Julia Morris: Being A Mum Prepared Me For Taskmaster

Julia Morris: Being A Mum Prepared Me For Taskmaster

As a headlining-stand-up comedian, Julia Morris is no stranger to dealing with the unknown. Afterall, stand-up audiences are famed for their ruthless, unpredictable nature.

But for Morris, it was not stand-up, but being a mum that best prepared her for her role as a contestant in Network 10’s Taskmaster

Speaking to B&T, Morris said “I think I was better prepared for Taskmaster having been a mum, because you just have to make stuff out of nothing. Every day is Taskmaster, and the children are the master”.  

“I think maybe my children prepared me better for Taskmaster than anything else”.

Born out of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the UK, Taskmaster is a TV show that sees a host of comedians pitted against each other to complete a series of bizarre challenges. 

In a world where comedians frequently compete to say the most inappropriate things, the family-friendly nature of Taskmaster has made it a surprising hit in the UK. 

The show has won a BAFTA for comedy entertainment and been nominated for an International Emmy. 

In Australia, Tom Gleeson is taking up the role of Taskmaster, whilst Tom Cashman is his devoted assistant. Morris joins Luke McGregor, Jimmy Rees, Nina Oyama and Danielle Walker as a contestant. 

Despite being stand-up veterans, Morris said the improvisational nature of the show brought out a new kind of creativity for her and the other comedians. 

“I tend to know the outcomes of my audience, most of the time, I don’t get chucked too many curlies anymore. So it was fun to get back out and exercise those skills. It definitely ignited my creativity”.

Taskmaster Cast

 

Alongside the creativity, however, was a new-found vulnerability. 

“Getting to see a window into a stand-up’s vulnerability is a really interesting side of things. We are standing on that stage normally, bulletproof,” Morris said. 

 “ [On Taskmaster] you have to show a vulnerability on something you don’t know how to do, and [reveal] what your thinking processes is – how you feel silly and you’re running out of time, and [you] feel tired or not fit enough or whatever those things are that go through your mind –  add that to having to do a task on television”. 

As a winner of Celebrity Apprentice and singing show It Takes Two it’s hard to think of a challenge that Morris would struggle with. 

The answer is definitive, however:  “puzzles”, she says. 

Hosting I’m a Celebrity, Morris is no stranger to challenges, but doing the challenges herself was a very different experience. 

As a host you are a “collaborator” she said, “you’re in on the writing process [and], you’re helping to shape the whole series”. 

As a contestant on Taskmaster she was “producing” herself through the task and thinking “how can I make this funny?”

“In hosting you’ve already been a part of that by the time the camera’s rolling”. 

Julia Morris Presents I’m A Celebrity.

When asked whether Taskmaster had improved her daily ability to do tasks, it was a resounding yes from Morris. 

“Definitely, definitely,” she said. 

 “It has changed the way I approach things.  Even the day before yesterday, my agent said ‘just approach this like a task’.  I bought tickets to a musical, didn’t look at it properly, and bought the wrong day. And I’m like, what sort of idiot buys the wrong day!? They’re really expensive! When you go on the website they’re like, ‘hmm you probably won’t get your money back’. 

“Anyway, she [the agent] said ‘why don’t you approach this like a task?’ I thought ‘God, here we go. Okay’. Anyway I sorted it out – so that was good.”

Her key learning from Taskmaster?

“That we are all more capable than we think we are,” Morris says. 

Taskmaster will screen on Network 10 and online platform 10Play at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2.




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