Show Discussion: Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow

By | April 3, 2021

Saturdays, 8:30pm,

I completely forgot series two this was starting this week, so what I’m doing is bumping up the series one show discussion and seeing as it’s using mainly the same shows (and Name That Tune), you can continue discussion here.

Original post May 29th 2020

Well it’s finally here, Alan Carr’s epic supersized versions of classic formats – starting with Play Your Cards Right with The Price is Right, Bullseye, Take Your Pick and Strike it Lucky to come, offering epic supersized prizes in epic supersized endgames which by the sounds of it aren’t greatly bigger then they were during the 90s. Still though.

The first one is a celebrity Play Your Cards Right where four couples will battle it out to win £30,000 in cash (woah). Now is it me, or does it look like there are more than five cards in the row on that promo picture? Apparently the second season of the relaunched Card Sharks in the US is going with single game, five questions, seven cards (as opposed to ten cards last year which was rubbish as every game went to sudden death). This was recorded last year, so maybe it’s a tweak. Or maybe we’re reading too much into a clipped photo, who knows?

I can’t say Epic Take Your Pick and Epic Bullseye are that appealing, although intrigued to see how Strike It Lucky fares – a show which is famously not all that as a format but as something for Michael Barrymore to bounce off was very successful. Will an hour of it with Alan Carr have the same appeal? Will the audience response to the catchphrase still be unintelligible? I look forward to finding out.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

135 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow

  1. David

    I’m thinking this: the press release mentioned 4 couples. So they have 2 regular best of 3 matches (5 cards with a 3 card tiebreak), then the two winners face each other in a one game 7 card playoff to see who goes for the money..

    1. David

      Well I was half right….and that playoff was used in the 2001 Card Sharks version- stunk then, stinks now…

  2. Crimsonshade

    It can be seen in the trailer that the board has space for seven cards – one additional space each side – but there’s no indication (that I can see) the additional spaces are used. Will be interesting to find out 😉

  3. Cliff

    Bloody hell, Play Your Cards Right is a strong format. It’s still great, and Carr is doing an excellent job. The questions are brilliant (I have managed to get most of them within 4 somehow!) and the only thing that looks a bit crap is how flimsy the cards are.

    1. Greg

      I enjoy Alan Carr as a chat show host, but just didn’t think he suited this at all. While the main game remained largely the same and I didn’t mind the play off too much thought it lacked the charm and the expertise of Bruce but was OK for what it was.

      The final however was boring. 3 lives, 3 switches and not gambling anything gave it no sense of jeopardy, I know it was for charity but it just felt all a bit easy.

    2. Danny Kerner

      As it was designed to be a one-off pilot aspect feature the cards were probably done on the cheap. Now if it is recommissioned as a full run or another epic game show season they will probably strengthen the set pieces. Nice, they brought a vintage question back. The pyramid twist is only an enhanced version of the final from the original series except no gambling aspect.

      1. Cliff

        Yes it was a pilot, but I can’t imagine stiffer cards would’ve cost much in the great scheme of things!

        It’s not a deal breaker, it just looked weirdly cheap compared with the rest of the production values.

        Oh – did anyone else notice that the contestant captions at the start were messed up?

  4. David

    I like that revised endgame..It’s not quite as exciting as Money Cards with wagering,, but still solid..Would have worked in any era of the original series actually..

  5. Chris B

    Was unlucky that there were so many pairs and a couple of unlucky draws in the two head to heads that I thought it might never get going through no fault of it’s own. In contrast, round three seemed to be over before it had started and I wasnt 100% what was going on really.

    The end game was a lot of fun and worked really well. Didn’t suffer too much from being an hour long which I thought it might, and not quite enough of Alan being Alan for me but I suspect some of the other formats will allow for that. Good fun

      1. Danny Kerner

        well he has already had a go so knows how to perform in this case. Still why C4 didnt commision a full series after that pilot but i guess the colour scheme might have partially been to blame.

    1. Danny Kerner

      Was there any explanation about how the decks are created. i.e is there 52 cards and do they remove that card from play once it is used for that round. I sure we saw more than 6 cases of either matching.

      1. Mart With An Y Not An I

        It’s always run on the viewers assumption that it’s a normal/regular set of cards in use for each team. Back in the day, there used to be a ‘cut’ of the card on set, to show there was some form of additional shuffling.

