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Hello and welcome to the Taskmaster podcast, extra bonus special episode, I'm Ed Gamble, no longer the champion, very sad, have handed my crown over to Richard Herring. But what doesn't get handed over to Richard Herring is the ownership of this podcast. I will still be in charge for forever more, despite him whining online that he's not now hosting the podcast. He's got enough podcasts, arguably. So have I, but I will not be letting go of this one.
This is a very special episode. We will be talking to the Taskmaster himself. Greg Davis, very excited to have Greg on the podcast to talk about memories of Season 10 and all things Taskmaster in general. But before we get on with that, very excited to announce. Well, we've announced it already, but some of you might not have seen that we will be doing Taskmaster Rewind. We will be going back to the beginning of Taskmaster and doing Episode one, series one on January the 7th.
That's when it starts. And we'll be going through episode by episode, hopefully until the end of time.
We'll have to pause to do series 11, then pick it up again eventually I think will probably catch up with the series and then just start all over again basically until I go insane. That's that's how it's going to work. But for now, we're going to talk to Greg. There will also be an episode covering the New Year's episode of Taskmaster. Our special guest for that one will be Screwiest Pip who loves Taskmaster, never been on the show, but he does a brilliant podcast called Distraction Pieces, which I'm sure you've heard.
It's been around for ages. He does amazing interviews. He loves Taskmasters. So we'll be chatting to him about the New Year's EP. But for now, let's get on with this one and talk to the taskmaster, Greg Davis.
Oh, welcome to the Taskmaster podcast. It's the task master himself, Greg Davis. Hello, Greg. Hello. We're in. Are you ready now? Yeah, man, am I ready to go down.
Lots of notes re watch the series.
Yeah I, I really watched it and I made extensive notes for the past seven days. It's all I've done. I've sacrificed Christmas for it.
Oh was that you. Yeah. So a lot of people are quite angry about that, but now they know it's for the Task Master podcast. I'm sure they're absolutely I know that.
I can't believe I came up with that with the idea of a new strain just to make sure you had some time to do some notes on serious head of Taskmaster.
Greg. And I do understand this is probably quite a hard thing to talk about now because, yes, it's just been on. But you've also completed series eleven at this point. So serious. I may be slightly distant in the memory, but I'm here to help jog your memory and discuss some of the wonderful times.
Well, that's very sweet of you, but I think we both know the reason that my memory will need jogging is because I have no memory left.
Yes, you're a husk.
I mean, genuinely, it's almost certainly clinical. Put it put it like this.
And one of my first jobs when we do a record is to introduce the five contestants. Right. Production have to print out their names. Even on episode ten, they still mark the floor manager still comes out and goes, here's your list of five names of the people you've been working with. I can't retain five names, but, you know, there's only one from the medical profession. Listen, again, I don't want to know what's wrong. No, but even if they did tell you what was wrong, I presume you'd immediately forget about it.
Yeah, I'll be fine. Yes. For its blissful.
Anyway, I remember the saying the name sheet when I did series nine and remember being slightly offended. So I'm glad that you've always had to do it and you still do it now. Have you been on it.
Yeah, absolutely. That was sitting there. I left that open go.
And if you, if you're going to throw those balls at me, I'm going to get them.
What memories do you have of serious Ted and Greg? Do you have any sort of general feelings about the series? Does it fill you with a warmth or a chill?
No, it fills me with a great warmth, actually. I don't want to be in any way sincere, but it was a nerve wracking time for, you know, obviously it's pretty nerve wracking time for everyone, isn't it? There's a nerve wracking time for us because we were forced to do things a little bit differently. And and so we were all a bit nervous. We just moved channel. And and then suddenly we have an audience for the first time.
So it was really nerve wracking not knowing how it was going to play out. And it sounds mawkish to say, but. We really couldn't have wished for five better people to help us through those turbulent waters straight away. They were. They were what's the word? You know, it's even though it's just it's just silly tasks. Even though it's on paper a silly game show, it's still pretty nerve wracking to put yourself above the parapet like that and expose parts of yourself that you wouldn't normally expose.
And they would just the spirit of all five of them was just brilliant.
I thought yeah, I thought it was a particularly giving line up, which I guess you needed in that studio environment. You need people to be to be giving to each other.
It was really difficult. Yeah. Everyone everyone sort of put their egos to one side so beautifully and it makes for it. It made for a great series, I think one of my favorites for sure. And. And it also makes it difficult for me to be horrible to them. So part of my role obviously is to be is to be to be unreasonable also.
Well, you say it made it difficult, but you certainly you certainly manage it, I think. Oh, yeah. Everyone at some point was treated extremely unfairly.
Of course, you've got you've got to pull together the toilet crisis. And if I have if I have to be foul to to human beings to make a good show, so be it.
Towards the end, Johnny Vegas was I think you destroyed his his very being, he so wanted to do well, he tried so hard and all of those tasks and any opportunity you got, you disqualified him. And as soon as he found out it was going to make him look bad in front of his child, you went even harder on him. Yes.
Well, I don't mean to justify that. I'd love you to justify it. Well, I don't have children, but I have nieces.
