Spitting Image on BritBox: Why it’s the perfect time for a comeback

The iconic British comedy series is back to stick two fingers up at the political establishment and mock the world of showbiz – exclusively on BritBox.

By Alex Fletcher Published: 19 October 2020 - 2.41pm
Comedy BritBox

Spitting Image

The last time Spitting Image was on TV, Tony Blair was Leader of the Opposition, England were preparing to host football's European Championships and Noel and Liam Gallagher were dominating the tabloids as those bad boys of Britpop Oasis rocked the charts.

A lot has changed since 1996, but it feels like perfect timing for a comeback from the very British satire.

The original Spitting Image struck gold, and having Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reegan in charge of the House of Commons and the White House was a dream combo for the talented puppet creators, satirical comedy geniuses and uncannily accurate voice artists who united to poke fun at the powerful and prick sensitive celebrity egos.

With Boris Johnson and Donald Trump at the top of the establishment, the Royal Family in turmoil (again) and a new generation of selfie-loving, self-involved celebrities, it feels like the world needs Spitting Image now more than ever.

More than 100 puppets have been crafted for the new series. The original show's co-creator Roger Law is back to head the creative team and he’s got some very big figures in his sights.

“We’re going to take back control from the likes of Boris, Cummings, Trump, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West,” said Law.

Did You Know

  • Voice actors on the original Spitting Image included Steve Coogan, Harry Enfield, Chris Barrie and Rory Bremner
  • In 1986, the show had a Number 1 hit in the UK with The Chicken Song
  • Former Tory health minister Edwina Currie bought and still owns the puppet of herself
  • At the height of its success Spitting Image had 15 million viewers every week

“There will be tongue-lashings from our weather girl, Greta Thunberg; you'll be knocked out by Tyson Fury and dazzled and amazed by Beyoncé and Herr Jürgen Klopp. 

"This time Spitting Image is going global so we will be making world beating trade deals with North Korea and Belarus and if Gavin Williamson and Dominic Cummings finally get the sack, Spitting Image will give them a job.

“We have always employed strange people and I’m sure Dom, in particular, will be a great asset: he seems to dislike the establishment just as much as we do. And the message for the Keir Starmers and Michel Barniers is… Let’s get BritBox done.”

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When does Spitting Image start?

The first episode was released on BritBox on Saturday, October 3.

New episodes are going to be released weekly for 10 weeks.

The show will be edited and produced as close to release as possible, so the latest headlines, scandals and stories can be included.

The new Spitting Image puppets revealed

Harry and Meghan's Spitting Image puppets ITV

More than 100 puppets have already been created ahead of the series' launch. The list of celebs and politicans who should watching from behind their sofa include *takes deep breath* Adele, Angela Merkel, Baby Yoda, Barack Obama, Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, Boris Johnson, Boris Baby, The Johnson Dog, Brad Pitt, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, Chrissy Teigen, Covid-19, Cristiano Ronaldo, Dominic Cummings, Dominic Raab, Donald Trump, Dwayne Johnson, Ed Sheeran, Elon Musk, Elton John, Emmanuel Macron, Greta Thunberg, Grimes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Harry Styles, Idris Elba, Ivanka Trump, Jacinda Ardern, James Corden, Jeff Bezos, Joe Biden, Jürgen Klopp, Kanye West, Keir Starmer, Kim Kardashian, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Zuckerberg, Matt Hancock, Meghan Duchess of Sussex, Melania Trump, Michael Gove, Michelle Obama, Narendra Modi, Oprah Winfrey, Piers Morgan, The Pope, Prince Andrew, Prince Charles, Prince Harry, Prince William, Priti Patel, The Queen, Richard Branson, Rishi Sunak, RuPaul, Taylor Swift, Tiger Woods, Tyson Fury, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. 

1996
Spitting Image began in 1984 and ran for 12 years until 1996. There were 131 episodes over 18 series and 10 one-off specials.

The voice artists in the new series include Billy West (Futurama), Debra Stephenson (The Impressions Show), Debra Wilson (Family Guy), Guz Khan (Man Like Mobeen), Indira Varma (Game of Thrones), Jess Robinson (The Imitation Game) John DiMaggio (Futurama), Lewis MacLeod (Dead Ringers), Lobo Chan (Killing Eve), Matt Forde (Unspun) and Phil LaMarr (Pulp Fiction).

3 reasons we can’t wait for Spitting Image

These are wild political times

Michael Gove's Spitting Image puppet ITV

With a global pandemic, Brexit still looming and an unpredictable US election in November, there can be no better time for Spitting Image to make a comeback.

After a generation of politicians who hid behind spin doctors and did their best to avoid making headlines, we suddenly find Boris Johnson and Donald Trump in power.

A whole generation of politicians in the 80s were mercilessly mocked by the show – from the slug-like Kenneth Baker and Mr Whippy-haired Douglas Hurd to the vampire-esque Edwina Currie and leather-clad skinhead Norman Tebbit. But not all the subjects were offended by their rubber doubles, and in fact it was considered by many a sign that you’d made it if you got featured on the show.

Johnson, Michael Gove, Dominic Cummings, Priti Patel and Dominic Raab will all be waiting anxiously to discover how the show is going to poke fun at them.

Nothing is off limits

Dominic Cummings' Spitting Image puppet ITV

Forget arguments about left-wing or right-wing comedy and political correctness: from Margaret Thatcher to Neil Kinnock, nothing was ever off-limits for Spitting Image.

As long as they were punching up at a celebrity or politician, the show didn’t care for boundaries.

With scripts written and sketched filmed as close to broadcast as possible, viewers can expect no-holds-barred takes on the latest scandals and blunders.

There's a new generation of celebrities to mock

Kanye West's Spitting Image puppet ITV

In an age of Twitter, Instagram, YouTubers, influencers and Love Island, celebrities who are used to making money by posting selfies with a new brand of moisturising cream or chocolate bar are going to be in for a shock.

A generation of pampered, preening prima donnas may be surprised to see some less than flattering puppets taking shots at their egos.

In the original series everyone from Bruce Forsyth and Paul Daniels to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mick Jagger were mocked for everything from their misbehaving toupees to the size of their body parts.

A quarter of a century on, we can't wait to see who gets the Spitting Image treatment, 21st Century-style.

Spitting Image series 2 on BritBox confirmed

The new series of Spitting Image has proven to be huge hit for BritBox and a second series for autumn 2021 has been confirmed.

As well as being a huge hit on BritBox, global social media stats over two weeks around launch have seen Spitting Image official content reach more than 30 million people.

Reemah Sakaan, the Chief Creative & Brand Officer for BritBox said: “The fantastic response to Spitting Image just goes to show how much the world needs public service satire. Not only can subscribers look forward to another nine weeks of anarchy but also now another series in 2021.”

Spitting Image co-creator Roger Law added: “Steady employment at last!"

Watch new and classic Spitting Image now on BritBox