Show Discussion: Alan Carr’s Picture Slam

By | September 15, 2023

Saturday, 5:50pm

You’ve got to feel a little bit for the BBC here. Announced first last year as a Saturday night quiz where contestants have to identify pictures, it was apparently set to go out in the Spring where it was beaten to the punch by In With A Shout (a Saturday night quiz where contestants have to identify pictures), internationally John De Mol’s Talpa has had some success with The Floor (a primetime quiz where contestants have to identify pictures) and even the recent The Finish Line has a lengthy round where contestants have to identify pictures.

Basically having to identify pictures has become all the rage and now this looks a bit like a copycat despite probably being first off the block. In this show pairs of contestants have to identify pictures, and if they identify ALL the pictures that’s a PICTURE SLAM! and they win a large cash bonus. One team will try and identify all the pictures in the final for £10,000.

They’ve given it the pre-Strictly slot so you can’t say they’re not trying (and indeed other 7/10 banger shows such as Catchpoint and The Hit List have done pretty good business in that slot), although it’s interesting that they’re putting The Wheel after Strictly this year and not at half past six – that felt early then, this feels extremely early by comparison.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

13 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Alan Carr’s Picture Slam

  1. Daniel

    Michael Mcintyre’s The Wheel is way better suited for the later slot it deserves it with how popular the show is don’t know why they ever put it before Strictly. Surely having it after strictly will help lure more viewers in
    Last year i believe The Wheel dropped by over a million viewers some nights with it being put on at a stupidly early time i think one night it was put on as early as 5:50pm it will very likely improve this year with those watching strictly staying hooked to the channel after to watch.
    Picture Slam i agree from the trailer seems like an In With A Shout rip off i kind of had that feeling when i heard the name of the show back in February when the idea was launched ITV came up with the idea first so they should get more credit but we’ll see when this comes on this evening interested to see what it’s like. Loving The Finish Line so much watched nearly all the episodes so far got a few to catch up on but i am addicted the BBC have found their perfect daytime show need a second series and celeb specials. I’m not bothered that it contains a picture round too just like the whole concept and the hosts they gel well together

  2. Oliver

    Well, this is close to being the most generic possible version of this show. It’s fine – multiple variations on “name what’s in the picture” – but extremely thin. Alan Carr seemed a bit stilted as host when he’s usually a safe pair of hands.

    Gets bonus points for being the BBC show mentioning the most commercial brands.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Yeah, the brands thing was quite jarring and noticeable too.

      Difficult to disagree really, doesn’t do a great deal wrong, not greatly compelling. I’m not sure it needs a break in the endgame when you reach a money level, there was quite a lot of talking over each other (maybe put the question, or the main word the question is asking Finish Line style atop the picture) and it seemed quite slow to resolve sometimes but they’re not showbreakers. I thought the questions were quite well pitched in the main, and I quite liked the video lenticular effect they used on the pictures.

      The definition of a 7/10 Banger is quite a tight show that doesn’t do anything extraordinary that you wouldn’t go out of the way for but nonetheless you’d be quite pleased if you chanced upon it by being in the right place at the right time. The Hit List has it, I’m not sure this has.

  3. Tipster

    This feels like a poor choice of first outing for the show.

    There were points where there were noticeable delays in the teams calling something out, and the board responding; as large as 5 seconds in some places; and given that this entire format is a fast paced against-the-clock picture quiz, those delays are costly. None of them seemed to affect the outcome too much, but it certainly left a bit of a sour taste.

    Onto the actual format itself; a serviceable picture quiz in my opinion. A real “shout at the screen” type show; but it honestly feels stretched to 45 minutes. The head-to-head “picture slam” felt fleeting, extraneous and anti-climactic. Especially when placed directly before the final, where the only thing affected by the leading team’s score was the lowest rung on the prize ladder.

    Alan is usually a reasonable host, but I think there’s something about an against the clock format that doesn’t allow him to spread his wings, I can see why Oliver says he’s “stifled”.

    In short, I’ll probably it’s watchable, but only because there’s nothing better on in that slot at the moment.

  4. Clive

    That was fine, wasn’t it? Never felt an itch to turn it off, but I’m not gagging for the next episode either. Main takeaway was that it had the edge on In With a Shout almost entirely for casting people I didn’t want to throttle.