        But, you are right – all sorts of alarm bells ringing in my head watching it last night with the pairs coming out.
        I’ve been on an PYCR Youtube binge watch recently (and not just with Sir Brucie’s editions) so forgiving my reluctance to watch anything with Alan Carr, gave a deep breath as the opening titles rolled, and stuck with it. It was OK. Tweak to the end game was a step too far. I do like the double jepardy element of gambling part of the total won so far against the next card as of old.

        I’m prepared to ignore the occasional dark arts of tv production, but the amount of matching pairs was concerning. Be interesting to spin the main gameplay back on ITV hub and note down the drawn and revealed cards. I’m sure there might have been the same number and suit drawn out at least once.

        1. Brig Bother Post author

          To be honest, if I was producing this as a one off I’d be tearing my hair out at the amount of pairs coming up, precisely because it looks like a fix, so for that reason I’d be surprised if there was anything untoward – watch to see how it plays out in the civvy one later in the year I guess.

          The cards looked horribly unwieldly – too big and flappy, not enough of a sound when slammed back down on the shelf. I really disliked the way when the survey answers were revealed it looked like a rubbish fraction on one of the player’s screens. The head to head is not very interesting to be honest, harkening back to the ‘difference between unfair and unjust’ concepts of the 2000s – just flip a coin if you’re going to do it like that. I’m alright with reducing a round to three questions – most were won with that back in the day, but I’m not sure I’m alright with the tie-break being one question – I know ooh pairs, drama, but this used to be mitigated somewhat with having more than one go at the board – also it’s better television when someone wins rather than not losing.

          All that makes it sounds like it was a bit rubbish, but I enjoyed it. Alan was good, I’ve always liked Play Your Cards Right, it’s a shame they’ve replaced wagering with a boring money ladder but whatever, it basically worked (I don’t understand why you couldn’t change the last card if you had it in stock though. Presumably any spare lives you had wouldn’t have mattered either).

          It’s not a better show than the original, and I’m baffled that you’d choose to remake a show worse than one that was on 20 years ago, but probably could happily watch.

  6. Cliff

    Yes, I wrote that before the tweaked playoff and final. The final definitely seems to winnable, but I wonder if gambling rules have put paid to the old final game.

    1. David Howell

      This would definitely make sense considering how strongly playing cards are associated with gambling – feels like that’d be an explanation for Ofcom blocking *that* kind of risk-reward mechanic specifically.

      1. Brandon

        I thought those rules didn’t exist or were a misunderstanding of another rule. If I remember correctly,the Ofcom ruling on the giant roulette wheel in Red or Black was that it doesn’t break any rules but it was borderline in promoting gambling to children, so ITV changed it anyway just to be safe.

  7. Brekkie

    Enjoyable enough and like the shows have their own sets, logos and titles rather than relying completely on nostalgia. Alan Carr is good but the nature of the series means it is tricky for him to really stamp his mark on any format.

    1. Thomas Sales

      There was a post-production clanger at the start of the show. Maybe they’re waiting for it to be reedited?

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        Well it the show was repeated this afternoon, I don’t knkw if they corrected the error for it.

    2. Score

      You can watch it in the STV Player if you stick a random Scottish postcode in when it asks you for one. Quite easy to get around IIRC.

      4.3m (26%) for the opening episode, a very good start on such a hot day.

  8. Steve Williams

    I enjoyed this, although mostly because I’ve been wanging on for ages about Alan needing to leave C4 and go and do a big mainstream show. He didn’t need to tone down the act much at all.

    As mentioned, the actual game suffered at the beginning especially by the number of pairs and low cards, which meant it felt like it was forever stopping and starting.

    But I think the final was probably better executed than Brucie’s, that one never seemed to really flow especially well with Brucie having to refer to the extra money being added “out of the goodness of our hearts”, and it wasn’t especially well-represented on screen across the various rowd. Whereas here it was more obvious what you won at any point, and Alan having to go up and down was quite amusing.

    I never really bought the suggestions, when the last attempt at a revival never got anywhere, that it couldn’t be done due to gambling regulations. If the original series could be done under the IBA rules, surely anything can go now. You still need to use your skill and judgement to answer the questions before you get anywhere near the cards.

    1. Alex McMillan

      Something doesn’t sit right with me that, especially in the Chris Ramsay tiebreak, there was nothing they could have done to win. They had a pair amongst their three cards and they were destined to lose by getting to play.

