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Spitting Image returns! Celebrities including Prince Harry set for mauling

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Spitting Image is making a return to the small screen – with Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Dominic Cummings among its new victims.

Programme-makers said: ‘With the world getting smaller and more turbulent, the time couldn’t be more appropriate for an iconic British satirical take on global events.’

The series will air this autumn on BritBox, with Boris Johnson, his chief adviser Mr Cummings, US President Donald Trump, Beyonce and the Duke of York to be ridiculed in puppet form.

The series will air this autumn on BritBox, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex among the targets (pictured are their puppets)

The series will air this autumn on BritBox, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex among the targets (pictured are their puppets)

Programme-makers said: 'With the world getting smaller and more turbulent, the time couldn't be more appropriate for an iconic British satirical take on global events.' Pictured: The Trumps

Programme-makers said: ‘With the world getting smaller and more turbulent, the time couldn’t be more appropriate for an iconic British satirical take on global events.’ Pictured: The Trumps

Vladimir Putin, Bernie Sanders, Elon Musk, RuPaul, Adele and James Corden will also get the satirical treatment.

The show is the first original commission announced by BritBox UK, the streaming service launched by the BBC and ITV.

Spitting Image co-creator Roger Law is back on board for the show, which ran for 18 series between 1984 and 1996 and was watched by 15 million viewers in its heyday.

At £300,000 an episode, Spitting Image was TV’s most expensive light-entertainment show.

The show famously featured Margaret Thatcher in a man’s suit treating her cabinet – ‘the vegetables’ – with contempt, John Major as a grey puppet and the Queen Mother slugging from a gin bottle.

Ronald Reagan was featured in bed with two red call buttons, one marked Nurse, the other Nuke.

The show is the first original commission announced by BritBox UK, the streaming service launched by the BBC and ITV. Vladimir Putin will also be mocked

The show is the first original commission announced by BritBox UK, the streaming service launched by the BBC and ITV. Vladimir Putin will also be mocked 

The show famously featured Margaret Thatcher in a man's suit treating her cabinet - 'the vegetables' - with contempt. It will now turn to global icons including Kanye West

The show famously featured Margaret Thatcher in a man’s suit treating her cabinet – ‘the vegetables’ – with contempt. It will now turn to global icons including Kanye West 

Law, who will be executive producing the new series, said: ‘Public service satire announcement.

‘I’ve refused to resuscitate Spitting Image for years but when my pension ran out and my palm was crossed with silver what could an old man do?

‘The new Spitting Image will be global through a uniquely British eye, it will be more outrageous, audacious and salacious than the previous incarnation.

‘With scandalous scripts and A-list characters, it will be the people’s programme!

‘When Dominic Cummings gets the boot, Spitting Image will give him a job.

‘We’ve always employed weirdos and are sure Dom will be a great asset, he seems to hate politicians as much as we do. We will take back control from the likes of BoJo, Trump, Harry and Meghan, Elon Musk and Kim Kardashian.

‘We will be dazzled and amazed by Jurgen Klopp and Beyonce, we will have regular weather updates from our roving reporter Greta Thunberg. The timing is right, the puppets are ready, the people have spoken. And the message for the doomsayers and gloomsters is, this autumn we will get BritBox done!’

The show will be produced by Avalon, whose credits include The Russell Howard Hour, Taskmaster, Catastrophe and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

The show will be produced by Avalon, whose credits include The Russell Howard Hour, Taskmaster, Catastrophe and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

Boris Johnson's adviser Dominic Cummings will also be featured in the new series

Boris Johnson’s adviser Dominic Cummings will also be featured in the new series

A puppet of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, showing him looking gaunt in a hoodie

A puppet of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, showing him looking gaunt in a hoodie 

BritBox Originals creative chief and ITV’s director of TV Kevin Lygo said: ‘We are thrilled that BritBox can provide the opportunity for British creativity to truly run wild, and we are looking forward to enticing new subscribers with the new series and service.’

Development of the puppets is already under way.

As on previous series, some scripts will be written and new puppets made nearer to airtime.

