Taskmaster, the British entertainment series produced by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver producer Avalon Television, has been handed a bumper, four season order by UKTV. The multichannel broadcaster has ordered four, ten-part series of the Greg Davies and Alex Horne-fronted show, which takes it through to 2019. This comes as the series, which sees the ‘taskmaster’ issue a range of comedic and bizarre tasks to celebrity contestants, is set to air on Comedy Central in the U.S. The sixth season in the UK starts in the spring with contestants including My Dad Wrote A Porno co-creator Alice Levine, People Just Do Nothing star Asim Chaudry, Upstart Crow’s Liza Tarbuck, Not Going Out’s Tim Vine and Russell Howard. Executive producer Jon Thoday said, “We are delighted by Dave’s ongoing commitment and support for Taskmaster. It’s great to know the exceptionally creative team behind it will continue to surprise and entertain viewers with this hugely popular and original show.”
German commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media has appointed Max Conze, former boss of British tech giant Dyson, as Chief Executive. Conze replaces Thomas Ebeling, who leaves this week after a nine-year run at the company. Conrad Albert, who is currently deputy CEO at the company, will take over as interim Chief Executive before Conze starts. Ebeling has been credited with growing the company from a market capitalization of €300M (US$370M) to over €7BN (US$8.6B) and has moved the company into a major production force in Germany and internationally. “Max Conze has extensive international management experience in various industries,” said ProSiebenSat.1 supervisory board Chairman Werner Brandt.
The British Film Institute has unveiled the program for BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival with more than 50 feature films and 90 shorts as well as a raft of discussions and workshops. The 32nd iteration of the London festival will feature the world premiere of Laura Marie Wayne’s documentary Love, Scott, which is a portrait of a young man left paralysed after a homophobic attack, as well as Robin Berghaus’ Stumped, which follows comedian Will Lautzenheiser, Stevie Cruz-Martin’s disabled transition doc Pulse and Sandra Alland’s Fighters of Demons, Makers of Cakes as well as the UK premiere of Ellen Page-fronted My Days of Mercy and the European premiere of Postcards from London, starring Beach Rats’ Harris Dickinson. The festival runs March 21 – April 1. BFI Festivals’ Artistic Director Tricia Tuttle said, “Queer cinema has never offered more richly complex and diverse characters and stories than we have seen in the last few years and that shines through in the quality of Festival that the programme team have put together. This diversity has also inspired us to update our Festival name to BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival. That Q+ reflects shifts in cultural conversations around identity, but also the Festival’s own ethos as welcoming and inclusive.”