Interview: Rose Matafeo On Signing Up For Taskmaster Nine

Acclaimed game show Taskmaster will return to Dave from Wednesday 4th September at 9pm for a ninth series once again fronted by Greg Davies and Alex Horne. This season’s hopefuls are David Baddiel, Ed Gamble, Jo Brand, Katy Wix and Rose Matafeo. Read an interview with Rose Matafeo below.

Read an interview with David Baddiel talking about Taskmaster here. 

 

Why did you sign up to Taskmaster?

Oh my God. When my friends found out I was doing it, they freaked out. We love it. And I’ve had the craziest reaction from my friends in New Zealand. It’s almost as if I’m representing my country at an Olympic sport. The prestige around it is very high.

Lots of my comedian friends have done it and I’ve always been so jealous. It appeals to the nerdy side of me so much. Ed and me do Escape Rooms together. When we found out not only we were doing it, but we were doing it together, it blew our minds.

The first time I went to the Taskmaster house, it was so embarrassing because I’m an adult and since being an adult I’ve never had that feeling of it being Christmas the next day. I could never sleep the night before filming. I was so excited. It was the best experience of my life.

Did you learn anything about yourself?

It’s funny because when you do any other show, stand-up or TV, you’re kind of curating yourself, in a way. But on this, it’s the truest form of yourself. It’s so interesting to see that revealed.

You see very different sides of comedians coming out. I love it, but it’s deeply scary because comedians are very competitive. I found out I’m a total nerd. And I behave like a children’s presenter. The whole experience has been like, ‘Why am I like this? I need to re-brand my entire personality’.

Did you have a strategy?

I would get home and go, ‘I should have done that’, and it would haunt me. I had so many sleepless nights. But as soon as you open the card, you just have to go with your first instinct.

You just don’t know what it’s going to be like until you’re there, and Alex Horne is handing you a card, and it’s sheer panic.

But there are many tasks I wish I’d done differently. A lot of the time all I had to do was read the tasks properly. I’ve realised I can’t actually read.

It happened to all of us. It’s quite vulnerable to have your ego shattered like that.

It’s like that girl from S Club 7, after she watched all the racist things she said on Big Brother. That’s what it feels like to watch yourself on Taskmaster. You’re just like, ‘Wow - that’s what I’m like?’

How helpful were the crew with getting you what you needed for the tasks?

They were great. To be honest I wish I’d pushed it more. I didn’t use Alex too much in mine, because I’m polite and I didn’t want to put him through the hell on earth that Ed Gamble put him through.

Ed and David both did it actually, but that’s the confidence of men, I think.

But no, when you did a shopping list, everything was up for grabs. It was kind of amazing. There was nothing that was too much or too big. But I should have pushed the boat out.

The team is incredible. It’s such a well-oiled machine. They just go, ‘Do you want a birthday cake with candles or glitter?’ and it’s ridiculous. I had everything my heart desired. But that brings a different kind of problem. Too much choice makes you panic.

What were the dynamics between the contestants?

I think it’s probably one of the best casts ever. I know I’m biased, but as a fan I do think that. We really balance each other out.

David is so lovely and is dealing with a lot of, ‘Oh, this is who I actually am’.

Ed is one of my good friends and I loved having him there because we fight all the time. We had an argument after the show one night, in the Green Room. It’s like a sibling rivalry thing. And Jo is one of the best people I’ve ever met in my life. Her attitude towards it is so sobering. She’s the one that goes, ‘This is ridiculous’, and helps us to realise it’s supposed to be ridiculous.

Katy is the best girl to sit next to in the studio. She’s got a very calm, authoritative energy. What’s lovely is that three women being with two men hasn’t been noticeable. It’s just five really nice friends and five funny people. We’re all genuinely supportive of each other. I think in past series they haven’t got on as well as we have. All of us have would have a coffee with one another. Doing the studio shows was the best week ever.

What was your best task?

I made my legs look remarkably long. It still makes me laugh.

I wrote a song. That song has haunted my dreams in quite a scary way.

I was quite proud of my egg timer. I’m good at the creative ones. I do quite well on the physical ones. Never, ever the logical ones. I thought I was quite a logical person but it turns out I’m quite alarmingly bad. Like, I shouldn’t be allowed to drive, or leave the house. I’m a crafty person, not a thinky person. Yes, ‘thinky’ is a word.

Did you try hard to impress Greg?

Oh at one point he decided he didn’t want to give me points because I’m too young. I was furious. I told him that’s ageism. He said I didn’t deserve more points because of my youthful skin, and he can’t be friends with anybody born after 1990. But I’m determined to break that. I think I can bring a light into his life that he’s probably been missing for a while. I’m going to crack that dark, icy heart of his. I like a challenge.

I do love Greg. He’s a bit like a student teacher I’m in love with. I think maybe my enthusiasm annoys him and I should try to play it cool. But I was just so excited to be here. I’m a nerd and he doesn’t like nerds so I should have dialled down my neediness.

How did you do on the first round bringing in gifts?

I thought I did quite well but he hated most of it. it’s absolutely arbitrary. We’re at the mercy of his moods, which are wildly uncontrollable. He’s like a mad king. I tried to plead for points and I don’t think he likes that.

How do you describe the relationship between Greg and Alex?

Abusive? I constantly feel sorry for Alex. He’s the sweetest boy in all the world and he has the sweetest little face, and Greg is all mean to him. But weirdly I’m into both their energy. I respect both in deeply different ways. I don’t really know whose team I’d be on if they were to ever fight.

Greg’s frustration is totally genuine. I thought it was put on for camera but he actually does get that fed up with Alex.

Who do you think should be on a future series of Taskmaster?

What a great question! Elis James would be either very good or very bad. Either way, he’d commit. Felicity Ward would be fantastic. A lot of Taskmaster fans often say Richard Ayoade. I think he might be a bit of a Baddiel - an incredibly talented person who shocks you when he’s on it. Jessie Cave would be very good. She’s an illustrator so she’d be really crafty. Jonathan Ross would have crazy energy. Joel Dommett is one of the weirdest guys I’ve ever met so I think he’d be fantastic.

And maybe a Love Island contestant for fun.

 

Interview supplied by UKTV

 

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