05 August 2020 16:31
Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings and Prince Andrew are among the latest puppets unveiled for the BritBox relaunch of satirical current events programme Spitting Image. New portraits of the caricatures show the Prime Minister smiling with his famous blonde mop of hair, while his chief adviser Cummings is portrayed with a seemingly enlarged head. Prince Andrew, meanwhile, sports a tartan coat with a paisley neckerchief. The reboot, which was announced in March, will air on BritBox later this year after a 23-year break. The show originally ran for 18 series between 1984 and 1996, attracting 15 million viewers at its peak.
Advertisement It's the first original commission announced by BritBox UK, the streaming service launched by the BBC and ITV, PA reports. Joining Johnson, Cummings and the Duke of York are joined by puppets of Donald Trump, Beyoncé, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Vladimir Putin, Bernie Sanders, Elon Musk, RuPaul, Adele and James Corden. Avalon, the production house behind The Russell Howard Hour, Taskmaster, Catastrophe and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, is helming the project. The revived Spitting Image will be available to stream exclusively on BritBox in Autumn 2020. A second season will follow in 2021.
(Photos: BBC) Satirical puppet show Spitting Image is coming back after 24 years away from TV screens. Famous for its caricatures of public figures from the 1980s and '90s, this time around, political figures such as Donald Trump and Prince Harry will be in the firing line. The once-controversial programme will be launched on the BritBox streaming service in the autumn (the first BBC commission for the ITV-run service), and the first images of some of its new puppets have just been released. Here's everything you need to know: What is Spitting Image? At the height of its popularity, Spitting Image pulled in 15 million viewers and was nominated for nine BAFTAs (it won four) and four Emmys. The programme's most famous caricatures were those of former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her successor, John Major. The series was axed in 1996, due to declining audience numbers, but it has been given a new lease of life during a similarly confusing political time. It's unlikely the new version of the show will reach the same heights as the original, as Britbox is only available to an audience which currently numbers fewer than 600,000 households. However, the programme makers will be introducing viewers to a "global" cast of latex characters designed to help sell the show to an international audience. Why is it being brought back now? In a statement, the 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." ITV director of television Kevin Lygo said he was "thrilled" to be able to provide the chance for "British creativity to truly run wild". Co-creator, Roger Law - who is on board as executive producer for the new show - said: "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." Who will be featured this time around? The new series will mimic global figures, such as Vladamir Putin and Bernie Sanders, as well as politicians closer to home, from Boris Johnson to Dominic Cummings. Celebrities like Adele, Kim Kardashian, Jurgen Klopp and young activist Great Thunberg will also be transformed from public figures into satirical puppets. Ahead of the show's return, a number of puppets from the series have been shared. Spitting Image has revealed its Prince Andrew, Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings, with the Prime Minister's puppet sporting a mass of spiky blonde hair, while Mr Cummings is seen in his trademark hoodie. RuPaul and Donald Trump are among the celebrities to be parodied in Spitting Image. (VH1/ITV) Spitting Image has given fans a first look at its big return later this year, with RuPaul set to be one of a raft of new puppets. The iconic British satire, which sent up the biggest names of the day using puppets throughout the '80s and '90s, is making a timely return this autumn on streaming service BritBox UK. Alongside Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, the new series will also satire world leaders such as Dominic Cummings, Beyoncé, Adele and RuPaul. "With the world getting smaller and more turbulent, the time couldn't be more appropriate for an iconic British satirical take on global events," producers said as the reboot was announced in March. As production gets underway, the show's creatives unveiled the first three puppets on Wednesday (August 5): those of Johnson, Cummings and Prince Andrew. Spitting Image has released images of their first two puppets, ahead of the revival of the show on BritBox. pic.twitter.com/TAJncgknig — Scott Bryan (@scottygb) August 5, 2020 Sadly, Spitting Image's RuPaul remains tightly under wraps, along with its Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Elon Musk and James Corden, all of whom are confirmed for the new run. The prime minister's puppet features a shock of white-blond hair, while his advisor's wears his signature hoody-gilet combo decorated with a flamboyant silver ruff. The new series of Spitting Image is being overseen by co-creator Roger Law, who has promised it will be "more outrageous, audacious and salacious than the previous incarnation". "We will take back control from the likes of BoJo, Trump, Harry & Meghan, Elon Musk, and Kim Kardashian," he said in a statement. "We will be dazzled and amazed by Jurgen Klopp & Beyoncé, we will have regular weather updates from our roving reporter Greta Thunberg." Some scripts and puppets will be devised just before the episodes air to ensure the show follows the biggest headlines of the day, as was the case during its original run. Spitting Image ran for 18 series on ITV between 1984 and 1996, drawing 15 million viewers at its peak. As with many shows of its time some of the skits veered into homophobia, such as a pastiche of Tom Robinson's "Glad To Be Gay" performed by puppets of Jason Donovan and Phillip Schofield. Another memorable sketch painted Prince Andrew as a sexual deviant.