Taskmaster – The Final review: Is the well of wacky ideas running dry?
Taskmaster – The Final review: After 16 series, is the show’s well of wacky ideas running dry?
Taskmaster — The Final
Inside The Tower Of London
Have you ever settled down in front of the television and thought to yourself, ‘What I really fancy now is to watch Sue Perkins firing a ring doughnut at Alex Horne from a piece of industrial-strength elastic attached to the top of a wheelie bin’?
You were in luck last night then. That was just one of the eccentric spectacles on offer in Taskmaster — The Final (Ch4).
This is the 16th series of Taskmaster, and there is some evidence that they might be running out of wacky, oddball ideas. One challenge for the five contestants was to do some exercise. Comedian Lucy Beaumont simply head-butted an exercise ball, while actress Susan Wokoma put on some boxing gloves and used a couple of small weights as ab rollers. To be honest, I’ve seen wackier.
It was the doughnut that kept up the show’s reputation for oddness that shouldn’t really be amusing but somehow is. The contestants were introduced to the sugary treat, which was mounted on a small plinth, and ordered: ‘Do something shocking but family-friendly with this doughnut’.
This is the 16th series of Taskmaster, and there is some evidence that they might be running out of wacky, oddball ideas
Gamesmaster Horne was just asking for trouble, wasn’t he? He was shot with the doughnut by Perkins, while Julian Clary slowly chewed his and then spat it into Horne’s face. Charming.
But the winner was Beaumont, who dressed as a bird, ate the doughnut, regurgitated, and fed it to Horne.
In cold print, it doesn’t sound very amusing, but that’s the magic of Taskmaster. Accept it as childish and silly, and somehow you get swept up by the maniacal laughter. Well, mostly swept up.
The series winner was Australian comedian Sam Campbell, the only contestant who could throw a ball into a large bath of smaller balls without any balls dropping onto the floor. Who knows when that skill might come in useful?
There was a shocking revelation from Inside The Tower Of London (Ch5). Some of the country’s most high-profile civil servants became so comfortable during lockdown that they refused to return to normal duties.
They are the Tower’s famous ravens, who were confined to their cages for six months as part of the crackdown on avian flu. And Ravenmaster Chris Skaife could not tempt them back out.
Mind you, his main method seemed to be standing outside the cage and shouting, ‘Come on then, you lot’. Eventually, one of the younger ravens fell for the oldest trick in the book — a trail of food — and the others followed.
The Tower’s famous ravens were confined to their cages for six months as part of the crackdown on avian flu. And Ravenmaster Chris Skaife could not tempt them back out
So if the Government is really serious about getting civil servants back to the office, would a trail of light snacks down Whitehall do the trick?
Elsewhere in the tower, a costume worn by the Earl of Caledon to the 1821 Coronation of George IV was being prepared for display, complete with wine and food stains. The knees-up afterwards cost the equivalent of £13m, and the Earl seemed to have spilled most of the food budget down his front and sleeves.
The stars of the show were the Yeoman Warders, who have bright, brash personalities to match their bright, brash costumes.
One of them warmed up a tour audience with the words, ‘Who’s up for a story with a happy ending?’
‘Yes,’ came the cheery reply.
‘Go visit somewhere else then.’
Once a formidable symbol of power, the Tower is now just another branch of showbiz.
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