Argumental Series 4
Like every long-running show, the time comes for a bit of a spring-clean. Or in this case a late autumn clean. So we say goodbye and cheers to previous host John Sergeant and team captains Rufus Hound and Marcus Brigstocke, and welcome a whole new team of argumentalists into the arena.
In the host’s hotseat is esteemed comic and comedy panellist Sean Lock, while Peep Show and That Mitchell And Webb’s Robert Webb, and up and coming stand-up Seann Walsh, are the new team captains. Joining them throughout the series is a veritable conveyor belt of top comedy talent. Say hello to Ardal O’Hanlon, Stephen K Amos, Andrew Maxwell, Daniel Sloss, Jimmy Carr, Russell Kane, Miles Jupp, Tim Vine, Jack Whitehall, Stephen Mangan and Jo Brand.
Argumental Series 1-3
So what is this Argumental thing anyway, we hear you ask? Well, it's either a hilarious comedy quiz show or a crucible of raging debate, depending on where you're coming from. Which is the whole point – anything and everything is up for debate.
In Series 1-3, the Argumental teams are headed up by comedians Marcus Brigstocke (the one with the rectangular face) and Rufus Hound (the one with the moustache). They take turns in debating the hot topics of the day, each forced to defend or prosecute on-trend issues. Making sure things don't get too out of hand is genial host John Sergeant, although he failed miserably on one infamous occasion in series two – Rufus, making an impassioned argument, stripped off all his clothes to reveal his, ahem, arguments in all their glory. Which was probably enough to traumatise poor old John for life – which is saying a great deal, given that John had to deal with Margaret Thatcher back when she was scary. Oh, and not forgetting Strictly Come Dancing of course.
The debate subjects themselves are actually pretty good. By which we mean, they'd engender fierce, foaming-mouthed debate even among a group of Valium-dosed Quakers. Questions on the rights and wrongs of the monarchy, the relative usefulness of recycling and other topics are all designed to bring out the sharpest and most impassioned responses in the contestants. To really test their debating skills, the contestants are sometimes asked to deliberately flip flop. In other words, to suddenly start arguing against their own original point, and back again. Why, it's enough to cause a nervous breakdown. Which we're guessing is the actual ulterior motive of the sadistic backstage executives.
Speaking of the contestants, which laughsome luminaries have graced the studio with their wit and wisdom? Well, just about anyone who's anyone, to be honest. There's Jimmy Carr, who of course is never short of a sharp comment, the one man guaranteed to be more offensive: the dark overlord of comedy that is Frankie Boyle.
We've also seen Will Smith (no, not Mr Wicky-Wah-Wah… our Will Smith is much cooler than that), Reginald D Hunter, Chris Addison, Johnny Vegas, Lucy Porter, Sean Lock and that be-bearded young upstart, Jack Whitehall.
Argumental, Dave's very own comedy debating show, sees some of the country's greatest comic talents compare tongues to see who's got the sharpest. In a strictly metaphorical sense, we stress.
Frankly, with this lot around it's a wonder John Sergeant manages to keep any semblance of order at all – but then this wise old journalist has dealt with quite a few grumpy politicians in his time, which does tend to give you a thick skin. So, if you're fed up with talk shows in which celebs just sit around stroking each other egos and vigorously agreeing with every blanditude to escape each other's lips, then Argumental is the show for you. We're sure Plato and Aristotle would agree. Yes they would. You're wrong, they WOULD…