I can play the theme tune to Dal­las... but that will only get you so far in an or­ches­tra

Harefield Gazette - - YOUR SAY -

(LAUGHS) There was no chem­istry when we did the first pi­lot. No, Greg is a very funny man, a very silly man. It’s fun to sit next to him on the show and oc­ca­sion­ally har­ness him in. I sup­pose keep­ing a bit of or­der is sort of my role. A lot doesn’t make it onto the show. Maybe we should put the out-takes on YouTube. IT’S strange watch­ing the dif­fer­ent ver­sions. There are ver­sions of Greg and I in Flem­ish and Swedish. I don’t speak the lan­guages, but I find it very en­ter­tain­ing. Swe­den seems to have the least health and safety re­quire­ments. They have con­tes­tants run­ning on train tracks with the train honk­ing at them. I LIKE tasks that are a bit of a blank can­vas, like ‘Give Alex a cud­dle in a spe­cial way.’ I’ve no idea what the celebrity con­tes­tants are go­ing to do, but a cud­dle from Bob Mor­timer in a spe­cial way, well, that’s nice for me. I DON’T re­ally know. It’s a ta­lent that’s use­less for any­thing else. I nor­mally go for a long walk and let my mind wan­der. The more we do Taskmas­ter the eas­ier it gets. I like to come up with tasks that give peo­ple a lot of scope – some­thing quite silly, but not too chaotic. I played French horn at school. (Laughs) I got grade three mu­sic and I can play the theme tune to Dal­las, but that will only get you so far in an or­ches­tra. IT’S not your tra­di­tional com­edy songs, we are not chang­ing a few lyrics for laughs, it’s five tal­ented mu­si­cians led by some­one with no mu­sic abil­ity.

There are lots of songs and danc­ing and muck­ing about. The sax­o­phone player, Mark Brown, works with Rob­bie Wil­liams and trum­peter Joe Auck­land plays with Mad­ness. All of them are a lot fun­nier than me. IF we think of an idea, or some­one writes a lit­tle thing of pi­ano, then it is sent out to all of us and we re­hearse once a week.

We’ve done Zumba at some shows – there’s some au­di­ence par­tic­i­pa­tion – and some peo­ple come be­cause of Taskmas­ter and some be­cause of our BBC Ra­dio 4 show.

Things like Taskmas­ter take up a big part of the year, but I’m do­ing ses­sions with the band as well and we do have fun.

I HAVE been do­ing com­edy for nearly 20 years and there’s lit­tle that throws you. Peo­ple tend to shout out the same names of songs in dif­fer­ent towns. It’s re­mark­able how of­ten the theme tune from Juras­sic Park comes up.

I did clas­sics at Cam­bridge which to be hon­est was not as use­ful as I thought it might be, but I man­aged to land on my feet very quickly do­ing com­edy. MY sons are vaguely not in­ter­ested in what I do. They re­ally want some­one who can tell them lots of Bob Monkhouse style jokes.

You first came up with the idea of Taskmas­ter as a live show at the Ed­in­burgh Fringe Fes­ti­val. What is it like do­ing the TV ver­sion with Greg Davies? You are also back on tour with mis­chievous melody mak­ers The Horne Sec­tion. How mu­si­cal are you? Alex...

What tasks will Bob Mor­timer, Sally Phillips, Mark Wat­son, Nish Ku­mar and Ais­ling Bea have to do in the new se­ries to try and win Greg’s de­cap­i­tated head on a spiked plinth? Alex with his Taskmas­ter co-host Greg Davies Who comes up with the mu­si­cal...

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