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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Created byRicky Kelehar
Directed byIan Lorimer
Geraldine Dowd
Presented byJohn Sergeant (2008–10)
Sean Lock (2011–12)
StarringTeam Captains:
Marcus Brigstocke (2008–11)
Rufus Hound (2008–11)
Robert Webb (2011–2)
Seann Walsh (2011–2)
Theme music composerWill Slater
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series4
No. of episodes49 (list of episodes)
Executive producersGary Chippington
Clive Tulloh
ProducersDavid Taylor
Dominic English
Production locationsThe London Studios (2008–10)
BBC Television Centre (2011–2)
EditorsSteve Andrews
Tim Ellison
Steve Dix
Jamie Shemeld
Running time30 minutes (inc. adverts)
Production companyTiger Aspect Productions
DistributorEndemol UK
Original networkDave
Original release27 October 2008 (2008-10-27) –
5 January 2012 (2012-01-05)
Related showsHave I Got News for You
Mock the Week
The News Quiz
External links
Official website

Argumental (working title Whose Side Are You On?) is a British improvised comedy panel game hosted originally by John Sergeant and later Sean Lock, alongside two teams captained by Marcus Brigstocke and Rufus Hound, followed by Robert Webb and Seann Walsh, debating and arguing on various topics with help from various guests. It is made by independent production company Tiger Aspect Productions for Dave and made its debut on 27 October 2008.[1] Series three was commissioned for Dave and four episodes from the second series aired on BBC Two, making it UKTV's most successful commission in terms of reach of audience.[2]


The programme was originally chaired by journalist John Sergeant whose post-journalistic career at the time the series began was on the rise due in part to his appearance on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing. He was joined by team captains Marcus Brigstocke, the host of The Late Edition, and comedian Rufus Hound. Each team captain was accompanied by a guest panellist who have included Jimmy Carr, Sue Perkins, Reginald D. Hunter, Phill Jupitus, Charlie Higson, Johnny Vegas, Lucy Porter, Dara Ó Briain, Sean Lock and Frankie Boyle.[3] From the 2011 series, Sean Lock replaced John Sergeant as presenter, while Seann Walsh and Robert Webb took over as team captains. This coincided with a revamp of the show's set and graphics.


Each episode comprises a series of rounds in which each team takes its turn debating a variety of topics, whilst also trying to be amusing. Topics have included: 'recycling is a waste of time' and 'the Royal Family serve no purpose'. After each round the team members often make humorous observations about what has just been said, before the studio audience votes for who they thought put forward the best case. Voting is done by holding up a red or blue paddle to vote for the red or blue team respectively. The votes are tallied before the winner of the round is decided. The team that wins the most rounds wins the show.


Each episode normally contains 5 rounds. Sometimes however some episodes contain 4 rounds with 1 round dropped altogether.

Classic debate

A representative from each team takes their turn to argue for or against a given motion, respectively. After the main arguments have been put forward the teams are invited to discuss the subject further to reinforce their team's argument or attack their opponent's.

Visual aids

Team members try to argue over a topic while incorporating pictures from a slideshow that they have never seen before into their case.


Each team is given a different topic to argue about in this round. The team representative must argue for the motion until a buzzer sounds at which point they must argue against the motion. The contestant continues to alternate between for and against until the end of round buzzer is sounded. This round does not appear in every episode.

That's a Brilliant Idea

Introduced in series 3, representatives from each team take turns being given a typically nonsensical, illogical or outrageous statement, and have to argue a convincing case for that statement being a good thing, starting each argument with the words "That's a brilliant idea.".

Popular culture round

In series 1, this round was similar to the 'classic debate' round except the topic involves a famous person or celebrity. The person being debated was represented by a life sized cut-out placed in the centre of the performance stage. Past celebrities have included Piers Morgan, Victoria Beckham, Amy Winehouse, Wayne and Coleen Rooney, Simon Cowell and Jeremy Kyle.

Since series 2, this round has not always featured cardboard cut-outs; in some episodes, real-life people (e.g. a body builder) come on stage instead.

Final picture round

This round doesn't involve any arguing per person, alternatively contestants are shown pictures for which they must invent a motion to suit. Unlike the other rounds, both teams remain seated throughout. Like the flip-flop round, this round has not always been included. The audience still votes red or blue.

Guest appearances

The following appeared on the show as a guest.

a. ^ Appearances made before becoming the host.


Original series

Series Start date End date Episodes
1 27 October 2008 26 January 2009 12
2 23 March 2009 17 November 2009 12
3 2 February 2010 2 November 2010 12
4 3 November 2011 15 December 2011 7


Date Entitle
2 February 2009 The Best of Series 1
24 November 2009 The Best of Series 2 (Part 1)
1 December 2009 The Best of Series 2 (Part 2)
9 November 2010 The Best of Series 3
5 March 2011 24 Hour Panel People Comic Relief Special
22 December 2011 Christmas Special
5 January 2012 The Best of Series 4


  1. ^ "Argumental". "". Retrieved 20 November 2008. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Sweney, Mark (10 November 2009). "Argumental to air on BBC2". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Archived from the original on 13 November 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "UKTV autumn '08: Dave". "Broadcast". 17 September 2008. Retrieved 20 November 2008. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links

This page was last edited on 23 August 2020, at 14:59
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