Argumental. Image shows from L to R: Robert Webb, Sean Lock, Seann Walsh. Image credit: Tiger Aspect Productions.

Argumental

Panel show in which comedians are asked to speak for and against various issues. Sean Lock, Seann Walsh and Robert Webb are the current regulars

AKA:
Whose Side Are You On? (Working Title)
Genre:
Panel Show
Broadcast:
2008 - 2011  (Dave)
Episodes:
49 (4 series)
Starring:
John Sergeant, Marcus Brigstocke, Rufus Hound, Sean Lock, Robert Webb, Seann Walsh
Writers:
Simon Bullivant, Lee Stuart Evans, Simon Evans, Jim Pullin, Shaun Pye, Charlie Skelton, Fraser Steele, Martin Trenaman, Ricky Kelehar, Dan Gaster, Les Keen
Production:
Tiger Aspect Productions

Panel show in which teams must argue for or against various topics - not necessarily topics they personally agree with, but they must pretend they do.

For example, in the classic debate round, teams animatedly discuss such pearls of wisdom as: "London should not host the Olympics in 2012"; "The credit crunch is no bad thing"; "Recycling is a waste of time"; and "The Royal Family serve no purpose". One team is for the statement, one against.

The teams then move on to a visual aids round, followed by an alternative 'flip-flop' round, where contestants have to argue against themselves, changing their argument around every time the bell sounds (in some episodes this round was changed to arguing against the opponent).

With plenty of lively debate, some quick thinking and some sneaky point scoring, Argumental takes all the most topical and contentious issues of the day and rips them to shreds.

The first three series of the show were presented by veteran ITV political correspondent John Sergeant, with Marcus Brigstocke and Rufus Hound as the team captains.

Argumental went through a re-vamp for Series 4, and so Sean Lock now hosts, with Robert Webb and Seann Walsh as the new team captains.

Our Review: A very positive addition to the schedules of Dave, this panel show has proved to be a big hit for the channel (so much so that BBC Two purchased some of the episodes to repeat).

It does depend upon the guests as to how many laughs there are in each episode though, such is the variable nature of comedy panel formats like this one which rely so heavily on the participants' input.

Series Two upped the game by replacing some of the cardboard cutouts in the Celebrity Round with real people - for example, Rufus Hound had to try and argue that "bodybuilders are not fabulous" whilst standing next to a big hulking bodybuilder. A very amusing segment!

For a period things got really competitive, with Rufus even stripping naked in one of the episodes in an attempt to win the round! However, three series in, the show has now settled into a very steady and reliable groove...

However, just as thing were settling down, the show has been put through a re-branding exercise. Sean Lock makes for a good host, but what was wrong with Sergeant, Brigstocke and Hound? They did a fine job.