And I'm a I'm of the school of thought that if a child brings me a painting and that and that painting is rubbish, I'm not going to tell them it's good. Yeah. Because I don't think that that's good for them.
And similarly, on the most contentious issue where he begs me for a point, was this the Biema House on the back of my house?
And he he begged me for a point and made quite a public show of it, quite a public show. It just felt like awful emotional blackmail to me. Yeah. And and I'm very fond of Johnny, but on that, I thought, no, this man's got to learn that he can't he can't turn on the waterworks.
From my perspective, watching it as as a viewer, I wanted Johnny to get that bonus point. And I felt very sorry for him. And I thought he tried really hard. And then I put myself in the place of another contestant. If I'd been on that line up, I would have been absolutely screaming at you to not give him any more points and disqualify him.
Of course you would, because you're one of the most competitive people we've had on the show.
But I'm a laugh as well. I'm a great laugh, Greg. Don't forget that. Sure. Of course. Of course you are.
How what were the in terms of having no audience, how did that change your role or how how you approached it?
I think it changed the dynamic so dramatically. I thought it was amazing. And and I think that the the the thing that helped us with the transition, the transition was having a heavily pregnant woman who is the most generous laughter I think I've ever met is someone you know, Daisy was just absolutely in hysterics from the from the start of the show. And, you know, I know you've spoken about this before, but but throughout with we the cat, the phrase is, is this a laughing fit or is this someone going into labour?
Went through my head so many times. So many times. But as a result, all of them were so generous in their laughter. It just felt it felt like we were a gang. And it always does to an extent. I think all we you know, it feels like a gang show pretty quickly. I think that we're all in it together and there's just this preposterous, grumpy person in the middle of it. But it still feels like a gang to me.
I always I always want to be part of the new formed friendship group afterwards, but I never really am because the memories of being denied points or something just unfairly. Yeah, that's the great the great issue is being the taskmaster is that you for formal these friendship groups, but you're always held at arm's length.
Always, always with suspicion.
I can't say people see me being publicly weak.
I have a 17 year old and he's never going to speak to me after that. So be it.
Does that sort of like gang spirit, did that carry over into series 11 as well as you film? Yeah, yeah. Really? Very much. Very much so. The same. I don't think, you know, the there wasn't Daisy, my lover in the group that put us always, but they were just great straight away. And I mean, I know we're not here to talk about that series, but I'll I will tell you, man, have you got some have you got some treats in store?
There are two moments where I was genuinely speechless and outright genuinely shocked to my core.
There were two moments where I didn't I was sitting in that chair going, I don't know how to respond to this. And they are right. They are going to live on in Taskmaster folklore for as long as the show continues to be spoken about. The both of these things will be at the very top of the list that people talk about when they go. Do you remember that show where X happened? One or both things will be in that list if we're out of this.
I almost want to come and watch one of the episodes with you. Great. Because your I think you'll just jump out of a window.
Now, series 10, some highlights. I mean, every week I write down my little my little highlights of the episodes and I've narrowed I've narrowed it down to five. And luckily, it's a moment for every contestant, every contestant gets gets a moment here.
Why do we take it in turns to tell each other our moments and see if it was in our moments. Sounds great. Let's have you ever alternated the moments on this podcast? This is the first time we've ever alternated moments. I think we should have a jingle for it. All right. Got a.
Oh, man. Yeah, perfect. But don't go first. When I think of the series, I think of the dummy task when they when they had to dress the dummy to the other name, Bernard Bernard, the mannequin in the circle and they had to get the clothes over and dress Bernard. And yes, Johnnie has this extraordinary ability to cause chaos and a need for a more cynical person. You go, he does it on purpose. But I have been through this series.
I don't think Johnnie does do it on purpose. I think he really is out of control. I think I imagine if I went round to his home, it would look like it had been freshly burgled every day because he's just fallen into things. And yeah, it it starts it starts tidy.
I'm imagining he spends all night cleaning. Then he goes that it's awning, puts his puts his fur on like one thing and then he's like a human game of mousetrap just falling into the and everything. A domino effect around his home. There was there were two favorite moments of Johnnie for me, and they're not really a response to the task, although he did so brilliantly and he was so imaginative and he thinks so. He's such a brilliantly creative mind.
But the two moments that I go to every time that he just fell over one day when he when he was just walking over towards sunset times. Oh, well, you and both make it. So there's two moments for John Johnny Vegas falling over twice. So he fell off a ladder quite early on in the series and he broke the ladder. And that's a bit of a nightmare, isn't it?
Yeah, but then, yeah, it was he was running to get a garden hose, I think. And then it distills his persona, his comic persona. I think because he was so excited, he was full of such hope for the garden hose. And then everything fell apart and he was just running for the hose and he tripped somewhere and he didn't slip. I've watched it so many times. He didn't slip. He just fell down just so glorious.
And the other moment is with Bernard, the the mannequin, when it all predictably fell apart and Bernard was, you know, his head was covered up with his hands and he just held what was left left of the mannequin and said and said, oh, my beautiful boy, my beautiful boy.
