TV

Taskmaster New Zealand is Finally Streaming in the UK! But Who’s Who?


Here’s the rundown on TM NZ hosts Jeremy Wells and Paul Williams, plus contestants Brynley Stent, Leigh Hart, Angella Dravid, Guy Williams and Madeleine Sami.

Brynley Stent, Guy Williams, Angella Dravid, Leigh Hunt, Madeleine Sami
Photo: Channel 4/Avalon

Watching an international version of Taskmaster has the uncanny quality of trying to explain a dream. The sets are the same, but also not. The theme music’s a match, but it’s playing over people and tasks you don’t recognise. The Taskmaster was there, but it wasn’t the Taskmaster, just some other tall man in a suit. And instead of the familiar comedian configuration of ‘two off telly, two off Twitter and one you’ve never heard of’, you (probably) haven’t heard of anybody.

Once you have your bearings though, free Taskmaster! Multiple new-to-you episodes to fill the gap while we wait for series 16. And it’s good stuff. The New Zealand version is particularly strong, with an excellent choice of Taskmaster’s Assistant and consistently funny comedians. Also, thanks to (the show’s own) joke that New Zealand has a population of just eight people, two of the first series cast-members are brothers, and they’ve all co-starred multiple times with our own Rose Matafeo.

Here’s what you need to know about the comedy cast.

The Taskmaster: Jeremy Wells

As well as filling Greg Davies’ sizeable shoes in the role of the Taskmaster, 46-year-old Jeremy Wells is a current affairs radio and TV host who first came to fame on New Zealand’s MTV channel in the late 90s/early 00s as “Newsboy”, a sidekick to New Zealand media personality Mikey Havoc. A satirist known for his deadpan delivery, Wells dropped out of a journalism course at university to start his TV comedy career. He’s the son of sports businesspeople Sir John Wells and Lady Sheryl Wells, is privately educated, a fan of classical music, and in 2020 was voted one of New Zealand’s best dressed men on television. Wells currently co-hosts the Radio Hauraki breakfast show and weekday TV news programme Seven Sharp (see clip above). Here’s a link to him discussing his life and career on the Between Two Beers podcast.

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