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Hello and welcome to the Taskmaster podcast. We are starting from the beginning, baby, this episode is about series one, episode one of Taskmaster, Ground Zero.
We are going to proceed linearly. Is that is that a word we're doing? Episode one today in episode two next week? That's how it's going to work. We're going to be chatting to a special guest about that episode. We're going to go into detail about the tasks. We're going to discuss our memories from those series. We're going to go through everything. It's going to be very exciting indeed.
I met Gamble, by the way. I should have mentioned that, not Richard Herring. There was a lot of chatter about maybe the ownership of this podcast. Changing Hands to Richard Herring, winner of Series Ten. No, that's not how the podcasting world works. I will hold on to this podcast with an iron fist until the day I die. Thank you very much. Now, obviously, a lot of us are in a lockdown situation at the moment, so why not watch along and then listen to this podcast?
It's really exciting what you can do.
You can go and watch Episode one, series one of Taskmaster. Now, then listen to this podcast and get some cracking insights. And then next week, we're going to be talking about episode two of Series One of Taskmaster. So you can watch that before you listen to that. It's going to be a very exciting journey and I want you to join me on it. Now, obviously, you'll need access to those episodes. Where will you get that?
Well, all for where else? All four. Go to Channel four dot com and you can find every single episode of Taskmasters so far. Watch, enjoy. Listen, we are going to have a lot of fun. So special guest this week. It couldn't be anyone else. Alex Horne is back on the Taskmaster podcast talking about the origins of Taskmaster and this first episode and all of that stuff. He's got so much to say about it. There's so much I didn't know.
And if you have any questions for our future guests, Taskmaster podcast at Gmail, dot com email in your questions. But without further ado, let's get on with this. This is Alex on.
Alex Horne, welcome back to the Taskmaster podcast. Thank you, Ed Campbell, it's lovely to be back. It's it's great to have you here. I'm thinking of calling this maybe Taskmaster podcast rewind, because we're going all the way back to the beginning.
Do you like that? That's such a cool name, actually. We're going to be discussing Series one, episode one of Taskmaster.
Alex, while there was an episode before that which no one has ever seen, there was there was a run through a show zero. It's called in the base. But I don't I guess that we filmed it. So I guess it's out there somewhere because it it feels like you should have sent me that.
So we could have done we could have done an episode on Show Zero.
That's for after this set of podcasts. We'll do another rewind. We're going to re rewind all the way back to the true beginning, I said, and then we'll go back to Edinburgh 2000, whatever. Yes.
Because that's that's when that's when it started. He did it as a as a live show at the Edinburgh Festival, which I think people sort of generally know. But I'd like to hear the story in more detail, please. Well, I'm not saying again, it's painful detail, please. Yeah, well, I haven't told it for about a week, so it'd be nice to tell that story again.
It's the thing when you have to do publicity for the show that you have to trot out. But I'd like to tell you the story because luckily it's all true.
So the story is that my wife had a son in May 2009 with me, so I didn't go to Edinburgh that year. That was the year that Tim won the award. I found out it was yes, sort of. I found out whilst at the Greenbelt Festival, which is a Christian festival, which was quite peculiar. But actually I had a very nice time there. The thing called hymns and beer, and it was brilliant. Everyone just sang songs and got drunk anyway.
So I found this out and felt very unchristian. I'm not a Christian anyway, but anyway, I felt very envious of Tim. So so I was at this festival and I decided that I would set up my I wasn't allowed to go to Edinburgh that year because we had this newborn to look after the following year in Edinburgh. I would do a competition and Tim would be in it, but he wouldn't win it. That was my plan to get revenge him.
So I think two weeks later I sent an email to 20 comedians, not including you. I don't know. We knew each other at all at that point.
We didn't really know each other. That's why I'm willing to let that go. Find Greg has not let that go. He reminded me that many times because one of the comedians was Steve Hall, who was also in.
Well, I think Barack was probably involved somewhere. So Greg was deliberately left out because I was scared of him and I didn't really know him either. Yeah. So, I mean, yes, he is scary still to this day. Yeah. 20 comedians, if they wanted to take part in this thing called the taskmaster out of there in those days, I was going to set them a challenge every month and they wouldn't know who each other was till halfway through.
For some reason, that was a surprise. And they all said yes, except for one person you want to get which comedian didn't say yes. That's a little tidbit for you.
And they didn't say, did you? Because you did this twice, didn't you? Did it for two years in Edinburgh. Did they say yes the year after? No, I didn't ask in the year after, but they have since been on Taskmaster, which is very unfair. And really. Yeah, and they're great. They're one of my heroes.
Oh, Frank. No, no. He's one of your heroes.
One of my definitely one of my influences in terms of my live shows. Oh, interesting. What you know, I quote, insane person, quite rude, yeah, offensive, edgy humor, blue light blue humor, your sort of the same person.
Yeah, I can't guess now. I'm desperately trying to scan through the through the previous contestants and I can't go on Gallman.