Yeah. I actually I was right the other day and I, I wrote The Light. Oh, my beautiful boy. And thought, oh, that's good. That's going to be so poignant. And then I remember I remembered I'd just simply stolen it from Vegas who was from Vegas and it lost it. A genuine moment of emotion. And that's the thing about him.
He's such a genuinely emotional, genuinely emotional human being.
Yeah. And I don't know if we've seen that genuine side of him before, like it's always been it's always been very funny and it's always been part of the persona. But it felt like because he'd invested so much time and effort into the tasks we were actually saying his real personality big.
Yeah, well, I just but I do think he I think he's a really emotional person. And I think, you know, all good comedy comes from some kind of truth, doesn't it? And yeah, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the character of Johnny Vegas is just cynically written, but it's not. I think he's a really intriguing, emotional not wreck, not wreck, just demonstrably emotional.
Well, he's he's constantly racking and then rebo. Yeah. Yeah.
So he is a wreck like half time. But he's also he's also so eloquent and and creative and and loving. It's one of the I said something really obviously I said lots of mean things to all of them, but I said something particularly mean to him about there being no distinction between I suggested there was no distinction between his onstage character and its real character. And I think he was genuinely hurt because, of course, there is there is a distinction.
You know, he is yeah, he is playing with the character. But I just my.
Is you believe it, you when he struck that mannequin's head and said, oh, my beautiful boy, I really was just I was there, I felt like I was watching a film is such a naturally funny presence, my quote of the series.
But it wasn't even shown. It was Alex repeating it back with the Count the Bulls task when you emptied all the bulls on the floor.
And then he said, it looks like a map of my useless DNA.
Did they just scream once he hit them on the floor? Yeah, he screamed and I think he was going, why do you think essentially existential. I love it.
So brilliant. My moment my highlight was tonight's moment. This is the first alternation. This is the first alternation. Do you need a different jingle for that alternation? One, OK, alternation one.
It's Dezi, Matt Cooper. It's the live studio task. It's hip hop.
Well, I've written it down as one of my top five things as well, and I feel just incredible, inexplicable, genuinely uncomfortable.
Yeah, there's definitely a moment. Yeah, well, Richard is genuinely uncomfortable during that. He's got a he's got the smile on his face that a little boy has if he's being told off, but he still won't say what he wanted to say about it.
But I imagine he was genuinely upset, wasn't he?
I think he was he was worried at the time. Yeah, he was worried at the time that he was just Richard.
I was worried. I thought, yeah, this woman is this woman is capable of punching this man in the face. It was not absolutely rubbish. She was 100 percent in the wrong but the fury she felt for Richard. But I think it was born of being paired with him repeatedly. And I think I detected the first time they met or some instant hostility from Daisy. Well, she is the first team to ask when he walks into the room and she's already in there and she backs away, she backs away from him physically, mentally and physically, backs away from him and looks at him as if he's just a man who's wandered onto the task master.
Do you know who he was? I think 100 percent, because he's only 33.
So there's a good chance that Harring is literally persona non grata and with the best player in the world to Richard. And I'll speak of my affection for him at some point with the best player in the world.
He has consistently for a decade looked like a sex offender to his face that, oh, I know you well.
And it's not like he's maintained one style easy, but he's been all the different sex offenders, multiple different looks.
But the one the one one consistent. The one consistent factor I'm looking at having to have a look on the Internet, I implore you, is that he looks he looks like he's dangerous. So what happened in that moment was that Daisy was there to do a day of taskmaster, and then suddenly she thought a sex offender had walked.
Yes, into a slightly nervous autumn. I'm going to make a fool of myself. I hope. I hope I'm funny. I hope I do the well. Oh, my God, I'm in danger.
And then even when you find out when she found out is Richard Harris and he was part of the show that sticks around that initial introduction, that that's sort of colors the road, doesn't mean that you could almost see her going, OK, this guy's in the show, OK, I'm going to have to adapt to this.
And then it all came to a head. Well, you know, it's funny, isn't it? Daisy was 100 percent in the wrong and yet Richard came out of it. The villain of the piece for me in some in some twisted way. I understand. She was. She was. Well, you mean it was real. It was real anger. It was. It was. And that was what was unnerving about it. And I thought I was going to have to step in.
I thought I was going to have to genuinely be an authority figure for real, because we never really see that on TV, like genuine real anger, like the sort of private, private anger where you're just, like, screaming in the house. Right. Which we can all get to now and again, but not.
And she just absolutely imagines where we keep that stuff hidden in the in the walls of our homes where we're monstrous human beings.
I approached it with the David Baddiel drawing task in Series nine. I was I was ramping up towards genuine real anger, but I always felt I still had one. I was being amusing. I went to revealed that drawing to you. It was it was like someone putting a delicious meal down in front of me. I felt like, oh, here we go. What shall I first? So I'm a little bit of a meat first.
You know. I don't know if I still have that kind of trial.
Let's talk about the opposite sort of person. Catherine Parkin's. Yeah, yeah. Who was a delight from beginning to end.
It was I think she was discovering things about herself as we were discovering the material. I completely agree and I completely agree that she was a delight. Well, you know, I've said in many interviews, the thing that delights me about Taskmaster is there's nowhere to hide that you as performers, you become quite adept at only revealing certain certain side to your personality. And the task must have roots, roots.
