TaskMaster

On Wednesday I was lucky enough to visit Pinewood Studios with (my brother from another mother) Benjy to watch TaskMaster being filmed. He had managed to get tickets for both the afternoon and evening shows and having turned up the week before only to be told they oversold on tickets and he wouldn’t be going in, we thought we were prepared. We arrived an hour and a half before doors opened, joined the back of a queue in the heat, had a lovely full-body check and were then placed in the sun in a holding pen for a couple of hours.
We decided to sunbathe and it was only a matter of time before my head and nose were glowing. We were then told we hadn’t made the cut and would have to be on our way.

After a quick stop for a pint and some supplies, we were then first in the queue of cars for the evening showing, which also happened to be the series finale. When we were allowed in, Benjy had Lucky 13 and I was 14. We figured we were pretty safe with those numbers and sat people watching in the pen. It’s a strange mixture of people who turn up to watch TV being filmed, ourselves included. It was certainly an odd mix of people who looked like they didn’t know what to do now Jeremy Kyle had been cancelled.

We were all made to turn off our phones and were then taken through the lot. Bond 25 is currently filming but I didn’t see anything besides signs that they were using real glass inside one of the studios we walked past. If there’s any glass in Bond 25 then I don’t think we can count that as a spoiler.

We got taken into the studio which was a surreal moment of recognising something so well but not knowing what to do with that information. There were six rows on the studio floor before a fake wall and then tiered seats up to the back of the room. We were the back row of the studio floor, so should be identifiable when it is eventually aired.
A warm up comedian came out and we all shouted our favourite moments from previous shows (“Tree Wizard”, “James Acaster’s hula hoop”, “Joe Wilkinson’s potato”).

Greg Davies (possibly the tallest man on Earth) came out to rapturous applause and introduced Alex Horne. They then brought on the guests; David Baddiel, Ed Gamble, Jo Brand, Katy Wix and Rose Matafeo. The show runs to about 45 minutes (without ads) but we were there for over three hours as they hustled their way through comments that are definitely not suitable for TV and jibbed one another on their conduct during the tasks. I won’t say anything further because I promised Greg I wouldn’t spoil it but what a great line up and series this looks to be.

I’ll have to wait and see if I made the cut, and if so, I can tick that little number off my bucket list.

Published by Paul

Paperback writer.

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