Taskmaster: Ranking Every Series From Merely Quite Good to Ludicrous Best

We rank all previous runs of Taskmaster from Series 1 to 14 according to which have the perfect combination of comedians, absurd challenges and studio camaraderie.

Taskmaster Greg Davies Alex Horne
Photo: Avalon

Imagine being someone who’s never seen Taskmaster. A virgin to joy. Someone whose eyes have never before drunk in the sight of a banana-Noel Fielding hiding in a fruit bowl, of Joe Wilkinson presenting the mayor of Chesham with 42 Calippo ice lollies, or of Charlotte Ritchie stumbling around a golf course blindfolded like an adorable Minion. What promise awaits! The prize tasks, the flashes of creative genius, the glorious failures… Alex Horne’s challenge-based comedy panel show is one of the most reliably entertaining TV programmes ever made.

If you’ve yet to have the pleasure, and would like a steer as to which series are the best of this show, then here’s our attempt to lead you though the highs and less-highs (full runs only here, no Champion of Champions or New Year Treats included). Please note that this ranking was produced by democratic process, which means that even we don’t agree with it (the Daisy May Cooper one was robbed – Ed).

15. Series Six

Taskmaster Series 6

Alice Levine, Liza Tarbuck, Asim Chaudry, Russell Howard, Tim Vine

There’s no such thing as a bad series of Taskmaster. Instead, there are series of Taskmaster where contestants neither reach for the stars nor end up hilariously in the gutter. They simply, like this lot, go about their challenges with a faintly embarrassed competency and a sense of trying to get it over with as quickly as possible. The highs aren’t that high, the lows aren’t that low and so the result is… middling. What Series 6 lacked was a madman contestant (your Noel Fielding, your Bob Mortimer, your Daisy May Cooper, your Bridget Christie) to drag the whole thing into proper absurdity. Yes, the legendary Liza Tarbuck had Alex sink his bare arse into a custardy cake, and Tim Vine memorably pulled topless muscle man poses from inside a cardboard box next to the A316, but the whole thing had too much controlled reserve and as a result, not quite enough shared-trauma-hysteria studio camaraderie. LM


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