The other stuff publicly.
And and she was just ripe for that because Katharine Parkinson is such a poised, elegant person. And as I said on the show, an actress of some note, and I've I've no doubt just perfectly charming in every single situation. But you can't be mannered in this show. You can't be consistently mannered. And for me, it was just an absolute delight, whether it was a delight for Catherine, me taking delight in in that poise, being repeatedly knocked down and exposed.
I don't know the thing about that. I often find this when you have actors on the show as well, because that thing you say about having to reveal parts of your personality that you've kept hidden up until that point, I think comedians are slightly more comfortable with that because that's sort of our job is to find new aspects of our. Yeah. Yeah. About an expose to the public. But actors do the opposite. That's the opposite job.
So having that put in front of them and being confronted with them, doing something in real life, and that's their personality, I can imagine.
Yeah, it must be so hard. But she was so genuinely uncomfortable at times. I found it so funny. I felt, you know, I felt the glee of a small child thinking, oh, how's it going to handle this? And we did that really naughty. It's only an outtake. But but when it sounded like Katharine had done a fart in in FAIA, if you seen it and make it absolutely hadn't farted. And we all knew full well she had Phyliss, but it sounded so like it.
And the childish glee that I that I felt saying, yeah, someone farted, but I'm not going to show it. And unless you all agree to it, the childish glee I felt knowing it was Catherine and that she would be so affronted and horrified by.
But I thought, oh my God, you are one of your one of your great skills.
Greg is being able to tease things to the line and just over the course of ten episodes, just make more and more fun of Catherine knowing that she could handle it bit by bit like sort of China. Well, I hope I did it incrementally. But then at the end, I think the masks proved controversial.
The mask, the masks. I feel like you thought, well, it's the last episode. Let's just go for it. And you're so horrible about her mask and she look crooked.
I know. And I'm sure everybody thinks I don't care, but I really do. And I really felt awful about the masks. You can tell you basically spend the rest of the episode trying to get back in the good books, I think you gave her you gave her a bonus point at one point, just hours. So that's what that bonus point was for. But, you know, it's a dance, isn't it? And I think part of the fun of the show is we do we do take it to the edge and push them, push them a little bit.
But I did feel bad.
But the trouble is that I'm going to make it worse for them.
But the trouble is, I did think I thought she was joking. It wasn't it wasn't that I thought, oh, I'm going to humiliate Katherine now by suggesting a mass of rubbish. I just thought, oh, she's bored. Yes. I think this rubbish is rubbish.
Just I've just had this urge to work with Clay quite often. Male faces write everything at home.
I think it might be a prank. It was Katherine's collection.
It's interesting. I expected them to be better than. I think that's fair.
That's a fair thing to assume because the prize task is you bring something in because it's funny or you're genuinely trying to win. At no point is that the best collection. So you would never think someone's brought something on as a prize because they're proud of it. But I don't think Katherine has seen the show necessarily before. She picked her prize tasks. At one point during the series, she commented that she didn't know that this was four points. She thought it was just the beginning.
Yeah. And I think she probably did bring that mask on thinking it was the best thing. It was just a lovely thing that we all go, what a lovely thing that she does in her spare time.
But but I think when it was in lockdown as well, it was in lockdown that she dedicated her life to making Clay Masters in lockdown and then on national television, she had some blow rubbishing, rubbishing her talent.
I'm really sorry if you ever listen to this, Katherine. I am. And when she showed the fuller collection of masks, I thought there were better ones there. There were ones that I wouldn't I wouldn't have ridiculed her for. So I think Katherine's talents as an artist is still up for grabs. Marwan Rizwan, an incredible competitor. I think he's he's sort of sneaking up there with one of my favorite contestants ever, I think in terms of the variety of things he did at points, I thought he's one of the stupidest people to ever have been on the show in country, in the country.
One of the cleverest people, stupid people in the country. I mean, that's my my moment. I could have picked a good moment. From what I could have picked a bad moment. I've gone with trying to fill in, like with him. I mean, it's without question the top, top five taskmaster moments of all all the series for me, because he wasn't joking, because he did think that he would he would be able to put helium inside an egg and that and that he had the space to get helium in Cytotec.
Eggs, of course, famously full of stuff. And and B, that it would be enough helium for the eggs mysteriously floating like a ghost.
It's I don't even know the logic of it. If he had put helium in the egg and the egg floated because he had to get it down onto something. So I think I said this at the time on the podcast, but the egg would have just floated up to the ceiling, wouldn't it? It wouldn't have got in the pan.
What are we imagining, Emma? Are we imagining a world tour where he successfully got helium into a volcano? So he gets into to the egg, the egg starts to float.
But then the aim then is to get the egg into the pan, which is below him. But the eggs just going to float?
Well, I think in one's mind, he only gets enough helium in the egg for it to float at a certain height like a deflated balloon. Yeah, they they start to come down from the ceiling. So I think he was hoping to judge it. So there was only enough helium in the flag so that it floated their heads high. And then I guess he was going to blow it over or. Yeah.
Know the helium dissipated enough as it was travelling over to the pan to drop.
