UKTV’s Dave Channel Orders Greg Davies Fronted Entertainment Series ‘Taskmaster’

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UKTV (ALT)UKTV is teaming with comedians Greg Davies and Alex Horne for a new entertainment series.

The company, which is a joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, has ordered Taskmaster, a new six episode entertainment series hosted by Greg Davies and Alex Horne, TVWise has learned.

Taskmaster will see Greg Davies, assisted by Alex Horne, assigning tasks to a group of well-known comedians and ultimately deciding who wins. The series will push the comedians to show how comic, creative and seriously competitive they are. Production on the series is set to commence later this year for a 2015 premiere.

Commissioned by UKTV’s Richard Watsham and Dave’s General Manager Steve North, the format was devised by Alex Horne who initially trialled the idea during his critically acclaimed live show at Edinburgh Fringe in 2011 and 2012. Avalon Television is producing, with Alex Horne serving as the series producer, while Richard Allen-Turner, James Taylor and Jon Thoday serving as executive producers. Andy Devonshire is attached to direct.

“Entertainment shows with this level of invention and ambition are extremely rare so it’s great to have it on Dave”, said Richard Watsham, UKTV’s Director of Commissioning. “It absolutely demonstrates our commitment to taking risks where other broadcasters might not. The thought of Alex Horne’s off beat comic genius brought to life with Greg Davies as the ultimate, authoritarian Taskmaster has me smiling already.”

Greg DaviesTaskmaster is the second series to get a green-light at UKTV’s Dave channel in as many days. Yesterday, the channel – which ranks as the UK’s number one non-PSB – announced that they had handed a series order to Undercover, a police sitcom from Andy Milligan and Sacha Alexander which is being fronted by BAFTA winner Daniel Rigby. Both commissions come out of UKTV’s increased budget for originals, which is expected to reach £175 million by 2015.

“Having seen Taskmaster live in Edinburgh back in 2011, it is fantastic to now bring the show to Dave viewers”, added Steve North, General Manager of Dave. “It is a hilarious, full of energy and anarchic humour and is a great addition to the channel’s line up of original shows, which I hope will continue to widen the viewers that Dave appeals to. I can’t wait to see it on the channel.”