‘Spitting Image’ makes a comeback with Trump, Johnson
LONDON (UK) – The popular British satirical show of the 80s, “Spitting Image”, is back on television from Saturday. This time, it targets politicians like Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and royals, including Prince Harry.
The creative team will be led by its co-creator Roger Law while writers headed by Jeff Westbrook, best known for “The Simpsons”, will tweak sketches until shortly before being released.
Its debut show had to be tweaked at the last minute to include puppet avatars of Trump and first lady Melania in COVID-19 quarantine.
The series, which ran from 1984 to 1996, showed Queen Elizabeth as a middle-aged housewife and former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher as a dictatorial boss who calls her cabinet “the vegetables”.
It had 15 million viewers, and its characters were often associated with their puppet versions in the minds of the public. The most notable was Thatcher’s successor John Major, whose puppet was entirely grey.
In its new version, Trump tweets from an unmentionable part of his body, while Boris Johnson bumbles around and climate activist Greta Thunberg presents the weather while angrily retorting that it will be “hot” everywhere.
According to Law, the original programmed came to a close as it was no longer funny with the political beasts of the 80s being replaced by mellow leaders in the 1990s. However, now the pendulum has swung back, he said.
“It’s not dissimilar what’s going on now, the divisions over Brexit, to when Thatcher was around,” he said on Friday. “It was divisive, there were riots in the street.”
Adopting the stance of previous politicians who said they liked their puppets, Johnson too toed the same line, saying he was not averse to his rubber avatar.
“I saw a big poster and I have to say I thought he looked considerably better than me,” he told ITV News.
“But I think they’ve been too kind, they need to go back to the drawing board and have another go. It’s far too flattering in my general view.”
The new series will be shown on BritBox.