I mean, I'm just trying to imagine if it did, you could fill all the eggs with helium and send a sort of flock of eggs over that.
Is that what they call the collection of flock? Is he? Yes. I just thought he was wonderful throughout similarly and for different reasons ones. One of those people who was just so comfortable in his own skin, I think so happy with who he is and how he responds to things, even if it all goes horribly wrong. I and he's such a creative he's such a creative character. Yes. Well, I loved his his little book of positive affirmations where where he counteracted any main thing I said with with a prepared, positive affirmation.
OK, well I would just like to say no, Greg. So yes, I am a valuable member of this team. I am assertive. I'm creative and powerful and beautiful. I'm a sexy bad ass bitch.
Added that last night he was the best of price tasks I think, which, you know, was not hard in this series.
It was the worst collection of price.
Oh, you think you think Christerson is serious and you think Dazy makeup straight away because that that woman. Yeah, I'm genuinely offended me throughout, but because of the contempt that she showed the show by literally stumbling out of a kitchen and grabbed the first thing she cooked. And it's so funny, isn't it, that that I am genuinely irritated by such things. I there's not play-acting by me.
Well, because it's the first it's the first thing you say on the show. People are tuning in. They might have heard about this taskmasters show. They want to see what it's like. And it was on a new channel. And the first thing to happen on the new channel with the new series was Daisy Baykeeper brought a bottle of wine, just no, absolutely no attempt.
And also that's what I like about Taskmasters. There's never an attempt to produce any other show would have gone made maybe think of something.
You know, we go we go with what they say. And I think that's important that they we go with yeah. We let them genuinely make their own decisions. And that's and that's another thing, you know, that's worth talking about is that we also genuinely judge people in the moment as well. There's no there's no sitting behind. There's no planning. And we agree who's going to do well in any given task. I genuinely judge in the moment and subsequently arguably make the occasional mistake.
Mm. Well we might come to those. Oh yeah. I certainly picked up on a few mistakes throughout the series. Great.
Now obviously no had the helium but also had a few in this moment, particular fan of the prize task where he brought in a shrine of himself and also the building the bay, a lighthouse.
Those are my two. Yes my Lord knows. Well, he's a flamboyant man. He's a flamboyant man myself, but. Why not? Yeah, and some cracken outfits, unbelievable outfits, all of which on any other person would be preposterous, wouldn't they, though?
I can't think of anyone else I know who would walk in with any of those outfits. And I wouldn't say anything other than you having a breakdown. But when I see one in them, I think it really suits really suits him insane, glittery.
Well, you say that we've got a champion of champions coming up at some point, and I've not bet my studio outfits yet. So I will be wearing little shorts and I will be matching my nails.
I'm sure it's time for you to move on from troubled denim. Thank you. Quadruple if you can use.
Now Champion, the champion of Taskmasters series, said Richard Herring, there's one you even say his name with contempt.
Some people have contacted me and and Richard and asked why Richard get such a kicking on this podcast. It's the relationship that men, Richard, have had since we first met each other. And I think he has that relationship with a lot of people. He's just so easy and fun to make fun of and he takes it well.
Yes, it's because it's because he laughs at inflicted cruelty. He finds it funny, people being mean to him. And I'm sure he's that many years of therapy to work out why that is. But it is intoxicating. I agree. And I can't wait to be horrible to Richard every time I meet him. And and I said things to him on the show that shocked me as I came out of my mouth. I thought, that's just such an awful vindictive thing to say to a human being.
But he he elicits it, I think. Yeah, he asks for it. I say to you, you said there were lots of shuffling old man comments that I made to him, and it felt really natural to say that.
But Richard's my age, certainly maybe one year old, something like that, I don't know.
Well, he didn't, but he he sort of attacked everything with enthusiasm. But there was definitely an old man vibe to the way he did everything, especially on that. I think you particularly brought it up on the office chair where they had to whaled themselves around on an office chair. And Morgan, one off often did it all perfectly.
And Richard did it like he was in an office, like a tragic old man shuffling around a garden centre. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's what he looked like. But also, I was really shocked by how one Richard was in his approach to nearly every single task, because he's a very clever bloke and he's very creative as well. But his approach to all of them, you know, I had to stop myself on numerous occasions going, what a surprise.
Herring's done the obvious route, one boring thing.
What do you think happened there? Do you think he just decided that he was just going to have to go for the first thing he thought of or it was a genuine I think he wanted to win?
Was that what he wanted to win? And I think if you come in with that attitude, taskmaster, often you end up doing the most boring responses. You. No, I didn't. I'm not suggesting you did. If that's what you call if that's your agenda, it's going to affect your creativity, I think, because you're thinking. Right. What's the most logical way for me to get from A to B? But mercifully in the studio having was a joy.
His response, his response to his responses was joyful, you know?
Well, of course, the highlight for Richard has to be the acting task where he played all of all of the different parts. He was the only person asked to do that. Of course, as soon as Alex sits down with the tasks. There must be a person who sticks out immediately is the person that's going to get bullied by being selected to do a task. And it was always going to be her 100 percent.
But, yeah, as soon as he was booked, I imagine that Alex went good. That's the person we're going to. That's the person we're going to humiliate this episode. This series. Yeah. He and the acting task was extraordinary, though, in that he exposed his lack of talent so quickly. So it it's that character.