The show will be produced by Avalon, whose credits include The Russell Howard Hour, Taskmaster, Catastrophe and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.

Spitting Image will air exclusively on Britbox from autumn, and a second series will follow next year. 

What about the vegetables? Spitting Image’s most famous puppets  

In its 12 years on our screens, Spitting Image mocked politicians from Westminster and around world, the Royals, sport stars, musicians and TV presenters.

Its most famous puppet was perhaps that of Margaret Thatcher, who wore a man’s suit in the show and treated her Cabinet with contempt.

One of the shows most famous moments was when, with the then-Tory cabinet around the dinner table, a waitress asked: ‘What about the vegetables?’ The model of Mrs Thatcher replies: ‘Oh, they’ll have the same as me.’

Thatcher’s successor, John Major, came in for equally merciless treatment, with his puppet painted grey to reflect his perceived dull personality.

In a further mocking of the Tory leader’s perceived lack of charisma, some of the most famous scenes to feature him showed him and his wife, Norma, eating peas. Major would occasionally say: ‘Nice peas, dear.’

The Royal Family were not spared the Spitting Image treatment. The Queen was habitually portrayed with a headscarf and CND badge and the Queen Mother carried a copy of the Racing Post and spoke with a Birmingham accent.

One of the most famous sketches to feature the Royals appeared after Prince William was born, when the Queen broke a bottle of champagne over his head to ‘Christen him’.

International leaders also featured in the show; Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s distinctive birthmark on his head was shaped into a hammer and sickle while US President Ronald Reagan was shown in bed with two red call buttons at his side, one marked ‘Nurse’, the other ‘Nuke’.

The puppet of Tony Blair became famous for its huge smile. The models of him and his wife, Cherie, sold for £12,000 at auction in 1999

The puppet of Tony Blair became famous for its huge smile. The models of him and his wife, Cherie, sold for £12,000 at auction in 1999

Roy Hattersley was shown spraying everyone with spit as he lisped

Norman Tebbit was portrayed as Mrs Thatcher's tough leather-jacketed enforcer

Labour’s Roy Hattersley (left) was shown spraying everyone with spit as he lisped and Norman Tebbit (right) was portrayed as Mrs Thatcher’s tough leather-jacketed enforcer

 

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Celebrities slam California Gov. Newsom’s ‘ridiculously unenforceable’ Thanksgiving crackdown

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Celebrities have taken to social media to slam California Governor Gavin Newsom’s ‘ridiculously unenforceable’ Thanksgiving crackdown that bans singing and shouting and limits the holiday to a two-hour outdoor event.

‘If my Aunt comes over, can I throw her a slice of turkey from the window?’ mocked actor Rob Schneider as he blasted the ‘Emperor Newsom’. 

Newsom announced new safety guidelines earlier this month for all private gatherings just as Californians were gearing up for the Thanksgiving holiday. 

Under the rules, gatherings over the holiday must include people from no more than three households, be held outdoors, last no longer than two hours and guests can only go inside to use the restroom – so long as restrooms are sanitized often.

Masks can only be taken off to eat and drink, guests must be sat six feet apart and singing, shouting and chanting are ‘strongly discouraged’. 

Newsom defended his rules this week following the backlash denying the state had mandated what have been dubbed ‘Thanksgiving guidelines’.

‘I read somewhere some folks asserting we put out guidelines for the holidays,’ he said. 

‘They simply were misled or, intentionally, were misleading people. We have not put out Thanksgiving guidelines.’  

The ‘rules’ come as cases are surging once again in the state with a 3.3 percent positivity rate and seven-day average case count of 4,325 per day.  

The governor also announced new guidelines this week for prioritizing and allocating COVID-19 vaccine supplies and doubled down on his restrictions around theme parks reopening after Disneyland slammed the rules ‘arbitrary’ last week.  

California has recorded the highest number of infections of all US states, with 924,022 cases and a death toll of 17,572. 

