Peter Salmon on All Together Now’s New Spin on Talent Formats


Peter Salmon, chief creative officer at Endemol Shine Group, sat down for a conversation with World Screen’s Anna Carugati at MIPFormats to talk about the company’s new talent competition All Together Now, recently renewed in the U.K. and commissioned in Australia.

All Together Now was produced by the group’s Remarkable Television for BBC One. Over six episodes, aspiring artists perform in front of “The 100,” an audience of opinionated singers. If members of The 100 like the performance, they stand up and join in. The greater the number that stand up and sing along, the higher the contestant’s score. On the BBC edition, The 100 was led by former Spice Girl Geri Horner.

“It came from the seed of a really great idea,” Salmon said. “Why do we sing songs in the car together? The pop concert where the musician leans into the audience and you sing your favorite song. There’s a sense of joining in, feeling part of something, getting to your feet, voting with your feet, and the power belongs to all of us. We wanted to hand the power to the people. All Together Now’s The 100, these amazing, motivated vocalists who are very active on social media, become this huge, great chorus for a big, Saturday night party. The 100 are very diverse, very colorful. You can pack it with celebs if you like. [The BBC One show] was more karaoke people, drag acts, tributes, people you’d see down at the pub, vocal coaches. They are ambassadors and champions for the format. So socially the show made a lot of noise. The 100 were tweeting furiously; they had their own following. So the show got momentum, and by the finale it had its biggest audience.” On the heels of the performance of the finale, BBC One signed up for a second season.

The show’s success also stemmed from host Rob Beckett, Salmon said. “He was new, he was fresh, he joined in with The 100, he wasn’t your typical host. It’s a funny show; it’s infectious. The best Saturday shows are ones where you shout at the television. The telly feels like a big arena, like a big stage. You want to join in. That’s what The 100 give you. They give 100 times the energy of the performer. They tend to be supportive and warm. There are very few put-downs. The 100 know what it’s like to be that person who walks out for the auditions. It feels very celebratory.”

Salmon has high hopes for the format globally, even though he noted that it’s difficult to break out with a new talent competition today. “There are some amazing formats out there—The Voice, X Factor, Idol. It’s very hard to break into the Saturday night, weekend entertainment market with a new talent show. We set out from the beginning to be a new, energetic, challenger brand to those big shows. It’s been a long time since a big singing talent show has been launched.” All Together Now, Salmon said, “can work anywhere, it’s very inclusive, very diverse, and you can tailor it any way you want.”

Australia’s Seven is the first international broadcaster to board the format. “The Australians are very good at super-sizing their shows. They’re going to do a larger number [of episodes]. It’s a very flexible potential global format.”

Carugati asked about the format’s key elements and whether it’s scalable. “It can be scaled down. The 100 are pretty essential; they make the show. Over several seasons, hopefully some will return and they are part of your soap opera. The set, the VR package that goes with it, the way it’s constructed, the way it’s lit, the kit of parts that goes with it to give it the scale and the design uniformity, we’re working on variations on that that we can ship around Europe, where we have several smaller territories interested in producing it. We realize it’s a big show, a big weekend entertainment show, but not everyone has a Seven or BBC budget, so we have to be able to modify it slightly as well.”