  9. TheLupineOne

    OK, lots to say about this one. From the top…
    For all the time this series has been on the shelf, you’d have thought they would have got around to fixing the captioning clanger.
    Questions are a mixed bag but generally enjoyable; my favourite was the “place at Oxford or place on Love Island” survey.
    I didn’t pay any heed to the flimsiness of the cards, but I did find it cheap that they used one of the contestants’ screens to display the answer rather than investing in a third.
    Brucie’s Play Your Cards Right had used the same sound effect for the answer reveal from the eighties right up to his last in 2003, so it was a shame to hear something so iconic replaced with something so generic.
    Head to head felt punitive with just one row of cards, and it wasn’t adequately explained beforehand that the contestants had a free switch they could use whenever they wanted to.
    Endgame smacked of “Ofcom war on ‘gambling'”
    Overall a lukewarm start to the series. But The Price Is Right is next and I have highly hopes for that. Also, can’t wait to hear how the rest of the remixed themes turn out!

    1. Danny Kerner

      i do agree them using the generic sfx for what could easily be returned to the original. I can tell you that theme tune revision you heard yesterday was the one used in Vernon kay’s pilot that didn’t get the greenlight so was kept in the archive until it was used again. I liked the revision theme.

      When the opportunity comes to be able to rewatch this again i will note down every card that comes out for any duplications.

  10. Jon

    Although the gambling element probably had something to do with the end game being different. I think it’s mainly because the ‘epic end game’ will need some characteristics that can be applied to all the shows to link it all together. Although I can’t see ‘hot spots’ being replaced ‘strikes’ for Strictly Lucky and I can’t really see how something similar can be adapted for the Price is Right at this stage.

    1. Jon

      *Strike it lucky not Strictly Lucky which sounds like a dreadful mash-ups of formats.

  11. Brekkie

    I don’t buy the “gambling g” excuse for the change to the end game as firstly that was all press created rubbish anyway and secondly this format had as much of a gambling element anyway. It was clearly just a production decision.

  12. Anon

    This looks like one of those shows where people from fact ent have a go at gameshows and think it’s easy. The sheer amount of glitter over the set is an obvious indicator of that.

    Having a big studio might look impressive, but it makes the people smaller and need for the props to be bigger. It was all a little unwieldy.
    Why is there *so much* dead air?
    Why is there so much walking about?
    Why make a huge staircase for Alan to walk down, and then cut out some of the steps so that it looks like an editing mistake?

    Go and look at a classic Brucie episode:
    Which of the two versions (a) is funnier and (b) flows better? Apart from the Dolly Dealer schtick, I know which one I prefer.

  13. Mark Leete

    And no one mentioned the fact that the faces of the King cards were modelled on Alan himself! And the backs of the cards had a specs design which reminded me of the opening credits of the two ronnies

  14. gyroscope

    I enjoyed this a lot more than I feared I might!

    I’m not a great Alan Carr fan. I thought he made a right hash of Price is Right when they did it again on Channel 4 – but perhaps that was more down to the terrible production rather than him. This Play Your Cards Right made me wonder if the Price is Right version will be a lot better this time around!

    I’m never a fan of half hour gameshows being extended to an hour. This inevitably slows down the whole thing. Luckily, it didn’t seem too bad here and the game kept moving well, even though the play off round seemed a little odd and pointless.

    It didn’t quite go in enough on the Retro-ness for me, though I was pleased that Alan did a couple of the classic catchphrases (Nothing for a pair etc). I know it was very much a Brucie thing, but ditching the ‘OK Dolly’s do your dealing’ was a shame. The dealer was hardly featured because of this, so it made her seem even more pointless and useless, which was possibly the opposite intended effect of taking this out.

    I actually really enjoyed the final pyramid, and thought it was a fun end game. I even liked Alan going up and down the pyramid as it meant he was really involved and could keep it moving. The Questions were good and allowed the contestants to banter quite well, etc.

    A lot better than typical ITV Saturday evening fare anyway, I’ve not watched anything on ITV Saturday nights for years!

    1. David

      There are shows that are worse going from a half-hour to an hour (the Supermarket Sweep revival being one), and there are some which are better (if you can get access to it, watch the Season 2 premiere of the prime time Press Your Luck which aired here in the States last night- very exciting)

  15. gyroscope

    Press Your Luck is great! I thought Elizabeth Banks did a really good job at hosting too when I watched last year. I was a big fan of the original from watching on Youtube and was excited that they brought it back. I do like the hour long format, and completely get what you’re saying, but I do love the 30 minute rolling champion version more.

    I wish they’d bring back Classic Concentration! (Though not sure it’s an ABC show?)

    Supermarket Sweep was pretty agonising at an hour. Another format I thought was ruined by making longer was 15 to 1. It was quick and snappy on the original, but seemed to drag to a snails pace with Sandi!

