Buying The Big Issue is easy. You visit your local vendor, pay £3 (in cash or increasingly via cashless payment), read, enjoy and look forward to doing it all again the next week. But we want more people to experience all the benefits.
That’s why this week, we have teamed up with Alex Horne, creator of hit series Taskmaster, to set a challenge to readers:
It’s simple. Encourage as many people as you can to buy and read The Big Issue, send in some evidence and you might win… well, it’s the taking part that counts.
Alex Horne said: “I think buying The Big Issue is the easiest thing to do in the world. You all know where your Big Issue salesperson is. So persuading other people should be the task…”
The challenge features alongside an interview with Horne in this week’s magazine, where he talks about the show’s move to Channel 4, his relationship with co-presenter Greg Davies and his favourite lockdown challenges.
When the first Taskmaster aired six years ago Horne knew he had a winning format from the start.
He said: “Romesh [Ranganathan] and Tim [Key, poet, and Horne’s former flatmate] smashed a watermelon on the ground, and then started gobbling it up [The task was: ‘Eat as much watermelon as possible in one minute’]. That was the moment that the programme caught alight, showed how competitive people were and the lengths they’d go to.”
Over nine series, Taskmaster has built up such a large cult following that it’s on the brink of being mainstream, and this week it follows in the floury footsteps of the Great British Bake Off by defecting to Channel 4.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for [free-to-air channel] Dave because they were the only ones who took the risk and I love it,” Horne says. “But we came to the end the contract and Channel 4 said how about we show it? I want it to be exactly the same but just easier to find.”
The fresh Taskmaster has exactly the same ingredients: random tasks attempted by a mix of comedians, this year: stand-up veterans Johnny Vegas and Richard Herring, The IT Crowd’s Katherine Parkinson, This Country’s Daisy May Cooper and show-stealing Mawaan Rizwan.
The new series of Taskmaster begins on Channel 4 on Thursday October 15 at 9pm.
Big Issue vendors have returned to selling the magazine across the country. However, with footfall significantly lower on many high streets, vendors need your support now, more than ever. If you don’t have a local vendor, you can support The Big Issue by downloading the app, available on Apple Store and Google Play, or subscribe online.