With who? That character. Oh, man. It haunts me. But it was it was fun. It was fun. It was Richard giving up on the idea of scoring points that and just letting loose. I thought, yeah. And certainly with with the way he approached it, he was fairly it was an impressive line learning exercise as well. I was genuinely impressed that he nailed all of those characters. I mean, not the accents or the performance, but yeah, he did very well.
There you go. He was trying to win, wasn't he? He said, I'm going to learn I've got to learn all this and then I'll be a good boy. I'll be a good boy and I'll win. I've got my evidence.
Hey, Alex, I got all my evidence for you. I typed it up neatly like you asked. I got three pulled out and I brought the tape for you. It's all the money I got in the world. But you said you needed it more than I did, so I cut it out. Then I wrapped it up for you and here it is. And now you can tell us who the murderer is and that will be the end of the matter.
Now, across the podcast series, I have taken it upon myself now and again to score things differently to you. I've had some I've had some arguments with you.
I don't know if you've heard, if you've heard and I've heard some of them, but if I hear anyone disagreeing with me, I start smashing my own flat up. So I stop listening after a while.
And I knew this is a point I would make to anyone who criticizes any of my decisions is you fucking try it now.
You've got a lot of decisions to make every episode. It must be very stressful. You've got five people staring at you, you know. You know that.
The thing is in the moment, it feels like this is our world.
It feels like this is where we all live.
These people are relying on me for points.
And and and so the most ridiculous of decisions of judging how well someone's doing, how, how how well someone's done by creating a work of art out of fucking biscuits or whatever it may be, it becomes life or death in that moment. I can't explain it. It's it it really does feel stressful.
I acknowledge that sometimes I'm not as evenhanded as I might be and I'm very emotional.
But I, I would like to think that brings something to the show. The fact that you've got an emotionally unstable host. Yes. I feel like that's that's to the show's credit that you don't know which way you're going to score things, depending on what sort of day you cut.
I don't think it's anything that's fair. I don't think it's depending on what sort of day I've had.
And I think it's more angry.
I think more depending on whether I I have I have a prejudice against the person I'm judging for for some reason that may or may not be related to the task that I'm judging.
So if someone texted me earlier in the show, I will hold that resentment, will you?
And I've known each other for a while. And, you know, I do that in real life. I, I cling on to resentments.
Yeah, you're a grudge, really.
Hold a grudge. And it's something I don't like about myself, but I think it's something that plays out well in Taskmaster. Yeah, definitely. Definitely. I only had a couple of a couple of points, really. The task of drawing an animal with a hat on.
That's what I read. And you had to look at how old is this the one way mirror to everything?
Yeah. You gave Johnny five points because he drew himself because he missed the animal with a hat on, because he had a hat on and it was a mirror. He thought it must be draw a self-portrait. Yes. And you gave him five points because it was clearly the best drawing. But he got it wrong. He shouldn't he shouldn't have done himself. He should have worked out that. Yes, he had a hat on, but not everyone else would have a hat on.
So the task isn't going to be different for him.
Yes, but he is an animal. He wasn't he wasn't the animal that was watching. He should have realized that there was another one of the animals that was watching him.
But I just don't I think he got the task wrong. He got the task. They set up all that lovely stuff. There was there was the duck behind the two way mirror, and he just drew himself. I don't think he deserves the point and I've done that now. Now, I'm not doing a very good job of defending myself because this always happens. I always get my ideas and I say I want to take them to Greg. And this happened on the show as well.
And then you say it to you and then you look at people in a way that it completely makes me.
Oh, no, I'm happy to argue. I would just say, you know, I you've pointed out on this podcast before that Alex is going to get increasingly specific in the wording of the tasks because people are finding ways around it. Something something started by Richard Ossman back in the back in the day. Yes, at. And, um, but I think that's one of the great joys of the show, is that people find ways around things and I sort of find the idea that Johnny thought that he was the animal that was watching him sort of I find it quite touching it.
So that's what influence that you are having a day where Johnny Vegas was sort of. Yeah, yeah.
But you're also it's sort of it's sort of quite sweetly melancholic, isn't it, that we're all just animals staring into the abyss? I think I was having a poetic day. There are some times where I just get it wrong. Right. But on that occasion, I do remember that.
And I remember thinking this this fits so well with Vegas's character. So this existential crisis, I sort of stand by the five points might you know, I think I think you might have convinced me, to be honest, but you're not going to convince me on this one. Justice for Captain Bud Wash. It was a prized task. Bring in the best thing that's bigger on the top than it is on the bottom. Daisy brought in a cotton bud, which she dropped her face onto and put a pirate on and called the captain Backwash.
And you gave it two points.
I do not know how you justify, given that two points she'd done so badly with the prize up until that point. Yes, she dropped her face on a on a cotton, but it was as lazy, but it was joyous. I love Captain, but what I want to see more of it was, was it bigger on the top than it was at the bottom? I suppose Captain Pugwash would have been. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sounds like a fucked up.
You fucked up there, mate, because that as soon as that was revealed, I thought this couldn't be more Greg Street captain, but washes right up my street.