    Of the ones Alan is tackling, I’m not sure Take Your Pick will work well at an hour – 30 minutes already seemed like a thin idea being stretched!

  16. Danny Kerner

    Take your pick is episode 3 and it involves someone of recent gameshow times.

  17. Greg

    I thought that all the end games have been given an epic twist? Sure they said that in the adverts. Seems like the epic twist for TPIR was prizes graphic in the shape of a pyramid on a screen.

    It seemed like they were going to do something like if you are within £1000 you get all prize levels. Within £2000 you get bottom 2 within £3000 you only get the bottom. But as she was not within £3000 they didn’t need to explain that as she won nothing.

    I also think its a bit harsh one of the winners not being allowed to spin the wheel. Surely they could have fitted 1 more person in with a bit of editing.

    1. TVs Michael Harmstone

      It was two winners who didn’t get to spin the wheel – only closest three go through to the wheel.

      Christmas endgame is exactly the same – 3k buffer.

  18. Brig Bother Post author

    My lasting memories of this was ‘two coffee machines as separate prizes’?

    I quite liked the rangefinder reveal of the showcase although it probably ought to be clearer what the actual price is. Don’t think there’s any relevance to the pyramid other than that seems to be a recurring Epic Gameshow motif.

    It’s a shame the game selection wasn’t as interesting as the C4 one.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Thinking about it some more there’s a decent argument for doing the range finder the other way round, having the bid as a stationary point and having the range slide up the scale.

      1. TVs Michael Harmstone

        Everyone in the audience was very confused at the £2k coffee machine. Vaaaaaaastly overpriced, especially when the better prize of the pizza oven was there.

    2. Steve Williams

      I assumed when they revealed the prizes on the pyramid, and had made reference to the contestant coming up with a price for each one, they were going to reveal the price of each prize separately and add them up, but instead it was all revealed at once and felt like a bit of an anticlimax.

      This was alright, but I’ve never been especially bothered about The Price is Right as a format and I never thought it was a good format for the host to stamp their personality on and do something with it.

  19. Greg

    Some of the prices were a bit off. I know they were going for RRP but I have that same vax vacuum and when I bought it a year ago it was £179. I’ve seen coffee machines similar to that one for about the £800 Mark must have been some expensive beans. I also thought having a 0 and 2 £50 slots on plinko was cheap and no gamble option at the end.

  20. TheLupineOne

    Right, thoughts and observations time again, this time for The Price Is Right
    After the Channel 4 pilot featured some games that had yet to leave US shores, we’re back to a suite of games all familiar from Brucie’s tenure, albeit with some that had also appeared on the Channel 4 pilot. Perhaps more new games could be brought in if we ever get a full series of TPIR?
    Cliffhanger had me wondering where else Alan Carr’s mug might appear in the series. Bendy Bully with oversized specs, anyone?
    Hole in One: Dissapointed that there wasn’t a chance for a Hole in Two!
    Any Number: Felt a tad cheap that the top prize (the aformentioned coffee machine) was a tad over £2000, and I’m glad I’m not the only one kvetching over “two coffee machines in one show”.
    Plinko: I always felt the gamble for the car was a bit extraneous; max £1000 feels better.
    Push Over is Push Over, not much changed since Brucie’s days.
    Three spinning the wheel: I’m sure at least one person at the bar complained that having five spin the wheel took too long. Showcase price reveal was flashy, but a bit too close to Pointless… also, bring back the Range Finder!
    Take Your Pick next week; most excited to see how they drag this one out, and what Epic Endgame they’ll give it, and what’s in Box 13…

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Plinko for the car rankled me in that it didn’t matter how much money you had, you could have £100 and gamble it for the car – no decision. This is fine up to a point – you would like them to gamble most of the time, but without a pain point what’s the point of the front game?

      1. TheLupineOne

        Things I forgot to mention: if you’re going to have a music package that’s so based upon the ever-present US music, what happened to the iconic losing horn?
        Also, during the Hole in One prize package, with one of the included prizes being £500 in Just Eat vouchers, I had to wonder if the woman on the sofa was one of the soul singers from the Just Eat ads (as with Gio Compario in the car in the C4 pilot)

      2. David B

        “Without the pain, what’s the game?” should be your new catchphrase. Or dating profile.

    2. Brandon

      Range Finder always felt a bit out of place, I prefer this version of the Showcase massively.

