Channel 4 poaches Taskmaster | Dave loses Alex Horne's show after nine series © UKTV

Channel 4 poaches Taskmaster

Dave loses Alex Horne's show after nine series

Channel 4 has poached Taskmaster from Dave.

The broadcaster has signed a deal with programme-makers Avalon to air six series deal across three years, starting in late 2020.

Greg Davies will remain as the all-powerful Taskmaster with series creator Alex Horne.

The news follows reports that Avalon and Dave owner UKTV struggled to strike a deal over the show's future – and make it the second high-profile show Channel 4 has poached after snatching Great British Bake Off from the BBC.

Taskmaster started as a live show at the Edinburgh Fringe before being developed for television. Channel 4 was initially involved in the development but it  was commissioned for Dave where it has aired for nine series.

Horne said: ‘I’d like to thank UKTV for letting us do such ridiculous things for so long. Greg and I are looking forward to getting started on a new series for Channel 4 from next year. 

‘ It seems like the right time to move to a channel with a broader audience and I can reassure people who like the show that it won’t be changing one bit and I’ll still be forced to do things no one should ever have to do.’

Davies added: ‘For the first time in our working relationship I agree with little Alex Horne.  The nine series on UKTV have been a joy and I would echo his thanks to all involved.  

‘I do take issue with the notion that the show will remain exactly the same however as I have made it my personal mission to break his spirit.  I will remain even-handed with contestants of course, but it really is going to get unpleasant for him.  Peace.’

Ian Katz, Channel 4’s director of programmes said: ‘Taskmaster is anarchic, original and a brilliant springboard for new comic talent. It’s everything we look for in a Channel 4 show and like millions of others I’m a massive fan so I’m delighted it will soon be taking its place in our unrivalled slate of scripted and studio comedy.’

Series nine – which featured  David Baddiel, Jo Brand, Katy Wix,  Rose Matafeo and winner Ed Gamble – finished on Dave earlier this month, attracting a peak of 1.85million viewers.

The shows will also get repeats on E4 under the new deal.

Taskmaster production credits

Produced by: Avalon
Executive producers:  Alex Horne, Richard Allen-Turner, Rob Aslett, James Taylor, Jon Thoday and Andy Devonshire
Series director: Andy Devonshire
Series producer: Andy Cartwright will also continue as

Published: 22 Nov 2019

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