Gorman said no.
Gorman said that he was very polite. I said I'm just too busy and if I did this I would have to go all in. Yeah. You know, he was that was the height of Gorman's crazy shows. I don't know who came in as a substitute for Dave Gorman, The Wrestler. Yes. Then in Edinburgh, I did a summary of the 12 tasks and it all got very messy and drunk and it was three hours long. I think it started at midnight.
And it was you know, it was a really funny evening and that was meant to be that. But we did it again. So at what point did you think I feel like this has TV potential, or was that someone else telling you that it was the mighty Avalon telling me that our management company.
But they were completely right and they weren't pushing at all. They just said, you know, that was interesting, let's get some cameras on it. But, yeah, we filmed the next one deliberately to try to use it as a pitch to TV companies. It was still meant to just be fun. I don't think I saw as a TV thing. But they did, and they were right to do that, and it's funny, I had no idea.
I don't know about you, but I never thought of Edinburgh as a TV testing ground. It was always just a live thing.
Every yeah, I have to experiment and have a laugh. And those those late night gigs are the funniest thing about Edinburgh, I think. Yeah. The drunken late night experience was that was that was there any reluctance on your part to sort of format the show? Because obviously it was formatted to an extent, but it was it sounds like a pretty loose live experience because obviously when you're making something for TV, you then have to go, are we going to do this every week?
This is what's going to happen. We've got a rigid structure to it. Did that sort of feel weird doing that initially?
No, I think I was so young and naive that I you know, I was just excited by the idea also needed to pay for this baby. And I think by the time it went on telly, I'd had three babies.
So you should never buy a baby when you don't have the money already. Well, I've got a loan. I've got a sort of baby pension, something the formatting of.
It was quite fun. And she was in it from the beginning. Oh, well, who is the director? So he was in the pitch meetings and we you know, he was very helpful. We designed all sorts of weird things that were going to be 10 people in it at the beginning. And then they were going to be a sort of hive structure above the stage. The five contestants were going to be sort of up there and then brought down one at a time to do so.
It went through quite a lot of different versions of itself before becoming pretty much what the atmosphere was. So how how did you pick these these series one contestants? What was the thinking? Because the chemistry is excellent, as it always is, but I think you sort of nailed this series in particular because, well, it's a good set of people.
I suppose it's a bit like life. And a lot when you look back at it, you think, well, I think, God, if if something had gone wrong in the casting there probably nothing they would may well not have been any future series. And equally, it was a bit of a house of cards because Greg wasn't dead. He was only going to do it if the cast was, you know, it all with his it was all up in the air, really.
So Greg was only going to do if the cast of. Right. Frank was going to do it, if Greg was going to do it and if the cast was right, the rest was fine. But even Tim wobbled about it because he doesn't appear on a panel show, didn't particularly enjoy panel shows. So Josh Rogin and Romesh Weir are sort of dead cert. Yeah, but they weren't big in those days. You know, Romesh wasn't Romesh Ranganathan back then.
He was just someone who he'd been nominated for the paragraphing, but no one could pronounce his name. He was he was that guy. And you knew he was funny, but yeah, he wasn't as he usually was. Josh was reliable, but he didn't have a sitcom. And yeah, I guess we would make the four of us knew each other a bit. Yeah. I did get nominated for the barrier that year and didn't win, but Frank was presenting the award to John Kernes and then came over to me and said, I'll do Taskmaster.
So I felt like I was a you were the real winner that day. I was the real winner. And once he said yes, Greg signed on the dotted line. Everyone else said yes and and we were off. So the casting was just get frank.
Yes. So I think once you get for life, just rank.
That's comedy royalty on Dave Davies. Such brilliant channel. But it's sort of a leap for Frank to do a new program in Dave, I suppose. Yeah, absolutely.
He trusted me, which is very nice when I had to have lunch with him to talk about it, which is horrible. You know, you're nervous. I was really nervous. I was nervous about how I was eating. I had to eat and talk at him. And he just said, Just talk to me, Alex. Oh, God.
How did you in the early days when you were trying to convince Frank to come and do the show, for example, how did you sum up the vibe of Taskmaster? Because we all know it so well now. We love it. We know we know the sort of show is. But how did you sum up to people when you were pitching it, when you were when you were telling people about it?
I think I was able to use the Edinburgh shows as examples of the sort of thing, but obviously it had to be telly friendly. So it's not they wouldn't have a month to do the things that have 20 minutes or an hour, I think. And I might be wrong. And this is probably a bad secret, but I think I remember telling all five of them one task that was going to happen. Right. Just to give them an example.
I felt like I had to give them that because, you know, the show didn't exist at that point. So I think I told them all about the crying task, which was, yeah, get as many tears as possible into an cup. But not one of them remembered or did any planning, as was obvious on the show.
But, yeah, I think that was a good example that I love that task. And I think it's a really good example of a good talk about the task. Yeah. So I told them that to persuade them and that's of script.
