Alex Horne, speaking exclusively to to promote the new Taskmaster VR game, has debunked a Greg Davies joke that he's heard "a lot of times", admitting that it's "not quite true".


If you've ever been to a live recording of a Taskmaster episode, you will have heard Greg Davies warm up the studio audience with a bit of stand-up.

This same segment of live comedy was also immortalised on film in the first episode of The Horne Section TV Show.

The butt of the joke, every time Davies tells it, is that Alex Horne created Taskmaster and put years of work into it... only for the TV networks to say that someone else had to host the thing if it was ever going to be broadcast.

As Horne told us over Zoom: "I don't know how many episodes we've done now, but that's a lot of times I've heard that story."

More like this

He revealed: "It's not quite true, which I think is why he does it. In that, if it was heartbreak every time, I don't think he would do it."

So there's no truth to the story that Horne was forced by the network to rescind hosting duties and get comfortable in the sidekick role?

As Horne told us: "No, I never wanted to host it. And I always wanted Greg to host it, because he's so brilliant.

"And I really enjoy being the sidekick and sort of being able to pull strings, subtly, and without having the weight of the show on my shoulders.

"So no, it's not it's not particularly true [Greg's story]. But it is funny, so we lean into that."

The origins of Taskmaster were recently explored in a brilliant article over on Den Of Geek, which explained that the show originally began as an Edinburgh Festival production. When did Horne begin to realise it could become a bigger and bigger thing?

"All that's true," Horne said. "It's an accidental thing. It was just meant to be an Edinburgh, you know, late night one-off event with some mates. So it sort of kept on... growing?

"Well, what I would say is that as soon as I had the idea and sent an email to 20 comics, saying, 'I'm gonna set you a challenge every month', they all said yes. And they all dived into it... or should that be dove into it?

"Yeah, but they were funny straightaway. And they were really into it. And it just did feel like, 'Oh, this is a thing', but it wasn't for six years that it got on telly. And even then, it felt like, 'Well, it might work, it might not.'"

See more from this interview:

Horne continued: "So it's constant surprises. And, you know, people always say, 'Did you think it would be still going now?'

"Well, I definitely didn't think it'd be a VR game or any of the other weird little things... you know, people do it at their weddings and schools and stuff.

"So no, it's a constant surprise, but I can... when you look at the format, which is, again, accidental, you do think, 'Oh, it does make sense'.

"It's just everyone doing the same thing, and then seeing who does it better. I do understand that it's quite a good way of having fun, I suppose."

And now, thanks to Taskmaster VR, fans can have that fun at home, taking part in tasks and even creating their own!

Taskmaster VR is out now on Meta Quest and Steam. You can learn more on its official website.


Check out more of our Gaming coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.