  21. Ryan

    I have some thoughts but the one that sticks with me is the Showcase bid and consequently the reveal. It would have been nice if they were going to do a “range” like that then the player should have just declared “my range is 25K – 28K or 28K – 31K”. It just felt that the reveal was massively confusing. I realize how they demonstrated where the winning “range” was but I think it could have been MUCH better explained.

    I’m also with the thought that the pyramid made it seem like there was a chance to win individual parts of the showcase. As a comparison the live Price is Right touring show in their showcase round gives the chance of four “prizes/prize packages”. Both contestants secretly bid on one sole showcase and the one who is closest without going over wins prize #2 (usually a decent computer or appliance). Closest within $1K without going over? Enjoy prize #3 (usually a trip) with prize #2. Closest within $100 without going over? Enjoy the entire showcase including the star prize of a low-end car. Entire showcases were rarely won however.

  22. Steffon Johnson

    anybody know tv ratings for play your cards right and the price is right

  23. TVs Michael Harmstone

    Not that you’re allowed to see it before Tuesday, but the show for Episode 4 has been released in the usual places with an…unfortunate typo. I suspect they’ll probably change it, but I do have screenshots.

    1. Brandon

      Oh dear, well noticed… I don’t want *that* super-sizing thank you very much. At least not by Alan Carr.

      1. David B

        Oh, it was supposed to be ALAN! I thought there was some kind of Corrie actor on the show called Anil.

  24. Cliff

    Blimey, Take Your Pick is a format that never gets good is it.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Never ever loved Take Your Pick, when you get over the surprise of the duff prizes it’s just half an hour of nothing.

      I did think this suited Alan though, but it suffers for playing, basically, at 90s stakes – originally misheard that the scooters were worth six grand and that suggested the value of the prizes is well in excess of the money on offer, but clearly it should have been six hundred. At these sorts of figures at least there is a decision to be made, but nobody is going to be more than slightly peeved they turned down £450 for a Toothbrush. However start making the money and the prizes properly good and you lose the light in light entertainment, but nobody is going to out of their way to watch someone win a laptop.

      The Epic Endgame is nicely set-up (although allowing a swap when they were given a free choice initially is a bugbear of mine) but again the set-up rarely makes the end decision very difficult. Although I suppose that never hurt Win the Ads.

  25. Greg

    I know I’m going to be in the minority here, but I am shocked to say that I think that was the best one so far.

    Alan got a lot of time to banter with the contestants and I think that’s his strong point. He was a bit ropey with the questions on the yes no game giving the contestants a chance to talk, rather than answer which ran the clock down. I also think I would have liked to have seen the bigger prizes in the main game and the final being a cash pyramid.

    But as enjoyment goes much preferred that to the first 2 offerings.

    1. John Dever

      I agree Greg….the others formats seemed too cheesy.

      Alan fits into this one very well.

      This could get a run as a series in my opinion. I’m only upto the yes no but b7t it feels like it could be in safe hands with Alan.

    2. Crimsonshade

      I absolutely loved Epic Take Your Pick – I even said immediately after the show I’d love to see a series! Glad to see it retain so much of the classic charm but still manage to introduce something new to the proceedings; and Alan just jelled so well with it – even if the bum bag got a bit tiresome.

      Celebrity Play Your Cards Right is so far striking me as the weakest of the offerings we’ve had so far. Since it gets another shot later on in a non-celeb version though, I’ll allow it a pass for now.

  26. Brekkie

    As expected this suited Alan more and he of course benefits from it largely being forgotten and amongst those who do remember it the show is remembered more for the gong than the host.

    It suffers as all shows do from being stretched to an hour whilst the extra end game wasn’t great, but not sure what they could do better. Surprised they left out the twist of box 13 – think the issue with this is there is actually very little jeopardy. Even if they do get a rubbish prize they’re off screen in seconds and in this version could come back for the jackpot anyway.

  27. Kay

    My only real criticisms of the whole series so far has been in the music and set. The Price Is Right and Take Your Pick kept having the music end on weird chords and felt like they rushed a shorter version.

    The set feels WAY too big for the shows they’ve done so far, so I’m hoping Strike It Lucky where the set is huge by design will feel a lot better visually.

    1. TVs Michael Harmstone

      It was surprisingly small for Price is Right having been there! I think that contributed to the long recording times as they kept having to move stuff around to keep it out of shot.

  28. Danny Kerner

    Also a theme is starting to appear in every episode’s end game. A flipping pyramid. Some designer has clearly been to Egypt for too long.

    1. Danny Kerner

      someone loves Egypt. Hopefully, Bullseye breaks the chain but if not the team has no inventive ideas.

