If I Ruled the World (game show)

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If I Ruled the World
Genre Gameshow comedy
Created by Richard Osman
Presented by Clive Anderson
Starring Graeme Garden
Jeremy Hardy
Theme music composer Dave Hewson
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 16
Production company(s) Hat Trick Productions
Broadcast
Original channel BBC Two
Original run 27 February 1998 (1998-02-27) – 29 March 1999 (1999-03-29)
Chronology
Related shows Parlamentet

If I Ruled the World is a television show aired in the United Kingdom in 1998 and 1999. It was a comedy panel game show, similar to Have I Got News For You but focused on parodying the behaviour of politicians. Rounds included answering questions without using the words 'Yes' or 'No', and finding reasons to disagree with policies proposed by the other team, no matter how sensible. The winning team was chosen each week by a vote of the studio audience. The show was named after the 1960s theatre song "If I Ruled the World".

The show was presented by Clive Anderson. Graeme Garden and Jeremy Hardy were regular team captains (their teams were, respectively, the Blue Party and the Red Party; though in the first episode Clive pointed out there was no political significance behind the party colours). Guests included Mark Steel, Rebecca Front, Tony Hawks, Andy Hamilton and Doon MacKichan. On one occasion Tony Hawks deputised as team captain for Jeremy Hardy. It was produced by Hat Trick Productions.

Rounds[edit]

Several rounds were played throughout the programme's run:

  • Soapbox, usually played as the first round, where the panellists voice their opinions on a pre-selected matter of topical interest.
  • It's A Stickup, where the teams are shown their campaign posters and are asked to explain them. The posters would be of a rather dubious nature.
  • The Yes/No Round, where Clive tested the panellist's abilities to avoid answering political questions with a straight answer, i.e. without saying the words "Yes" or "No" at any point. If at any point they said either of those words a buzzer would sound and that person would be eliminated from the round. Graeme loved to fool the buzzer by starting sentences with "Yes..terday" or "No..body...".
  • The Pager Round, where Clive interviewed Graeme and Jeremy on a certain topic. However, during the interviews, both Graeme and Jeremy were given messages via their pagers from their "spin doctors" who monitored the interviews, and had to adapt to the instructions given. The pager message appeared at the bottom of the screen. For example, Jeremy was asked about teacher's pay, but received messages telling him to make up a statistic, attack Graeme's record, draw on his Irish roots before denying what he'd just said, compare himself to Jesus and finish with a joke.
  • Speech, which is played by only one panellist, who is given a speech by Clive to recite to the audience. However, the speech text is something very strange such as football chants or lyrics from a song.
  • I Like To Keep In Touch, where Clive asked Jeremy and Graeme a series of questions over a period of 90 seconds each on different subjects.
  • State Of The Nation, where the audience were polled on a series of questions and each panellist was asked what the most popular answer was. Upon revealing the answer, Clive would reveal the rest of the top three and some of the more ridiculous answers given by the audience.
  • Hidden Agenda, where an audience member asked the panel a question, and Graeme and Jeremy had to respond to the question, but each had a hidden agenda (presented to them in an envelope by Clive). For example, an audience member asked how space travel would be affected following the finding of water on the moon. Graeme had to answer while pushing the hidden agenda of the Countryside Alliance and Jeremy with the agenda of the musicals of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.
  • I Couldn't Disagree More, where either Graeme or Jeremy had to disagree with any policies the other party threw at them, however reasonable they may sound. A famous example was when Tim Brooke-Taylor appeared as a guest and he proposed "that it was high time The Goodies episodes were repeated. Graeme was obliged by the rules of the game to refute this statement, and replied "I couldn't disagree more, it was time to repeat them on television ten, fifteen years ago." This was followed by uproarious applause from the studio audience.
  • Desperate Vote Grabbing, which was always the last round, where the panellists would buzz in to give out last-minute policies to sway the audience before the division bell and the final vote.

Episode list[edit]

The coloured backgrounds denote the result of each of the shows:

     – indicates Graeme's team won.
     – indicates Jeremy's team won.

Series 1[edit]

Episode First broadcast Graeme's guest Jeremy's guest Votes (%)
1x01 27 February 1998 Maria McErlane Tony Hawks 75–25
1x02 6 March 1998 Fred MacAulay Rebecca Front 56–44
1x03 13 March 1998 Greg Proops Tim Brooke-Taylor 52–48
1x04 20 March 1998 Gordon Kennedy Pauline McLynn 57–43
1x05 27 March 1998 Andy Hamilton Richard Wilson 45-55
1x06 3 April 1998 Mark Steel Doon Mackichan 71–29

Series 2[edit]

Episode First broadcast Graeme's guest Jeremy's guest Votes (%)
2x01 TBC Tony Hawks Rebecca Front 65–35
2x02 TBC TBC TBC TBC
2x03 TBC John Thomson Linda Smith 51–49
2x04 TBC Pauline McLynn Hugh Dennis 60–40
2x05 TBC Janet Street-Porter Tony Hawks 78–22
2x06 TBC Fred MacAulay Rebecca Front 51–49
2x07 TBC Sue Perkins Tony Hawks,[fn 1] Hugh Dennis 51–49
2x08 TBC TBC TBC TBC
2x09 TBC TBC TBC TBC
2x10 29 March 1999 TBC TBC TBC

International editions[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hawks replaced Jeremy Hardy as team captain for this episode.

References[edit]

External links[edit]