Taskmaster Series 17 Line-Up Revealed – and It’s Not What You Might Expect

TV

We’ve had a marvellous run of Taskmaster series lately, so when a new line-up announcement is on the horizon, it’s easy to wonder whether the winning streak will continue or if we’re due a dud.

Never fear – Alex Horne and co. have delivered once again, although the series 17 Taskmaster line-up might not be quite what you’re expecting. Instead of the now-traditional Taskmaster family line-up (two TV veterans, two well-known faces on the comedy circuit, one lesser-known wildcard), this time they’ve gone for a veteran from outside the world of stand-up comedy, plus four rising stars with slightly less mainstream recognition than normal. As ever with this show though, anybody you’re not familiar with at the start, you’ll almost certainly love by the end of the series.

The Taskmaster series 17 line-up is: Steve Pemberton, Sophie Willan, Nick Mohammed, John Robins and Joanne McNally! And here they are appearing in the very first trailer for the new run:

Let’s find out a bit more about them:

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Steve Pemberton

From the acting and writing rather than stand-up world, Steve Pemberton is a bit of a TV legend, and his track record of playing weird and comedic characters makes him a promising addition to the series. You’ll recognise him as one of the creators and stars of funny, freaky, and freakishly clever anthology series Inside No 9 with Reece Shearsmith, grotesque comedy Psychoville, and weirdly comic horror series The League of Gentlemen (25 years old this week!). 

As an actor, Pemberton’s known for Happy Valley, Benidorm, Whitechapel and played Strackman Lux, one of the ill-fated archaeological expedition from Doctor Who two-parter “Silence in The Library” and “Forest of The Dead” in series four, alongside tenth Doctor David Tennant and Catherine Tate as Donna Noble. On stage, he’s appeared in Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman, She Stoops to Conquer at The National Theatre, and many more.

Sophie Willan

You might have heard Sophie Willan before you saw her, as she was initially the very funny narrator of Channel 4 reality series The Circle, before going on to create and star in the warm-hearted and very funny BBC sitcom Alma’s Not Normal. She’s won not one but two Baftas for the series (the first of which prompted a frankly brilliant reaction) and has more recently starred in the second series of BBC prison drama Time alongside Jodie Whittaker.

Nick Mohammed

If you don’t know Nick Mohammed yet, you’ll be kicking yourself. He’s earned two Emmy nominations for playing Nathan Shelley in Apple TV+ series Ted Lasso, created Sky comedy Intelligence (starring in the series alongside David Schwimmer), has toured his comedy character Mr Swallow around the country, including some memorable performances in 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, and delivered perhaps the most chaotic episode of The Off Menu Podcast ever? As the clip above shows, however, he’s also exceptionally smart, and actually dropped out of a PhD in geophysics at Cambridge to pursue his acting career. Seriously top Taskmaster potential, there. To note: he’s come dressed as a vampire for his official contestant avatar.

Joanne McNally

Irish comedian Joanne McNally is perhaps best known for being one half of the award-winning podcast My Therapist Ghosted Me, alongside co-creator Vogue Williams, where they offer comedic, brutally honest advice to listeners’ problems. You may also have seen her on a variety of panel shows, like Channel 4’s Big Fat Quiz of Everything, Guessable and Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled, as well as celeb quizzes like House of Games and The Wheel.

John Robins

For many of us, the first proper glimpse of John Robins’ comedy was seeing him appear on Mock The Week in 2016 alongside his then-partner, comedian Sara Pascoe (who was on Taskmaster series three), before they split later that year. He went on to use his heartbreak to create an award-winning Edinburgh Fringe show, and has since become better known for his award-winning BBC Radio 5 show with fellow comedian Elis James and their spin-off podcast How Do You Cope? …with Elis and John, where they interview guests about how they’ve faced challenges in their lives.

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Taskmaster series 17 arrives on Channel 4 in 2024.

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