Spitting Image

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Spitting Image
Spitting image title card.png
Opening titles
GenrePolitical satire
Shock value
FormatPuppet show
Parody
Voices ofChris Barrie
Harry Enfield
Jon Glover
Louise Gold
Steve Nallon
Kate Robbins
John Sessions
et al.
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series18
No. of episodes131
Production
Running time30 to 60 minutes
Production company(s)Spitting Image Productions
Central Independent Television
DistributorITV Studios
Broadcast
Original channelITV
Original run26 February 1984 – 18 February 1996
 
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Spitting Image
Spitting image title card.png
Opening titles
GenrePolitical satire
Shock value
FormatPuppet show
Parody
Voices ofChris Barrie
Harry Enfield
Jon Glover
Louise Gold
Steve Nallon
Kate Robbins
John Sessions
et al.
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series18
No. of episodes131
Production
Running time30 to 60 minutes
Production company(s)Spitting Image Productions
Central Independent Television
DistributorITV Studios
Broadcast
Original channelITV
Original run26 February 1984 – 18 February 1996

Spitting Image was an award winning British satirical puppet show, created by Peter Fluck, Roger Law and Martin Lambie-Nairn. The series was produced by Spitting Image Productions for Central Independent Television over 18 series which aired on the ITV from 1984 to 1996. The series was nominated and won numerous awards during its run including 10 BAFTA Television Awards, including one for editing in 1989, and even won two Emmy Awards in 1985 and 1986 in the Popular Arts Category.[1]

The series featured puppet caricatures of celebrities famous during the 1980s and 1990s, including British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and fellow Tory politicians, American president Ronald Reagan, and the British Royal Family; the series was the first to caricature Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.

The series was axed in 1996, after viewing figures declined. ITV had plans for a new series in 2006, but these were scrapped after a dispute over Ant & Dec puppets used to host the reviews "Best Ever Spitting Image", which were created against Roger Law's wishes.[2]

History[edit]

Martin Lambie-Nairn proposed a satirical television show featuring puppets by Peter Fluck and Roger Law, two illustrators and sculptors who worked mostly for print. The puppets, caricaturing public figures, were designed by Fluck and Law. They were assisted by caricaturists including David Stoten, Pablo Bach, Steve Bendelack and Tim Watts. Musical parodies were by Philip Pope (former member of Who Dares Wins and The Hee Bee Gee Bees) and later Steve Brown (who appeared as bandleader Glen Ponder in Knowing Me, Knowing You... with Alan Partridge).

The first episode of Spitting Image, in 1984, aired with a laugh track, apparently at the insistence of Central Television. This episode was shown to a preview audience before transmission.[3]

In the early years of the show, Spitting Image was filmed at in the enterprise zone at London Docklands. Impressionist Steve Nallon recalls that "they were able to get away with no health and safety, so all of the building of the puppets with all the toxic waste from the foam was just in a warehouse. There were no extractor fans; it was quite Dickensian."[4]

In later series, Spitting Image was recorded at Central's studios in Nottingham with last minute additions being recorded at the Limehouse Studios at Canary Wharf, London.

Fluck and Law had no television experience, but had for several years constructed plasticine caricatures to illustrate articles in the Sunday Times Magazine. They brought in comedy writer and National Lampoon editor Tony Hendra, whom they had met while working in the United States. Hendra brought in John Lloyd, producer of Not The Nine O'Clock News. They were joined by Jon Blair, a documentary producer. They then hired Muppet puppeteer Louise Gold. Development was funded by Clive Sinclair. The series was dismissed by many before the series was finally broadcast in 1984.[5]

Even before the first episode was broadcast, all reference to the Royal family were cut from the episode, as a matter of courtesy to the Duke of Edinburgh who opened the East Midlands television centre a few days later. The scenes were all reinstated in later episodes.[6] The first episode received an audience of 7.9 million, but numbers rapidly dropped, which meant economies had to be introduced since the series cost £2.6 Million, which was nearly double the price of other prime time series.[7] The series was scheduled for 13 episodes[6] but was cut back to 12, with the series nearly cancelled. Rob Grant and Doug Naylor were brought in as head writers to save the show. By 1986, under their supervision, Spitting Image had become popular, producing a number one song on the UK Singles Chart ("The Chicken Song"), but Grant and Naylor subsequently left to create Red Dwarf for BBC2. Spitting Image had a short-running dispute with the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) in 1985 over use of subliminal images.