Who who won that edge? Remind me.
Morgan won that one with the mike stand when he was like, it's him. The mike came with a bicycle, which is pretty good. But Captain Budhwar should have could have very easily swayed by spectacle.
Well, I think that I think that probably that's probably is explained by one of my weaknesses, which is holding onto prejudice and grudge, and that Daisy has been so consistently awful in the prize task. I think that she brought that whether she brought that luggage with her.
And and I fairly finished it. So I'll take that. Yeah. And all I can say is that if Daisy's listening to this and she wants to try and market Captain Pugwash, that I will happily contribute handsomely to go fund me, page your individual investment, but I'll invest in Pugwash, New York, DC.
Yes, I call it Captain Pugwash.
I mean Asway is no, that is true. I've confirmed that it is what it is.
I get your strategy. It's it's not to focus on round one. I get it. Yes.
We've got some emails, Greg, from Taskmaster Views. I don't think this question is going to go down. Well, I would like to know this. If Greg has to pick one of the former fifty contestants for succeeding him as the task master, who would that be and why? All the best. And happy holidays, Yellow Vanderkam Fardell today. Well, firstly, hello to come from Rotterdam. And secondly, there will be there.
There will be no one that follows me.
I suspected this might be I will I will burn that place to the ground before someone else sits on that throw you mark my words. I will burn that place to the ground.
I will destroy the production company and I will and I will physically kidnap Alex Horne and make him actually live with me for the rest of his life. There will be no successor.
And I'm not I'm not saying that in a Trump and way, in a sort of deluded way, everyone's replaceable.
It's not going to happen.
This is from Lisa. Hi, Taskmaster. I wanted to ask if you were a contestant on Taskmaster, what would your style be? The stay at the scale goes from overcompetitive. Sorry Ed to could not give a fuck Joe Brand. Absolutely love the show. Hope it continues. Well, yeah.
What do you think, Ed? What do you think I would be like as a contestant on the show?
You'd be somewhere in the middle of that scale, to be honest. I think I don't think you'd be overly competitive. I think you'd really want I think you'd want to win and you'd want to do well. But but at the right moment, you wouldn't you wouldn't give a fuck.
I think I think you'd be very good at the I think you'd be very good. I think you'd put a lot of thought into the creative ones. I think you interestingly, I think you put a lot of thought into everything you do, having worked with you on scripts and stuff. So I think some of the some of the ones where you'd have to do it quickly, I think you'd want more time.
Yes, I would agree. I think I would want to I would be fiercely competitive about coming up with the best ideas and being. And if it went wrong, trying to be the funniest and desperately, desperately trying to put myself as the center of attention, but yeah, the thing is, I'm actually a surprisingly practical person. I'm actually surprisingly pragmatic, like I'm really good at DIY.
So I think I wouldn't be bad at it. But I also, I think to be some clumsy fat giraffe.
So there's a chance that that was what I was going to say. Not in those words necessarily, but yes, you are a big, fat, clumsy giraffe. So so anything where you'd have to run around the house and get stuff I think would be very funny. But I played Rounder's with you recently and it was absolutely I hit one ball, didn't hit one ball.
And then the desperation on your face every time you missed the ball and had, you know, sort out instruction on how to hit around his ball because I was so upset by it that I have now learned how to do it. And the next game around as we have to watch out. Oh, boy.
Well, so what's the what was the question? What what style of contestant? I think I would be somebody who thinks he's going to do well and is actually boringly practical, forward slash a physical mess.
I think, you know, I'd be out of breath sweating. I'd be falling into things. I think it would be dreadful. But mercifully, you'll never see me as a contestant on this show.
Hello, Ed and Greg. Some of my favorite parts of each episode are the bits of banter between Alex and Greg, and it's been fun seeing how that dynamic has changed over multiple series. I know that a while ago you discovered that some people on the Internet had been writing fan fiction about your relationship.
Oh, my God. Has this has this discovery changed how you interact with Alex on camera? And do you ever think about what bits of your interactions are probably going to make it into some of the stories on the Internet? Cheers from the US, Anna.
No, I never I never think about them because I've been so mentally scarred by I read two full stories on Reddit about Alex and I and I when I found them.
I don't know what I was, what I was looking for, but I wasn't looking for for for fan fiction that imagined Alex and I as lovers. I just it was so unexpected to find it and it was so graphic.
And the two people had really thought about the sort of the potential sensuality between me and the married father of three.
So I don't know. That's the thing about that. That sort of thing is it's not just sexual, is it? They've imagined the emotional stress.
Oh, my God, it's a relationship. It's sex coming from emotion. And I don't know what they're seeing. Someone sent me an essay this week that they'd written about this sort of bondage sadomasochist masochistic undertones of our relationship.
And it was a serious sort of, you know, fairly eloquent article on on the underlying potential relationship. I don't see it, but maybe I need therapy. I don't know. Maybe there is something going on there.
I will tell you this about the relationship. Go.
Well, I've never known a dichotomy like it, really how I feel about a person within one situation and in another, because outside of the show, we you know, Alex Hall is just absolutely delightful person. And, you know, let me put this on because I've been camping with the man.