  29. Danny Kerner

    That head 2 head went on for too long. Why couldn’t they share both sides. so team one had the left and team 2 had the right. 6 screens shared so the chances can be the same.

  30. Danny Kerner

    Next Week we are back with Play Your Cards right but with the civilians.

    1. Danny Kerner

      But I looked up the TV guide not the press. Everyone else can do the same thing.

      1. TVs Michael Harmstone

        I know, I’m kidding – the press releases always say stuff like “The information contained herein is embargoed from all Press, online, social media, non-commercial publication or syndication – in the public domain – until Tuesday 23 June 2020” despite the fact the next time trailer reveals it before then.

  31. Alex McMillan

    Who knew Alan was secretly hosting a Pyramid Game reboot this whole time?

  32. Oliver

    This just confirms my belief that Strike It Lucky was a crap format which was never anything more than a showcase for Michael Barrymore and stretching an already thin format to an hour did it no favours whatsoever. That’s not a criticism of Carr either – he’s been very good but it’s incredibly hard work for any host to do the heavy lifting needed to make the format work.

    I’m sure the questions were slightly trickier than I remember from the original run where they were basically formalities.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Yes agreed, the length really exposed it for what it was – you used to get an entire fairly fast paced show in less time than they did round one here, and I just found myself looking at my watch quite a lot. And without the money, what are we watching Top, Middle or Bottom for?

      And I found myself annoyed we weren’t privy to the distribution of symbols for the Epic Endgame.

      And the prizes were in that irritating spot that they weren’t overtly comic choices like in the original, but also not exciting enough to consider banking in the main. A two week trip to Vegas? That used to be the final screen prize, let alone the focal point of the entire show.

      1. Brandon

        The thing that really stands out to me is that so far, other than The Price Is Right they all feel cheaper and less tense than the 90s version as the risk and reward mechanic has been broken.

    1. Matthew Clemson

      They need to just borrow that game from Schlag with throwing beanbags onto a suspended overhead pyramid.

      But with darts.

      I’m sure I can see absolutely no flaws in this plan.

  33. Callum J

    ITV have just posted a video of the ending to the Bullseye episode accidentally on Instagram!

  34. Steffon Johnson

    What were the TV ratings last night for strike it lucky

  35. Greg

    Thinking about this I think they missed a bit of a trick. What they should have done was picked 5 formats popular in another country, or even 5 pilot gameshows to showcase. It worked for The Chase and ITV might have discovered another hit. I think for me classic shows are iconically associated with a certain host and format and I just can’t get away from that when watching these.

  36. Greg

    WTF only 2 Teams? It’s Bullseye should be 3 teams they had 3 on Strike it Lucky.

    Wonder how they are going to pryamidify the final

    1. Danny Kerner

      It finally wasn’t a straight forward pyramid. Smaller targets but I’m afraid there was essence of fakery in the making. As if it went down to the final arrow. So they now think 101 or more is a fitting finale anymore

    2. Tom Lancaster

      Where was the pyramid?

      I presume they’re no longer allowed to say “Gamble” or “No Gamble”, which is a shame as that was what we all shouted when we watched Bullseye on the TV back in the day.

      I guess darts is rather a lost art, but I presume back in the day they would check the ability of the darts playing member of the team during auditions. Otherwise, I did quite like the innovation of the end game but it felt like a different show.

  37. Greg

    You have a chance to go for 2 apple watches worth about £600 nah I’ll go for the £40 teasmade. Something just didn’t seem right about this whole show including the final.

    1. Craig

      I heard a credible rumour that with the winning team who got through to the end game they threw so badly at the targets, they reshot it several times to make them look better.

  38. Oliver

    That was not a good version of Bullseye and was the easily worst episode of the whole series.

    Carr is a poor host for the format, the pacing was glacial, the repeated tired Bullseye jokes fell flat (the format only works played straight), the production design was awful (in particular, what was going on with the graphics?), the change to head-to-head didn’t work, the end-game was far worse than the original, and the darts players were really poor. Really disappointing.

    It really demonstrates how good the original Bullseye was and is. Bowen was a really really good host and the show format and editing made for a really tight, entertaining half-hour. That sometimes gets lost with the focus on its quirks, and, amongst the nostalgia for its eccentricities, there’s sometimes a whiff of elitism about discussion around it. The show wouldn’t have had its longevity solely as a punchline – there’s a reason it stills pulls tens of thousands of viewers every night on Challenge 25 years after it ended.