Evolution[edit]

When Margaret Thatcher resigned in November 1990, her successor was John Major. This marked a shift in the show's style with the writers moving from the Punch and Judy style to more subtle and atmospheric sketches, notably a series in which an awkward John and Norma Major ate peas for dinner. The producers dressed Major, skin and all, in shades of grey. They invented an affair between him and Virginia Bottomley. It emerged later that Major had indeed had an affair, but with Edwina Currie (whom the writers had considered using.[citation needed])

The show added animated sketches from 1989 and again from 1994 (with short, animated segments before 1989). Most notable was a studio audience for the 1992 Election Special, a format which was revisited for two episodes in late 1993. A spoof Question Time took questions from the audience. The 1992 show was fronted by a puppet Robin Day, a puppet Jeremy Paxman filling the role in the episodes broadcast on 14 November 1993 and 12 December 1993. The 1992 Election Special was the first time Spitting Image had been performed to a studio audience.

Decline[edit]

The writers, Mark Burton, John O'Farrell, Pete Sinclair and Stuart Silver quit the show in 1993 and in 1995, and with viewing figures in decline, production was cancelled. The final series was in January and February 1996, with the final episode featuring "The Last Prophecies of Spitting Image" in which Labour moved into Number 10.

A few years later most of the puppets were sold at an auction hosted by Sotheby's,[8] including a puppet of Osama Bin Laden never used in the series.[9]

During 2004, the idea of the series coming back started to appear after John Lloyd held talks with ITV executives about the show's return. John Lloyd also held talks with a number of people who voiced for Spitting Image puppets, including John Sessions, Harry Enfield and Rory Bremner, with all responding positively.

Mr Lloyd said "There's enormous enthusiasm from ITV to do it. We're just trying to work out how it would be affordable. The budget is about to go off to ITV," he said. Everybody seems to have residual affection for Spitting Image. It could be scrappy and uneven, but it's rather like a newspaper. You don't expect it to be brilliant every time, but there's something delicious in every edition," Mr Lloyd said.[10][11]

By early 2006 ITV were producing a documentary celebrating the series and if the audience figures were good a full series could be produced.[12] On 25 June 2006, ITV transmitted Best Ever Spitting Image[13] as a one-off special of Spitting Image which took a nostalgic look back at the programme's highlights. This special actually stopped ITV directly resurrecting the famous satire as they had planned because it featured new puppets of Ant and Dec - a move which was against the wishes of Roger Law, who owns the rights to the Spitting Image brand.[2][14]

In 2007 ITV created a CGI version to caricature and lampoon the famous, called Headcases.[15]

Broadcast dates[edit]

All episodes and specials were broadcast on Sunday, usually at 10pm. The programme was also picked up overseas. It aired on Canada's CBC Television on Sunday nights in the late 1980s. The American network NBC aired several prime-time specials in the same period.

Series[edit]

SeriesYearDatesNo. episodesTimes
Series 1198426 February - 17 June12 episodesMostly 10pm
Series 219856 January - 24 March11 episodesMostly 10pm
Series 319866 January - 2 Nov18 episodesMostly 10pm
Series 419871 November - 6 December6 episodesMostly 10pm
Series 519886 November - 11 December6 episodesMostly 10pm
Series 6198911 June - 9 July5 episodesMostly 9.30pm
Series 7198912 November - 17 December6 episodesMostly 10.05pm
Series 8199013 May - 24 June6 episodesMostly 10.05pm
Series 9199011 November - 16 December6 episodesMostly 10.05pm
Series 10199114 April - 19 May6 episodesMostly 10.05pm
Series 11199110 November - 15 December6 episodesMostly 10.05pm
Series 12199212 April - 17 May6 episodesMostly 10.05pm
Series 1319924 October - 8 November6 episodes10.05pm
Series 14199316 May - 20 June6 episodes10.45pm
Series 1519937 November - 12 December6 episodes10pm
Series 1619941 May - 5 June6 episodes10pm
Series 1719946 November - 18 December7 episodes10pm
Series 18199614 January - 18 February6 episodesMostly 11.15pm

Specials[edit]

TitleYearDateTimesDuration
Down And Out In The White House198614 September9.45pm45 minutes
The Spitting Image 1987 Movie Awards1987Saturday 4 April10.45pm30 minutes
Election Special1987Thursday 11 June10pm45 minutes
A Non-Denominational Spitting Image Holiday Special198727 December10pm30 minutes
The Ronnie And Nancy Show198817 April9.30pm30 minutes
Bumbledown - The Life and Times of Ronald Reagan1988Saturday 29 October10.15pm45 minutes
The Sound Of Maggie1989Saturday 6 May10.10pm45 minutes
Election Special1992Wednesday 8 April10.40pm30 minutes
The Spitting Image Pantomime199326 December10pm30 minutes
Ye Olde Spitting Image19951 January10.45pm30 minutes

Repeats[edit]

From October 1996 to September 1998, Spitting Image Series 1-11 were on UK Gold, until September 1998. Edited episodes from Series 1-3 and 7 were on Granada Plus from 2001-2003.