The comedians and Tennie. Yeah, why not.
So prized task one, the most unusual thing. It is funny watching this back and seeing how far these things have come and how specific they have become from you did all the general ones series one. Yeah, most unusual thing. And now, certainly in my series, we had thing you most like to find in a field. Yeah, I can't tell you.
My favorite overpriced task was series four, which was get the best signature on the most unusual piece of fruit. I think yes and no.
Fielding got David Suchi on a on a broad been in the Broadway debate I believe.
But I think that lot pulled out of the bag and he actually got David Suchiate to sign a run and a broadening story. Yeah, there's no way 80 percent of the comedians would go to those lengths.
You would think. You know, I would. Or most of the most unusual thing. It's a very broad category, very broad and. Yeah, and so slightly disappointing results. I mean, I'd forgotten these.
So Frank kicks it off, doesn't he? Franck's the first ever person to bring in a surprise on Taskmaster. Yes.
It's always alphabetical, which people have started noticing. They sit in alphabetical order. And the first episode we go through the mathematically and then it changes after that. So, Frank, up first, grape scissors. I mean, unusual. I mean, I'd never I'd never heard of grape scissors.
Yeah, I think typical Skinnerian, he was quite a classy item. And he has got a breadth of knowledge that no one else since Skinner in all the series has had. You know, he's got an anecdote about everything and they're all funny and he's got a lot of things.
So, yeah, pretty good from not a bad, quite old start to a comedy series, but yeah, I think it does sort of mark it out as different straight away that you've said bring the most unusual thing. Frank's brought grapes. This is I think in any other show you'd email, Frank, can you say what are you going to bring in? He'd say grapeseed is that a producer will go, yeah, it's a good it's a good starting point.
Yeah, but no, in Taskmaster, you say what you're going to bring.
Yeah, that's what you bring. Josh brought in a Plymouth Argyle, signed football and learned very quickly that you should never mention football in Taskmaster.
It's not it's not a sporty audience. Greg's not particularly sporty. Greg just hates sport and doesn't get it, and it does make him angry and it's, you know, it's one of his go to everything as we know, go to areas. And, yeah, he hates he hates you and he hates football. So, yeah, one point for Josh and everything that was in the media at one point, which is amazing because Roshan's is a picture of Greg on a bench.
I mean it's nice to see I'd forgotten this, that Roshini is the originator of bringing in a picture of Greg Roadkill, but did it time and time again in 07, but bringing bringing in an offensive picture of Greg. Yeah, it was was in episode one.
Should have been punished more heavily for that. I think that's quite how much Greg hates football. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. It's not very unusual, Greg, to sit on benches.
Yeah. Rheumy three points for his snow globe.
How did he argue that?
I think that's more a case of Greg hates Joshes and Roshan's rather than rubbishes. But because it's not that unusual, it's his kid. It's a personal snow globe with his kids in it. I mean, you're right, it's not a great start to the price task because it's not great.
But then Tim Cook did bring in the reindeer skull. And there were two points in the show where I remember Greg going. Yes, this is what the show is about. Yeah. One comes in the next task, which is a very obvious point. But yeah, the reindeer. So it's an unusual item. It's from Tim's life. We always try to make things. We encourage the contestants to bring something in from their world. Yeah. Tim are just on a short film about Santa with Tom Combatted and that brought home a reindeer skull.
So yeah, five points to Tim and we're all Tenke.
What did you bring in reindeer skull. That my friends decide to play this game. And now let's talk about the first task proper in the lab, there's a watermelon, eat as much watermelon as possible. You have one minute, your time starts when you open the door to the lab. Now, quite rare to see a task that starts in one room and then you've got to go through to the other room.
So I think that we should do that again soon because it's a good one, because it means they can prep as much as they want. That was the idea that they would think about it, which obviously protein didn't do well.
Yeah, they had a lot of time to plant. You know, in theory, they could come back the next day, but yeah. Yeah, I like I like it as a task because of that. If it was just eat this watermelon and they could see it, then you don't have to build up.
I hadn't even thought they could come back the next day. That's the thing.
No one in this series is really thinking outside of the task because because it's a new thing. Because they've not seen the show before. So their approach, it's a true control experiment in that you are seeing people's true personalities and how they would actually do things because they're not operating in a world where taskmaster exists.
All true, although somebody did this fact about Hofmannsthal that somebody did road test some of the tasks. Should we leave that as a little secret to leave it as a secret? One of the comedians who has been in the show since was he was a newer comedian. He was a newer comedian at the time. So we got him in and was the only time we've ever done it to test some of the tasks. And I think we stopped it after about an hour because it was obvious it was going to be fine.
Yeah, but you're right. Yeah, these guys were the control.
It is also this is just a small point, it's mad how bad the sitting room looks like this, because there's nothing there's not really anything on the walls, because I guess you sort of build it up as you go through the series. There's the picture of Greg, which has stayed consistent in that it's based it's always based on an artist.
