on a show together it’s been a total delight. We can’t even begin to think how Greg Davies would score whatever Big Narstie decides to do for the tasks, but we’d absolutely love to see him try. It’s Big Narstie’s world and we’re just living in it.
His sharp, insightful, creative comedy is the perfect mix for the kinds of things Taskmaster can throw at you – we’re thinking beautifully outside-the-box Prize Tasks contributions (probably a live badger or something), totally honest reactions to tasks under pressure, and don’t even get us started on how Bailey would perform in a musical task.
We know Khorsandi can keep just about keep cool under pressure after her appearance on I’m a Celebrity, and her adorable dorky earnestness bodes very well for a Taskmaster appearance. She might end up being one of the series’ more hopeless contestants, but we all know they’re the best ones anyway.
Wit? Check. Brains? Check. Determination? Check. Being an absolutely bloody massive comedy legend? Check, check, check! If anyone can convince Eddie Izzard to take a break from politics to do Taskmaster, we’d be forever grateful. Seriously, please make it happen.
Tom Allen and Meera Syal
Pssst: earlier this year, Alex Horne revealed Tom Allen and Meera Syal were also on his shortlist to appear on the show after he attended the British Comedy Awards with them. With Tom’s lightning-speed comebacks and Meera Syal’s all-round ‘comedy national treasure’-ness, we’d pay good money to see them on a Taskmaster lineup together.
Alright, Alex Horne, you’ve got a point. And for what it’s worth, Jack Dee has the Den of Geek seal of approval. As Horne rightly pointed out, he’s got all the makings of a dream contestant: ‘Because I watched him on Celebrity Big Brother, it must have been 10 years ago now, trying to escape by digging a hole with a spoon, which I think… that’s Taskmaster behaviour.’
Watch the Taskmaster finale on Channel 4 at 9pm on Thursday 1st December or stream on All 4