  39. Craig

    Some positives but a lot of negatives I can take from watching tonight.

    1) Little Richard Ashdown really took to the role as scorer very well indeed.
    2) Main core of the game hasn’t been royally tampered with
    3) Keeping with tradition of the crap prizes on Bully’s Prize Board.

    1) No charity throw.
    2) No wurhing noise from the board when it revolves around when you make a decision on going for Bully’s star prize or not.
    3) Show was famous for seeing what you won or could have won and it’s little things like that made the show tick.
    4) Standard of Questions was pretty lame compared to the Bowen or even Spikey eras where the questions were not cast iron gimmes.

    I know nowadays you cannot promote gambling on TV by calling the end game “Bully’s Star Prize Gamble” but I wasn’t overly keen on the new end game.

    Overall 7/10

  40. Greg

    Easily the weakest out of all the shows it just felt faked all the way through.

    I like Alan Carr but boy is he not a good gameshow host. These beloved formats needed a safe guiding hand a Mullhern or Schofield for example.

    Let’s leave the classic shows in the past and green light some new formats instead please.

    Oh wait we have Family Fortunes to ruin first

    1. Danny Kerner

      And the Cube. I’m hearing rumblings it won’t be Schofield & they want to push upcoming stars.

  41. Crimsonshade

    Here’s where I’m going to be contrarian, because I not only LIKED the Bullseye revival, but actually considered it the best of all the offerings. The jokes were actually funny to me; they didn’t mess too much with the format, and the spinning target endgame was actually an idea I had mooted myself years ago.

    For a final ranking of all six episodes, I’d put it as:

    1st. Bullseye
    2nd. Play Your Cards Right
    3rd. Take Your Pick
    4th. The Price Is Right
    5th. Strike it Lucky
    0th. Celebrity Play Your Cards Right

    There was such a marked improvement in quality between the Civilian and Celebrity Play Your Cards Right that I cannot fairly consider them to be equivalent shows; and I’d rather forget the Celebrity episode happened. Price Is Right gets a middle ranking basically because they didn’t actually do anything new with it, and I just thought the other offerings were more unique even though I actually really liked it. Strike It Lucky is the poorest individual format because, despite my having a fondness of it, the endgame was nonsensical.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I’m actually kind of in agreement – I thought Bullseye worked fairly well (if not perfectly) although if the category board is any indication amateur darts is in pretty poor health – constant misses were a bit frustrating, and they were fortunate the questions were so easy. I don’t think the semi-final nature improved the format particularly, but I understand why they did it.

      I thought Little Richard Ashdown did a pretty good job, although the Bully’s Prize Board VT didn’t really work, he couldn’t really sell the naff rhymes and the fake Bowen was highly irritating. It relies on the personalities of the hosts to sell it, I’m surprised Alan didn’t record it.

      I actually quite liked the endgame although they really missed a trick by keeping each prize a mystery behind Bully until it was won. Golden dart obviously a nonsensical decision – that would have been an excellent time to ask if they wanted to gamble everything on the throw of the last dart or let the next team have a go and also keeps the potential “let’s have a look at what you could have won” element the original was so famous for.

      All in all it was highly flawed, but there was enough of entertainment of the original to make it worth watching – as someone who thought that any revival of Bullseye would be basically a non-starter this is surprising to me, but clearly it needs to be less LWT and more Central/Granada.

      What’s most interesting is that the two I thought would flop hardest, Bullseye and Take Your Pick, are probably the two that show the most potential.

      1. Cliff

        I’m pretty sure the “fake Jim Bowen” on the prize reveals was Alan Carr doing an accent.

    2. Oliver

      I would rate them as:
      1. Take Your Pick
      2. The Price is Right
      3. Play Your Cards Right
      4. Bullseye
      5. Strike It Lucky.

      TYP really suited Carr, TPIR was an average adaptation of a good format, whereas I simply don’t like PYCR as a format.

      The entire series suffered from a studio and audience that was far too big and constant pacing issues from dragging 30 minute shows into 60 minutes.

  42. TVs Michael Harmstone

    I don’t know whether there were any real auditions for any of the Epic Gameshow offerings. There certainly wasn’t for Price is Right – we had to do a video and an application, but there were no auditions as such.

    What I will say is that Price is Right Christmas is the best of the bunch, in my humble opinion. The civvy one was a bit flat for…reasons I’ll go into at Christmas.

  43. Joey Clarke

    Didn’t expect them to use spark fountains instead of the confetti for this epic endgame.
    That makes me wish they used Catherine wheels for when they won on bullseye.
    But still, what an epic win that was.