Yes. So we've moved on to themes rather than artists. So Andy Warhol in series one.
It was indeed. But you're right, they had a chance to prepare. Josh really prepared and got quite a lot of implements, but attacked it like an old woman.
Like, you can't I mean, spoiler warning, Josh wins this series, but you could not guess that from the first episode, the way he gingerly does everything very average and all the tasks he was made, well, he lost the prize to us, but middle of the road for all the rest of them.
Yeah, really was in episode one for sure. And the other thing we noticed is that you're measuring metrics are in place from episode one as. Oh, that's good to hear. Yeah. You use mice as the metric, so you do however many mice, their watermelon wide apart from Roshini, you get so little that you have to transfer it to Rollo's is one Rolo she gets.
Rauda is a good choice, but I think that's a funny thing. Mice I'm sorry, disappointed by because as you would have seen in the new special, I've gone back to rodents to measure a reasonable amount of ground in that episode.
But as hamsters, I've gone on to a series. That's okay.
That's okay. That's right. You've still you've still got plenty of choices.
Roshini thought there would be a and buffet and that gives us the first the first title of the first episode. When did you make that decision that it would be quotes from the show that would be titling the episodes? That's a good question.
I don't know the answer. I imagine it was the analyst who came up with that idea, not me, as usual. I get all the credit for it.
I think it was in the edit. I think it was it was definitely, you know, not a decision any point before we filmed it. Yeah, I think it was going to be called episode one or not have a name at all. But I think we thought I think it was only deputy who thought it would just make the show stand out and look a bit more interesting to give it a name. And so it has consistently been a quote from the show and ideally not like a big moment.
So you have to search out for the New Year special show you barely hear. I think I say the title and you barely notice it. I quite like that when it's said so. Yeah, let's give only the credit for that.
It also adds an extra layer of competition to the show. I think certainly in my head where when I went into the show, I was very happy to have one already. No one knew how I'd done in the past. But when it was broadcast, I set myself a new thing in my head of going, Please, can I get at least one episode named after something that's interesting?
I think we do try to spread it out. We don't want people. We don't want it all to be Bob Mortimer quotes, which would have been very easy. Yes. So how many did you have? Did you have a couple?
I think it was only one. You know, that's a shame because normally people have to. Yeah, I think it might be the only one no one knows about because it's a good one.
Greg and I would normally have a couple or one. So, yeah, one's find it.
I think it has to go like five. That's why I was angry, really angry about that. Ramesh, Ramesh, his attempts, let's let's talk about it because it's often the thing that is used as a byword for taskmaster. And the the moment that watermelon hit the floor is often talked about by people is the moment the show really kicks off. And I think talked about by Greg in the episode where he said, yes, that's what yeah, that's what the show is about.
So it was our very first filming date and it was the last task of the day with Romesh, I think, in those days. We only film about three tostada, maybe four or five times a day, not normal nowadays we do maybe eight. Yeah, because we don't know what we're doing and there's only six episodes. So it was last Saturday and he inhaled the watermelon and then went to the toilet for 20 minutes, but leaning over it, being sick.
And he got this massive bed lodged in his throat. And I think we filmed it all. So there's footage of that somewhere. We thought he was going to die.
He thought I was going to die. And it was so horrible. And we thought that was going to be we're going to be pulled off. We weren't even on air.
It was even more believe that the a universe exists where Taskmaster was canceled before it got to the air because Romesh died. Yeah, well, a lot of shows canceled, I suppose. Almost every comedy show canceled. Yeah, it was awful.
I mean, we definitely knew it was funny when I was doing it when when you're doing the eating because it was sort of a bit sick in the room. No, I'm not really sick, but. We call that regurgitating bile, so some pink bile is horrible and that's important. Yeah, I wasn't very sympathetic. I didn't know what to do, to be honest.
So rubbish often gets credited with that. But I think we need to talk about how good it is for Taskmaster that Roshi did nothing because it's the comparison with Roshini that I think sums up Taskmaster, the fact everyone does it differently. And Roshini did this for four fifty six seconds. I think it is. And gives her four seconds to eight. It couldn't have been better. And then she puts her face into the watermelon and just I believe she says I've just scraped it, grazes it.
She said that's great. Yeah, yeah, yeah. No I mean this is, this is definitely classic taskmasters stuff in that she does that one extreme to the other. Joshin Frank sort of in the middle, pretty ordinary stuff, which is great. And then Tim cheated. So that's perfect.
That's what you want. That is a full spread. Yeah. Did you know as you were filming that also it was going to be the opening task or did you did you look at all of them in front of you and say, definitely not.
Some people do often ask me that. How we pick the tasks and it's never to do with points is always to do with balance. And you know what would work in the show. But I think I guess we probably decided fairly quickly that's a good opener because there's some cleverness to it in that they can plan their assault on the watermelon. But also it's just visually, you know, hopefully grabs you if you don't like it. And that's fine. You know, the show is not for you.
