Taskmaster’s Rosie Jones blasts ‘hurtful’ abuse from trolls

Rosie Jones smiles while wearing a neon green jumper and standing against a beige background.

Lesbian comedian Rosie Jones is enduring a wave of online abuse after it was announced that she would to appear on season 18 of Channel 4’s Taskmaster.

Yesterday (30 May), the lesbian comedian and Disability Benefits star was named as one of five celebrities taking part in season 18 of Greg Davies and Alex Horne’s hit comedy game show. She’ll be on the panel alongside fellow comedians Andy Zaltzman, Babatunde Aléshé, Emma Sidi and Jack Dee when the series airs later this year.

But Jones appears to be the only one facing a barrage of abuse from social media trolls, some of whom are making ableist comments about her.

Since rising to fame in the mid 2010s, Jones has spoken openly about living with ataxic cerebral palsy, and about being trolled it.

Rosie Jones in a puffy yellow dress at the BAFTA red carpet.
Rosie Jones will be appearing omn the new season of the hit Channel 4 comedy game show. (Jeff Spicer/Getty)

And now some people have said Taskmaster will be “unwatchable” with her on it. Others have vowed to “skip” the new season, with one troll going as far as to say she’d “ruin” it.

Earlier this month, Jones deleted her X/Twitter account following a bout of hate directed at her.

You may like to watch

“I’ve not felt a lot of joy from this social media platform in a long time,” she wrote. “I could say comedy is subjective but the truth is the comments are hurtful. I used to love Twitter but I don’t care for this centre of hate.”

Several of her fans have leapt to her defence, with one social media user pointing out: “You can dislike Rosie Jones’s comedy without demonstrating such vocal and visceral hatred towards her for doing her job.

“Saying you’re not bigoted doesn’t mean you aren’t, when the only comedians [to] receive this hostility are from minority groups.”

One fan who attended a recording of the new season described Jones as “completely hilarious and as bonkers as you would expect”.

Another said: “The reactions to Rosie Jones being on Taskmaster are predictable and so bloody depressing. I can’t recall a single other contestant on the show getting this backlash and it’s completely unwarranted.”

Others were simply thrilled to hear she would be appearing. “Rosie Jones? We’ve frickin won, folks. Dream Taskmaster contestant. An absolute queen,” one wrote.

Jones has spoken about how online abuse reached a crescendo following her appearance on BBC’s Question Time in 2021.

“I attracted a new audience: people who didn’t agree with my political beliefs,” she said. “They couldn’t find the words to express it so they just attacked my disability or appearance. They’re the low-hanging fruits. The amount of abuse I got was overwhelming. Even the strongest person couldn’t deal with that.”

Taskmaster season 18 will air on Channel 4 later this year.

Please login or register to comment on this story.