  44. TVs Michael Harmstone

    Now I can *finally* say what happened. Christmas one filmed before the normal one, which is why everyone was a bit subdued in the normo one – they’d just seen Ian win ~35k of prizes!

    Ian is officially a Friend of a friend of the Bar (as the person who got him on the show, I am – of course – taking 100% credit). I originally applied for Take Your Pick, but then got an email asking if I had any friends I could apply for Price is Right with. We started with a group of 12 which went down to 4 by the date of recording. I set up a WhatsApp group for it called “Price is Right Winners”. That aged well. Ian also put a post on Facebook the night before where I joked one of us would win “A BRAND NEW CAAAAAAAAR” which is interesting.

    There was the momentary “oh shit, it’s not me” when “IAN ASHWORTH – COME ON DOOOOOOOOWN” was called, and then I went “balls, that’s Ian!”. When he got the £9 below on the snow machine, it was a surprise. When he only dropped £2 on Cliffhanger, it was like “oh wow, he’s actually quite good at this.” When he spun 100 on the wheel in one attempt, the place ERUPTED. Surprised they didn’t cut to us at that point because we were on our feet screaming – I’d lost my voice the day after.

    When he was doing the showcase and they showed him round the prizes on stage, they came to us and said “just so you know – if he wins, you’re coming down too.” – it’s honestly one of the coolest things I’ve ever done to be able to run down and congratulate him. Quite surprised they cut what I shouted at him when we got there though (I did tweet it…)

    Alan is – as I might have mentioned before – a delight. When we were in the car waving, he was cracking jokes and then for the second show I was in the front row and he called me up and said I looked like his long-lost son cause I was wearing my glasses.

    After we finished filming the second ep, Ian took us for drinks with the £1,000 from the wheel so it was a very late night. I tweeted out the picture of us celebrating that I’ve had to keep secret for 16 months. There is also a picture from the day after of Ian with the car, which I believe he gave to his mum.

    I went to a barbecue at Ian’s the weekend after we filmed (August 9th, 2019 for the LITERALLY TENS OF PEOPLE ON TWITTER ASKING) and he’d already got the small bits, so the radio and the bluetooth speaker etc were in the house already. However, so was the snow machine. In the (slightly) drunken stupor, someone decided it would be hilarious to try out the Snow Machine. In August. In a closed house. It ended up with basically everyone being tear gassed.

    On the subject of the Snow Machine, when they showed it off in the studio – that didn’t do it justice. It WOULD NOT STICK TO THE TREE. It took them a good 5-10 min to get it to work to actually film the intro for it. The RadioTimes actually had the picture of everyone being shocked at Ian’s bid for it on the site this week.

    As far as I’m aware, Ian’s not taken the trips yet – he’s got holiday vouchers. The rest he’s either kept or given away to friends (I got the laptop). We were meant to be going on the Florida trip as a group, but that fell through sadly.

    1. TVs Michael Harmstone

      Oh, and one more thing – they actually cut a bit in the Showcase where he hesitated in his bid. He said £29k (which won), then changed to 28k, then went back to 29k when Alan said “go with your gut”. 28k would of course have lost him the prizes.

    2. Brig Bother Post author

      I’m fascinated by ‘snow fluid’, we call that water round our way.

      Anyway congrats to finally being Winner adjacent on a gameshow Michael! Even if your Showcase suggestion would have been an overbid.

      1. TVs Michael Harmstone

        I’m not sure what is in it, but it definitely contains some sort of police-strength mace.

        I was honestly so proud of Ian for winning it that I didn’t really care it wasn’t me. He did far far better than I would have.

      2. Joey Clarke

        You mean underbid meaning the bid wouldn’t land in the gold win zone then.

          1. Joey Clarke

            I actually guessed £31,000 on the epic showcase when watched and thought that if I was in Ian’s position, I would have won too as I had a difference of around £400

    3. John R

      Did they actually get the prizes on Bruce’s Price Is Right or a cash equivalent? I’ve read conflicting reports over the years! I can understand them actually awarding the prizes on this revival with most of them being sponsored

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        My understanding is they got the prizes, I know on Strike It Lucky they were just quietly given the cash equivalent.

    4. Joey Clarke

      That’s a great story.
      Hopefully you can give me some advice on winning as I have applied to play the price is right on season two.
      I’m hoping to win a new car for my grandad as he is due a new one next year and money for a new house. (Depending on if I get to play Plinko and get £1.00 on the wheel)


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