If you're in any doubt about the tone of the show now, you know, there's five comedians being forced to eat as much watermelon as like, well, wearing a white boiler suit task to another absolute classic.
We've had Richard Osmond on this very podcast say that this is the definitive taskmaster task for him. Paint the best picture of a horse whilst riding a horse. Hmm.
Yeah, I often say that's my least favorite because really? Well, I think it was thank God that Roshini refused Ironhorse Horse, because without that, you've just got five people on the same horse painting the same horse. For me, there's no there's no real variety to it. And there wasn't any room for the comedians to do anything inventive. They could be funny because it's funny to see them on a horse try to paint the horse. Yeah, but I think we were doing all the funny and they just had to go along with our joke.
I guess no variety comes from the results and then yeah, in things I much prefer to ask where we're doing half the work come out with the scenario and they have to complete the scenario. Yeah. We're finished filling in the gaps. Yeah. Yeah.
And we literally had to, they have to be trained how to ride a horse before doing the task just for twenty minutes. They had no choice about. Anything to do with it, really, except for Roshini refused, and that was brilliant that she did because it led to much more variety.
So why did Roshini refuse? Let's get some behind the scenes gossip. Why wouldn't Roshan get on that horse?
I think she was well within her rights to say, I am scared of horses. I've never ridden the horse. I don't want the first time I ride a horse to be whilst also painting a horse on telly.
Also terrifying, and we have to invent this weird Gauntlett system, and it was quite heavy, this was on your arm, so yeah, no, she just said I don't want to do it. But she never said I don't want to do the task. She said, I don't want to do it that way. And so they did have to learn on that horse that she wrote. They all wrote that little horse, first of all.
OK, so you didn't have to bring in a horse, a horse simulator. That was something that was on site anyway.
No, it was such a lengthy talk. I think that's why I don't want to tell this guy that there was not much spontaneity to it. Well, they didn't know the task before. They had to learn how to ride a horse. Right. But it was a lengthy sort of process of ride a horse, then ride a real horse, then get off, then open the task and then do it again. So the whole thing is four hours.
I think it has some that's mad because that you gave that it gave them that much training to ride a horse. I did a task on a steamroller. And you pretty much what that that's go press this button. Press this button to go. Oh yeah. Yeah. Good point. No I think I get horses are slightly more dangerous but um. Yeah. And it was also it was snowy on rheumatiz day. It was, yeah. Fiddly task.
But I mean definitely it's the task that we use to describe the show and to. It was on all the posts, it was a poster campaign that year, I think all the contestants and me and Greg and a big horse in the background and then just the line. So it you know, it does sum up the show for me as a purist, it's not my favorite.
I 100 percent cannot paint a horse whilst on a horse. I get on it, I'll meet him. But I've met loads of horses, so I do. I meet the horse and decide not to get on them. It's my history of horses.
Is this the only task ever to use a live animal?
No. There have been chickens and dogs. Yes. In Series four where we did chicken with Dolly and then bird flu came. So we had to move to dogs. Yeah, there may be a live animal in a future series.
That's exciting to know.
And there was a child called Nell in one of the series. I don't know if you'd call her life animal, but she was a toddler.
Yes. Live our live animal. Yeah. Yeah. Also, this is really geeky now, but interesting way of presenting the paintings, which I don't think you do now.
You present the paintings and don't tell Greg who did them until he scored them and then you show them doing them on the horse so you don't show the actual truth to the actual task happening until we've seen the results of the task.
And you don't tell Greg who did them until he's really.
Yeah, that's really interesting. I completely forgot that. So we should do that again. Do you lose the moment of funniness when you've seen how bad they are doing the task and then the flashing up of the picture?
You definitely do. But also it's still funny when you show all the paintings, because just the variety of them and how bad like Tim's is, for example, that never stops being funny.
I always find that weird when you when we say let's see them all at once. Yeah, it's always funny. Yeah. To me, I'm not saying yeah. I'm not saying to the audience, to me I just. Yeah, they aren't tasks we always do. Everything is fine and they're always good. There's a really good one in the Future series coming up.
Also, before we get into the scoring, Greg, in this in in this task says he's seen The Matrix. He makes a comment that he's seen The Matrix. And in Series seven, he claims he has The Matrix.
I love it generally. Just a quick shower, but that could just be his brain. Yeah, I guess he's in the Matrix.
Just forgot that The Matrix. I've got a little point of fact if you want to bounce back for this episode. Yes. Tim's Tim's portrait of the horse, which looks more like a rat.
Or I think Greg says a rat or a man. Peter Hemanshu. Yeah.
Yeah. Well, that made it into the trailer for Series 10 on Channel four that we have to dig up the original picture that we've kept all the artwork and yeah, that is in the trailer. So if you look that up on YouTube, you'll find his picture there.
