Radio Hauraki host Jeremy Wells started off as a sidekick to Mikey Havoc on Eating Media Lunch — now has his own sidekick in new show Taskmaster.
Paul Williams, stand-up comedian and musician, Billy T Award nominee and younger brother of comedian Guy Williams, is tackling his first major TV role on the comedy panel show.
"TV is definitely harder than being on stage," Williams tells Spy. "If you do something bad live on stage it's gone instantly but if you do something bad on television it's recorded and kept forever.
"I can delete a live show from my mind but I cannot delete a television show from TVNZ OnDemand."
Williams said it was an honour to be a sidekick to Wells.
"I've always been a huge fan of Jeremy. I think we got on pretty well straight away. He's incredibly nice. The first time we met, we had lunch at a Japanese restaurant and I came prepared with a joke about how we were Eating Regular Lunch but I forgot to say it.
"It is inspiring to see how he's graduated from a sidekick into a guy who has a sidekick.
"The New Zealand version of the show will see Wells and Williams put local comedians through a number of bizarre and hilarious tasks. Williams' brother, Guy, is also on the show — a source of some sibling rivalry.
"Guy and I have not spoken in years and I was very disappointed when he was cast in Taskmaster," Williams says — tongue firmly in cheek.
"I definitely would not say I followed him into the industry. He knew I was planning to be an entertainer and pre-emptively copied me. Our parents are not proud, in fact, they are actively disappointed in us.
"Taskmaster is based on the UK version of the show, which was created by the show's own sidekick Alex Horne. Williams met Horne in London last year.
"I'm a huge fan. I think it's hard to step into his shoes without being influenced by him a bit. When we met, we already kind of had a similar vibe," he says.
Williams thinks anyone who gives Taskmaster a chance will love it, even though they have cut out parts that were simply too rude to be shown on television.
"It's a very fun show and having the same five people compete every week you really get to know them and can grow to love them.
"I could happily watch all nine seasons of the UK Taskmaster in one sitting, provided I had food and water and was allowed bathroom breaks. I think Taskmaster NZ will live up to that."
The show will debut on October 21.