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 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
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 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
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
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
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