So do you keep you keep all the artwork in like a special storage place? If you got like, is it like the ark at the end of Indiana Jones?
Sort of. I think it's big yellow storage company is one of them anyway, and it's all just piled up in a heap. Well, yeah, we never throw stuff away, and I don't really know why I do find them fascinating to look at and they do bring back nice memories. Obviously, this is very cold sort of stuff. Most people wouldn't care at all.
So, Frank Skinner, when that task with a quite beautiful picture of a horse and what's lovely about that is it marks a real moment in his life because he says after he did that task, he then took up painting again.
Yeah. And then presented the portrait program. He is a real art connoisseur.
And yeah, it did light a fire and he didn't know was kindling.
Yeah, no, that's lovely.
And the picture was really good considering he's riding a horse. Not a great pace, but there was no rules about that. So I think that's what I would do differently now. I think I'd probably say you have to be painting at a certain speed, I think. Did we say the horse has to be galloping while you're painting?
No, no. Because the horse is not galloping in any way. The horse is just going round and trotting in a circle.
Yeah. See, for me, if that series 13, I've got a speedometer and when it hit 50 miles an hour, I'm shouting paint.
Ramush gets four points, Josh gets three points, which I surprised by. I thought he'd be more scared of the horse than rushing. And I only know this because once I had to get a get on the back of a motorbike taxi to get me between places, it's the only thing in the world, it's the coolest thing in the world to get from a television show to a corporate gig. And then you felt like you were the guy.
Of course I did, yeah. And the guy the guy riding it was so cool. And you can chat to you through a little microphone in your helmet. And he was telling me about all the comedians that he's had on the back of the motorbike before. And he said he had Josué to cover the back of the motorbike and just demanded he go about three miles an hour because he was so scared. Well, that thing you're not actually that cool.
You're just clinging to the back of a cooler than just holding onto a nice, nice dad.
Yeah. So three points for Josh, two points for Tim Kay for the anteater. And I think quite harshly, given that it was because of a fair and gets one point for not completing the task properly.
Yes. And that probably set her tone for the series as well. She was lost in this episode and last throughout.
Task three, empty the bathtub, which another simple top line task.
Yes, it's interesting to watch this. Yeah, I would happily have this again if we have a repeat of this, because I think there are definitely clever ways of doing it. I think now you'd be smashing the bath. Someone's going to be taking a sledgehammer to that bath.
And I know that's what I thought. But included in the task is you must not remove the plug tip or damage the bath. Wow.
You know, we put too many caveats in that task because you're not yet as far as this.
You must not remove the plug tip or damage the bath. Time starts now.
Or maybe it's fair enough. Well, so what would you have done?
I think you've just got to go for it. I think in that scenario, you've basically got to do what Tim or Romesh did again, and they sort of took their their melinde technique to it. Tim, obviously Tim's first thought is get in the bath. I mean, we knew shows where he gets in a bath, right? Yeah.
I really remember saying to the great Tim getting that job that I was so pleased when he did.
And yeah, another another cheating moment for Tim Ekert. Reduced to one point today.
Yeah. He got one point because he I think he accidentally took the plug out and then saw the plug after he'd finished the task, realized that that would be an issue and then and then surreptitiously popped it back in. Yeah.
And I think one a lot of fun for that. People like to cheat in the show. People do like a cheat.
But we'll come to Dave Gorman in Series three. I'm surprised Tim got any points for that nowadays.
You wouldn't get anything, I think, for that. For cheating.
Yeah, I think Greg was still finding his feet with how harsh he could be. Yeah, yeah. And obviously, Tim Tim cheated twice in this episode, but Ramush gets the gets the full five points. Now, at this moment, you'd say that Romesh is sort of streaking ahead in terms of in terms of the series.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Strong Iwon to the task came second and one of them. Yeah, yeah. Interesting. I think actually in retrospect I don't think that's a very good task. Empty the bathtub. It's pretty basic stuff. Maybe it's a good task force. Everyone.
But I see. I see. I see why you put it in series one though, because it's, it's a simple idea and it's a simple task that seemingly open ended and it shows you what sort of people they are because that's true. Roshini sort of very gingerly approaches it and is sort of a bit a bit bewildered by the whole thing, which is very funny. And Tim dives in and starts thrashing around. So it does just a variety. Yeah, you're right.
You're right. But I think now we would put in more layers again. But that's probably because we have to now we've run out of. The broader ones, well, do you have a look at things like this, like empty the bathtub and wonder how you got from there to put the wellies on the giant spider?
I went when I think of a really good, simple one now, I'm so pleased with myself, it's like a joke. And if it's a joke, you can tell in 20 words, then it's a great joke. So, yeah, same task. Think I, I don't really like it when the audience has to struggle to remember what all the rules are, although sometimes that can be funny if, if it's overly complicated, but if it's one liners it's a winner.
What do you picked up that picked up? So I just want you to pick up my that you picked up the back in the past, but you disguised your actions, of course, because because it's cheating.