Celebrities have taken to social media to slam California Governor Gavin Newsom's (pictured) 'ridiculously unenforceable' Thanksgiving crackdown that bans singing and shouting and limits the holiday to a two-hour outdoor event

Celebrities have taken to social media to slam California Governor Gavin Newsom’s (pictured) ‘ridiculously unenforceable’ Thanksgiving crackdown that bans singing and shouting and limits the holiday to a two-hour outdoor event

Newsom’s clampdown sparked outrage among right-leaning celebrities and public figures who hit back at the strict rules for what is the biggest celebration of the year in many American households.   

‘Dear Emperor@GavinNewsom, During our allotted 3 family limit this Thanksgiving, if my Aunt comes over, can I throw her a slice of turkey from the window?’ tweeted Schneider.

‘We promise NOT to sing… we will all just whisper. ‘PLEASE RECALL DIPS*** GAVIN NEWSON!’ 

In a now-deleted tweet, actor Adam Baldwin called the restrictions ‘ridiculously unenforceable’ while right-wing radio host Buck Sexton blasted Newsom’s guidelines comparing the holiday season to a ‘visit to the ER’. 

‘This is the world mask shamers DEMAND we live in – Thanksgiving is now like a visit to the ER,’ wrote Sexton.

‘Family must be treated like a disease risk at all times. Government tells you who you can see, and *how many minutes you can be in their presence*.’  

Newsom's clampdown sparked outrage among right-leaning celebrities and public figures who hit back at the strict rules for what is the biggest celebration of the year in many American households

Newsom’s clampdown sparked outrage among right-leaning celebrities and public figures who hit back at the strict rules for what is the biggest celebration of the year in many American households

Staunch Republican and Trump supporter actor James Woods took aim at the Black Lives Matter protesters demanding an end to systemic racism and police brutality in the wake of multiple cop killings of black men and women, pointing out that protests have been larger gatherings.  

‘Just make a few signs protesting Trump,’ he wrote.  

‘Then invite as many people as you want, and you’ll have no problem.’ 

Right-wing podcast host Matt Walsh – who regularly takes aim at the Democrats – called the rules ‘madness’ and anyone supporting them ‘a disgrace’.

‘California is trying to tell its residents how many people they can have for Thanksgiving, how long they’re allowed to gather, where they can gather, and that they must wear masks,’ he tweeted.

‘This is madness. If you support this you’re a disgrace and an embarrassment.’ 

Republican politicians also took aim at the Democrat governor over the rules

Republican politicians also took aim at the Democrat governor over the rules

Actor Nick Searcy vowed to break the rules saying he would host an indoor Thanksgiving event with ‘a lot of people’. 

‘We are having Thanksgiving at my house with a lot of people and@gavinnewsom can kiss my a** and bark at the hole,’ Searcy tweeted.

Country singer Cody Wolfe also raged in defiance, even threatening to impose himself on the governor’s Thanksgiving celebration in a since-deleted tweet.

‘Hey @GavinNewsom as a new California resident. I live in a condo. So therefore I can’t have my Thanksgiving outside, but its okay I’m coming over to your place to spread some holiday cheer all over your dining room table,’ he wrote. 

The rules come as cases are surging once again in the state with a 3.3 percent positivity rate and seven-day average case count of 4,325 per day. California has recorded the highest number of infections of all US states, with 924,022 cases and a death toll of 17,572

The rules come as cases are surging once again in the state with a 3.3 percent positivity rate and seven-day average case count of 4,325 per day. California has recorded the highest number of infections of all US states, with 924,022 cases and a death toll of 17,572

He followed it up with defiance over wearing a mask: ‘Oh and as by legal right of the US constitution I’m not wearing a mask as I deem it to be unlawful and unconstitutional. You should be impeached for committing treason.’ 

American political commentator also joined in the attack on Newsom.

‘Meanwhile Gavin Newsom is in his mansion deciding how many people you can have at your own home for Thanksgiving and whether you can sing together,’ he tweeted.

‘Vote every Democrat out.’

Meanwhile comedian Adam Carolla aimed his anger at people complying with the rules to limit the spread of the virus. 

‘How many of you sheep are going along with Newsom’s Thanksgiving protocols?’ he tweeted.  

Republican politicians also took aim at the Democrat governor over the rules, with California congressman Devin Nunes tweeting that they go against the spirit of the season. 