  5. Daniel

    Well, After watching the first episode i can safely say that this isn’t a much watch. I feel that it is very In With A Shout styled they have just changed it up a little bit to make it to a BBC standard. One thing i do love is the theme tune i think that on it’s own sets the show off nicely but then it goes down hill from there at times a few of the contestants had to say their answer twice before Alan had actually heard what they said, the rounds don’t seem to change an awful lot either it’s just naming what they see on the screen that is literally it there isn’t anything special about it, It’s basically the bare basic version of Catchphrase i suppose you could argue that they have made it so simple so viewers can play along and understand the concept which i totally respect because having a show that is hard to get to grips with can be off putting. I liked the moment at the end of the episode where the winning contestants had a picture with alan and then they cut to the shot with the photo i thought that was a nice finish but honestly Alan just didn’t fit into the show it just doesn’t suit his personality we are gathering a lot from new quiz shows at the moment they just hope to impress viewers with a picture based quiz with this it doesn’t work however with daytime quiz show The Finish Line i believe it’s a big winner even though there is a picture based segment which i quite like i just genuinely love the concept i am on the edge of my seat watching sometimes. I will probably be watching the rest of the series of Picture Slam just for something to watch while eating my tea and while waiting for Strictly, The Wheel and Blankety Blank and also because ITV nothing to entertain us with but in future i wouldn’t be bothering to watch.

  6. Andrew Hain

    With the first full episode in the bag, what’s the complete format rundown?

    1. Alex

      Round 1 – Picture Slam – Two passes. In the first pass, each team is given four pictures with 30 seconds to correctly identify as many of them as they can. £50 for each correct guess, a bonus £100 if all pictures are guessed correctly and a ‘Picture Slam’ has occurred. The second pass works on the same principle but with 5 pictures to guess, making it a little harder.

      Round 2 – Picture Swipe – Each team has 60 seconds to identify as many pictures as they can; each comes up one-by-one. Each letter of ‘SLAM’ is illuminated for every consecutive correct response – £50 for each correct guess – four in a row and that’s a ‘Picture Slam’ with a bonus £100. At the end of this round, the team with the lowest amount of money in their bank is eliminated.

      Round 3 – Picture Battle – Four picture boards; each has six pictures behind it, all based around a certain theme (e.g. Larry Lamb and West Ham United for the category ‘Meat’). Each team will take turns to select a category and have 45 seconds to try and identify all of the 6 pictures – £100 for each correct guess, a ‘Picture Slam’ is worth a bonus £200. After each 45 seconds, any pictures not correctly identified by the team are thrown other to the other to steal, for £100 per steal.

      Round 4 – Picture Swipe – as Round Two but the teams are playing at the same time. One team starts with control, £100 for each correctly identified picture, £200 bonus for four-in-a-row and a ‘Picture Slam’. If the team in control guesses incorrectly, control goes to the other team. At the end of this round, the team with the most money goes through to the final.

      Round 5 – Super Slam – twelve numbered images. The remaining team has 90 seconds to correctly identify as many as possible. You are given two lifelines where, if used for no penalty, Alan will tell you the initials of what the picture should be identified as. Guessing eight out of twelve correctly wins the team however much they brought into the final, ten out of twelve will win £5,000 and a full house indicates a ‘Super Slam’ and the £10,000 jackpot.

      I’d give this show 6/10 – good play-along value though there was a very awkward atmosphere and Alan seemed a bit stilted where he’s been a lot more animated and fun in other shows.

      Money seems somewhat generous, the max amounts for each round are (though, I could be wrong).
      Round 1 – £650
      Round 2 – £1,050 (say you got 15 correct though that would require to be quick; includes 15×50 and 3 PS)
      Round 3 – £3,200 (would require perfect play from you and nothing correct at all from opponents)
      Round 4 – £2,100 (as with R2, 15 correct and three Picture Slams but with double money)
      = that gives a nice £7,000 as a maximum going into the final – obviously producers aren’t overly confident this will ever happen given £5,000 is dished out as a bonus cash prize.

      1. Oliver

        In the latest episode, the finalists got to the final round with more than £5k so they increased the 10/12 jackpot to £7500 for them.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        I’d say that’s fine to be honest, for a show that started pre-6pm on a Saturday (likely coming from a base around a mill, as an educated guess) they’ll be happy with it, although of course it’s being inflated by Strictly.

        Put it this way, there have been higher profile shows in “better” Saturday night slots recently that won’t have got close to that.

  7. danofthewibble

    I find this show rage-inducing at times. Not in a good way. The difficulty of the pictures between contestants is really inconsistent, and on a couple of occasions I’ve seen “correct” answers rejected because they’re not the themed answer they were looking for. Technically, yes, I get that, but equally it feels off.

    Also, the pace is all wrong; stilted, lots of pregnant pauses, answers not accepted as quickly as they could be. It’s very amateurish.

    And then the staging. Everyone stood quite far apart, like it was filmed at the height of Covid. Even at the end, Alan only moves slightly closer to the winners to wave the show off.

    It’s a really odd use of Carr – he’s great with the public, he’s great at riffing, here he seems to be on a leash.

    Chop fifteen minutes out of it, or let Alan be more Alan.

    As it stands? No sir, I don’t like it.


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