Now, the studio task is pop up to get in the tent, zip up the tent, pop on the ones in the tent and emerge from the tent wearing the onesie fastest when it's one of my favorite tasks, I think still one of my favorite laptops because it's so stupid.
I remember the reading out being really funny. Yeah. And there's such a sense of waiting for it to happen when they're all in the tents, they can't see anything. I, I always so I talk about Big Brother quite a bit because I used to be a runner on Big Brother and or Loga even so I used to sit in the gallery and talk about what happens and some of their games were brilliant. And there was one game on Big Brother where they have to sit in a sack for as long as possible, I think, or not in a book, in a couple of books.
And there was the person who stayed in the box, longest one, the food or something, because his big brother, they could be in there for hours and hours. So you just saw boxes and then they heard the voices and it was so funny. So I think that was probably an influence on this.
Just it is very funny, that moment where they're well, they're not all in the tents, this is why it made me laugh as well, is because there's three of them who get in the tents to put the onesie on. You're just waiting for them to emerge and whatever they come out. And it's funny. So I think Josh, coming out third in the in the pink unicorn onesies is very, very funny. But Roshe, Roshini and Robert never get in the tent.
So they the other three realize you can erect the tent and then pull it over yourself and it's still zipped up. But for some reason you parner long and Roshini Rubbish is just behind their tents.
I do remember screaming, you're not in the tent, you're not in the tent.
And it's a very rare, angry, unflustered Alex.
Yeah, they weren't in the tent, but normally I think normally now you would just let that unfold. Yeah. And then at the end, well, you weren't in the tent.
You don't get any points, but during it you're very tired.
Why had you at the time definitely panic thinking. Well, the talk about working in the tent, what do we do? We do it because the studio tasks are really they are nerve racking because you only have one shot at it. Yes. The climax of the show. And sometimes they don't work very well and you can rescue a bit in the edit. But if they don't work that I work. Really. So they are their odd moment in the show.
They're the bits we do protest at the team, protest.
They're heavily it's very it's very intense doing the studio task sometimes. And obviously I've done it with the studio audience. So I can't imagine what Series Ten was like doing it in a different way, really, with no difference, because it's all about the competition, you know.
You're up against the four other people, so, yeah, they honestly didn't miss the audience at all. Yeah, I mean, I miss them in general, but in that task, it didn't seem to really wait. So who were team was without first? He was very pleased himself with the tent. Yes. Another little fact and that was the choice of one is all comes down to what we could clear. So there are plenty of things we wanted them to come out dressed up, but we weren't allowed to.
Frank is in the Union Jack onesie, of course. Yeah, I guess we thought that fitted his persona somehow. His British is old, old fashioned in the show.
We paint him as a sort of pensioner. Yeah, well, he doesn't help with the grape scissors.
Can I say I'm fifty eight. I might never come out of the tent. Let's chat about the tie break.
So it's a tie break between between Frank and Romesh.
Yes, that's correct. And it's a good bit of folklore that Romesh comes second overall in the series. I hope that's not a spoiler, but never wins an episode. Wow. One of the few people who never wins an episode. And yeah, even though he did tie first place in the very first one. So he must have lost the tie break. What was the tiebreaker.
I can't remember. Find Alex fastest wins. That's funny because that's one of the few times we have done again. Oh no we didn't do that again. We did hide from Alex later on. Yeah, you did.
I didn't say cancer is for you, which is a legendary Lollie out of opihi task, which we will come to discuss in the future. Yeah, although that's funny that it's a topic. I really enjoyed that one. I remember sitting by the tree waiting for them to discover me. I'm surprised I didn't make it as a real tough. It's nice to have a little break, isn't it, now and again. Yeah. So Cinefamily quickest. Interesting.
Interesting. Skinner found you in one minute 50 and Ramush found you in two minutes 27 or a close race. Very close race.
Did you know after you'd finished filming that episode that it was going to take off in the way that it did. No, no, not at all.
No, I think we didn't know until after series four, probably because they I think they commission two series after after the first one, but they were both five episodes each year. So they were really short. And it's a real shame. Looking back, I think we have such good contestants, but they only got to do half a series in my head. Yeah, but I think once we did series four with eight episodes and that worked, I think we thought that we were on something.
And also that series we had no. Feilding and Mel, as well as the other three, Lollie in here and Joe Lycett, so really good names. So by that at that point I finally thought this could keep going for a bit. But now after episode one. You're just wondering if it's any good. I remember my brother afterwards, I was up in the gallery, up in the bar, in the ground, and he was very surprised and said, I think it was quite good.
And I was pleased. He said that because I really didn't have a clue.
But it is it is remarkable how much work and how rare it is to do something that's quite good. Do you know what I mean? Like, it's rare that you come out of something and go, actually, that format works.