‘Newsom’s Thanksgiving rules offer Californians little to give thanks for,’ he tweeted. 

GOP spokesperson Elizabeth Harrington chimed in calling California a ‘nanny state’.  

Under the rules, gatherings over the holiday must include no more than three households, must be held outdoors, lasting no longer than two hours and and singing, shouting and chanting are 'strongly discouraged'

Under the rules, gatherings over the holiday must include no more than three households, must be held outdoors, lasting no longer than two hours and and singing, shouting and chanting are ‘strongly discouraged’

‘Lord Newsom’s nanny state lock down will allow you to have Thanksgiving… BUT You better write down the names and numbers of your family there to track them down,’ she tweeted.

‘You better keep that mask on in between bites You better not sing And absolutely no wind instruments!’  

However others leaped to Newsom’s defense mocking the outrage coming from the public figures over the holidays while COVID-19 cases continue to soar across America.   

‘California dummies are mad that Newsom won’t let them infect each other on Thanksgiving. They’d rather DIE in a state that won’t let them VOTE,’ wrote Grammy Award-Winning singer-songwriter Grey DeLisle-Griffin.  

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October’s Top 10 Celebrity Real Estate News: Pierce Brosnan, Katy Perry and John Legend – Yahoo Finance

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Campbell’s Corner: Celebrities need to be better role models during the pandemic

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We can all admit that the COVID-19 lockdown was hard on everyone, but for celebrities and other privileged people, it was not as big of an adjustment. Not only do they have large houses and access to better healthcare, they also have the funds to do things such as travel privately during the travel ban. 

Kim Kardashian recently tweeted about how she and her family went to a private island to celebrate her 40th birthday. She said, “After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time.”

The tweet went viral and users have mixed emotions. Some celebrities like Chloe Morello have defended Kardashian, saying she is not to blame for the COVID-19 case spike.  Some users have decided to make fun of the quote and the lack of being able to understand the current pandemic situation. Other users have expressed their upset over Twitter, many using the infamous Kardashian reality show quote “Kim, there’s people that are dying.” People are upset that Kardashian used her platform to show off her privilege and have called her “tone deaf.” 

Although I agree that Kardashian did not mean any harm from her tweet, she needed to read the room. We would all love to be able to get away from the chaos that COVID-19 has created, but not all of us have that luxury. We would all love to pretend things are still normal, but many people are still struggling from the financial effects of the pandemic. So it does not help when celebrities display their special benefits across social media. It just adds fuel to the fire.

This is not the first time celebrities have been called out for inappropriate behavior during the pandemic. TikTok stars Bryce Hall and Blake Gray were charged in August with misdemeanor crimes for throwing large parties at their Los Angeles home. In the same month, Kardashian’s sister Kylie Jenner was criticized for traveling to Paris, even though France has banned American tourists from traveling amid COVID-19. 

We need more celebrities to use their platform to promote better behaviors such as social distancing and quarantining at home. Young kids consider them to be role models and will ultimately copy their behaviors. If they see their idols partying and taking unnecessary trips across the world, it lets kids believe these actions are OK. It lets kids believe these celebrities are above the law. 

While businesses and schools are open, cases are nowhere near declining. According to the CDC data tracker, there have been over 500,000 COVID-19 cases in the United States within the past week. In Ohio, there have been over 17,000 cases in the week. So just because we have the ability to, does not mean it is acceptable to ignore guidelines and throw large parties and travel. 

Not all celebrities have demonstrated bad behavior during the pandemic. Many like Pharrell Williams have tweeted about the lack of funds and supplies for hospitals and the need to donate to frontline workers and other relief funds. This encourages followers to donate, retweet and share messages that we do not always think about. This allows us to see that even though we are struggling, there is always someone else who needs help. 

More celebrities need to use their platforms to promote quarantining at home, social distancing and donating money to relief funds. We need more celebrities to be proper role models for their fans in order to make a difference. If we keep mirroring their behavior and these spikes continue, we will never be able to do the things we miss the most. We will never be able to go back to normal. 

Hannah Campbell is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Hannah by tweeting her at @hannahcmpbell. 



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