And let me also put this on the record. I haven't had sex with him, but in that studio, I.
I genuinely find him irritating.
And it's like it's like the past is white. The moment I sit on that throne, I think I've got him. And it's coming from a very real place. It's not pantomime.
When we have those Bunta sections and he knows this when we have our Early Show banter, I never know what he's going to say.
He he's always come up with some little skit that he wants to try out.
And I've no doubt that's one of the things that's changed over over the series, is that he now definitely picks things that are sufficiently oblique to genuinely get my back my back up. I guess it's it's better for Alex if the taskmaster is is somewhat infuriated before the the show proper starts. So he just says oblique things that have no ending. And that's what that's what is genuinely interesting.
And I don't know if people realize is that when Alex does a joke at the beginning of the show, that is a joke that Alex thinks is funny. And it's so not your humor. Your your reaction is genuine so that you just don't like that sort of, you know, because because I like that to be a degree of structure.
Otherwise, what you're doing is you're just saying words.
And I'm and I'm sure there's a forum of dweebs globally who who who love saying, oh, it's really funny to have a collection of words put together, but I'm not I'm not part of that tribe.
But he knows it. So he just makes increasingly oblique statements.
And then I see him sit back with glee and see the glint of his wonky teeth. And I feel I feel genuine rage towards the mouth.
What made Greg bring Nishan James to the back of the stage? Thanks for the podcast. It's been brilliant.
That's from Kolten and from Wisconsin, because both of those men took me immediately back to my previous career with their words and actions. And I was transported back to being a teacher. And the rage, the dismay, the disappointment was genuine. There was no pantomime in those actions with a character. I thought, okay, okay, I can't I, I can't have someone disrespecting me. And yeah.
So he was lippy, right? He called you a pussy for not being able to open a bottle and that had to be done. Yeah. And and I felt I dealt with it in a very handed way because my instinct was to jump on him like a puma with Nesh again is similarly you know, I've taught I've taught children like Nesha. You think I've got to intervene here because this boy's this child's not going to get anywhere in life unless someone intervenes.
And that's the only time you've you've done that with those two, right? You never felt you've never had to know, you know, very different reasons. One was someone who had to be disciplined and another was someone I was worried about. But, yeah, the same technique you you isolate and and you and you appeal to the side of them. That's not not playing to the gallery. I tell you, you'd have to ask James and Nash.
But I think that as a result of those moments, their lives will be tangibly better.
Yeah. And I think we don't need to us and we need that to be true. This is from Mike. It's a simple question. How do you sleep at night?
Fitfully. Yeah, certainly not.
While I suspect the mike means in terms of my conscience, because I'm right. I'm right, Mike. Most of the time I'm right. But if you were genuinely inquiring about my sleep patterns, I go to sleep. I sleep for ten minutes. I wake up immediately, I'm awake for an hour. I wake up at three thirty in the morning because I am a middle aged man and I have to go for to urinate and then awake for two hours.
I fall asleep for two and a half hours. I wake up. Now, having spent long days with you writing also the night's sleep, the day you know that you have enough in the day approximately I think it was 10, 40 am normally we'd start work at 10 and 10, 40.
You'd go for a nap because and I quote my head.
That's it, though. That's the creative process. Yeah.
Fill your head full of bees are going up and they sting those fees. Well, that seems like a lovely a lovely place to end this episode of the Taskmaster podcast. Now, Greg, in every episode we've been asking the guests to rate their experience on the Taskmaster podcast between one and five points, of course. Now, this is the ultimate score for the podcast, because you are the master. You're used to this scoring. So we've got 45 points.
So far. Most people have gone with five. Paul Chowdhry, one with one of our own, I think a couple of.
Yeah, I did episodes. I mean, it's mystifying. In the best possible way, given that at no point during the podcast was I bored and willing to finish and I'll give you the full five minutes, five points from Greg.
Thank you so much, Greg.
We're all looking forward to the New Year's special and really special was a lot of fun. And it was really an interesting experiment to have not comedians come and play with us. I really enjoyed myself and you're going to love it.
There will be an episode of this podcast to talk about a special. It's a phenomenal episode. And yeah, you have it. You have absolutely great a great deal of fun. But then the forthcoming series as well. Honestly, strap yourselves in. Well, there we go, what a wonderful episode that was and what fun I've had doing Series ten of of Taskmaster series one of the podcast, and I'm looking forward to getting stuck in to all of the Taskmaster episodes we are going through.
Episode by episode is quite the undertaking that kicks off in the New Year. January 7th will be series one, episode one. So get ready for that. But before that, we'll be talking about the New Year's episode. The New Year's episode of Taskmaster is on New Year's Day at 9:00 p.m. on Channel four. It's an incredible lineup of people that we never thought we'd get to see on Taskmasters. So tune in for that. And then straight after that, we'll be dropping the episode of the podcast, dissecting discussing that episode with special guest Screwiest Pip.
Hope everyone's doing all right. What a weird year. What a rubbish Christmas. But I think we can all agree Taskmaster has been a true tonic in these tricky times and we'll be back discussing that very, very soon. Thank you very much. Thanks to Greg. Goodbye.