Yeah. I mean, you you know, you've done lots of stuff as well. And you're just so grateful, if anything. Yeah, but we do pay a lot of effort, you know, it takes six months to make a series, so. You wanted to I think that's probably one of the keys to it working, is that we put loads of effort and we try really hard. And I just think there's you know, there's universes that exist where taskmasters, 10 contestants or a hive of contestants hovering above the studio come down one by one.
But, yeah, it could have been very, very different.
So these e-mails don't necessarily relate to this first episode. This is from Liam, Does the iPad that you use during the show actually do anything or are you just tapping away at a blank screen earlier?
Maybe this is not such an interesting or creative question, but I've always wondered, Liam, it does everything to control the beats, the control controls, the cameras.
It I'm calling up camera to zoom in on it controls everything. Liam, thank you.
And I never, ever check the football scores during a record.
I quite often I quite often like it if there's a big match or during a record. And so it keeps me on my toes. But I do wonder sometimes if people in the gallery can see that I'm checking the scores.
Well, there's this there's the gallery, but then also there's a balcony behind you. Yeah. So there's definitely people who can see what you're looking at. Yeah.
I mean, I only do it once or twice. I've never told anyone.
I checked the scores but I do was in our series or a preview. I think it was in our series where there was a running joke that I'm not sure made it that you use it to look at pictures of mostly women.
I'm amazed I didn't make it. If it had a slight difference in series one, you've got the iPad on a little brown robot arm.
Yeah, that is definitely a difference. And I really felt freed up by holding the iPad and Future series. So that was. Yeah, that's a subtle difference. I don't know why it looks so weird and all that's taken a throne that makes sense.
So I was that way because it looks like the sort of thing you just panic's ordered off Amazon what we did. Yeah. Yes, exactly. Well, I guess we thought I don't know what the logic was.
We thought I can't be holding something throughout. Pretty weird, weird logic there.
Yeah. This is from tests in the US. Aside from Richard Herring, what contestant has been the most excited to be on the show and what Tarsa what the most irri from what you expected? So that's to question that's a question from test there from US tests.
I think Jocasta is probably the most excited other than Richard and maybe yourself, Ed. But James, very excited you inside and. Was a little puppy dog walking to a room full of toys. He was desperate and also I was desperate to have him on it. So it was a symbiotic. Relationship. Yeah, he lived up to it, although I reckon sneakily he would quite like to have another shot at it, I don't think is that sneaky, I think.
But I think everyone the majority of people who've done it would like to have another shot at it.
Sure. Yeah, well, I don't think it would.
I don't think it would help. Like I don't think. I don't think him doing it again, he'd be better at it this time in terms of getting points, because you're only as good as your last task is task to task.
You saying that you're better than him? I mean, history has shown I'm better than him. Yes, I think yeah.
I mean, I like all contestants, but I would love to see him as a champion of champions. But he can't because he's not a champion.
Second bottom. You can't even do loser loses and include James Bottoms, Kerry was the winner. Kerry was the rightful winner and actually No. One 00, but she was great. Yeah.
So the other question was, which task went the most awry?
Yes, right. Word Arri.
I haven't got a great answer test in the US I, I really enjoyed the team tasked with roadkill, but when he sort of managed to sabotage his own efforts. So the one where they had to build a shelter or an extension to the house. Yes.
That's when he split off from the group and made his own one. Or baby James split off. Anyway, I know Rod Rod split off to try and make his own one using the garage and that's when he shut the garage out of all the stuff he needed to build an extension. There's a moment in that where Phil and James are getting on with theirs. And then Phil wanders over to see what Rudd's doing and then it goes missing. And James, just a couple of items.
And he started helping Roger.
Yeah, that was really funny because we couldn't control those three. So I think in that situation, the director is probably thinking we can't film two things at once. You know, it's a small crew. Yeah. And they're either renting the house, building big things. So it's difficult film. Plus, they're arguing. So it's very difficult to after all that. And we did. Yeah, that's a good example of something we didn't expect to happen, but we couldn't do anything about it.
But it's all the better for it, I suppose. This is a question from Ivy, this will be our final question of the episode, Alex, why did you only wear a tie for mouthguard, roaches tasks? It's been bugging me for years. I'm asked reasonably often and my answer is very simple is because she is Millgate. Yes, she deserves respect.
No one else has done yet.
Alex Horne, thank you very much for coming back on the Taskmaster podcast, could you please write your experience on the Taskmaster podcast again between one and five points? This time. It's a five. I think it was a five last time, wasn't it doesn't mean that not one this time. That's true. Thank you very much, Alex. It's a pleasure. Well, there we are then we'll be back next week with another brilliant special guest chatting about Episode two of Taskmasters Series one, and we will be proceeding as such from there.
Don't forget to watch along email in your questions. Taskmaster podcast at Gmail dot com. Don't forget the task master shop is also a thing. Go and have a look at that Taskmasters store dot com and also the YouTube channel, YouTube dot com forward slash taskmaster. Go and check out all that content. I've been a gamble. I'll see you next week I.