In February 2008, Comedy Central Extra started showing regular repeats of Spitting Image from 9pm on Tuesday evenings, with a whole weekend's worth of evenings devoted to the first two series. It reappeared in a late night slot in November 2010, through to the 18th December 2010 and hasn't been aired since then. From 2001 to 2004 the ITV series 2DTV had a similar style, but using computer animation instead of puppets.

United States version[edit]

In an attempt to crack the American market, there were some attempts to produce a US version of the show. A 45-minute 'made for market' show by the original Spitting Image team, titled Spitting Image: Down and Out in the White House was produced in 1986 by Central for the NBC network.

Introduced by David Frost, it departed from the sketch-based format in favour of an overall storyline involving the upcoming (at that time) Presidential election. The plot involved a conspiracy to replace Ronald Reagan with a double (actually actor Dustin Hoffman in disguise). This plan was hatched by the Famous Corporation, a cabal of the ultra-rich headed by Johnny Carson's foil Ed McMahon (in the show, Carson was his ineffectual left-hand man) who met in a secret cavern hollowed out behind the façade of Mount Rushmore. Eventually, their plot foiled, the famous corporation activated their escape pod - Abraham Lincoln's nose - and left Earth for another planet, but (in a homage to the beginning of the Star Wars movies) were destroyed during a collision with 'a nonsensical prologue in gigantic lettering'.

The show was not very successful with its target audience, possibly because its humour was still very British and it was so irreverent about Ronald Reagan at a time when he was enormously popular with the American public. It did, however, receive great praise from critics and it was followed by several more television specials: The Ronnie & Nancy Show (also satirising the Reagans), The 1987 Movie Awards (sending up the Academy Awards), Bumbledown: The Life and Times of Ronald Reagan (a quasi-documentary about the President), and The Sound of Maggie (satirising Thatcher and parodying several musicals such as Oliver!, West Side Story and many others).

Video and DVD releases[edit]

The programme was first released on video in 1986 in a series of three collections, each a compilation of material from the first two series: Spit - With Polish!, A Floppy Mass Of Blubber & Rubber Thingies. All carried a 15 certificate and were reissued in 1988, also as a box set. 1989 saw the release by Central Video of two complete specials, Bumbledown: The Life & Times Of Ronald Reagan and The Sound Of Maggie. Next was a video containing a collection of the music videos from the programme, titled "The Klassik Music Video Vol 1", released in 1991 by Central Video under The Video Collection Ltd (VCI or 2entertain); there was never a Volume 2.

"Is Nothing Sacred?" was released in 1992 by Surprise Video, compiling material from 1990-1991. The free booklet was written by Stewart Lee and Richard Herring. Havin' It Off: The Bonker's Guide was released in 1993. In 1996 FA to Fairplay was released on VHS, later reissued on DVD in 2005. Made specially for video, it provided an alternative look at the 1996 European football championship held in England.

The Ronald Reagan song "Da Do Ron Ron" featured in a straight to video release called Rockin' Ronnie (1986), an otherwise unrelated compilation of movie clips released by ATI Video.

The first ten series including An 11-disc set (containing the first 7 series broadcast 1984-89) have been released by Network, so far. Series 1-7 individual releases are now deleted .[16] DVD releases do not included any of the specials made.

DVD release dates[edit]

DVDDiscsYearEp. #Release Date
Region 2
Complete Series 1219841228 January 2008 [17]
Complete Series 2219851128 July 2008 [18]
Complete Series 3319861829 September 2008 [19]
Complete Series 41198763 November 2008 [20]
Complete Series 511988623 March 2009 [21]
Complete Series 611989511 May 2009 [22]
Complete Series 711989617 August 2009 [23]
Complete Series 811990619 October 2009 [24]
Complete Series 91199068 July 2013 [25]
Complete Series 1011991614 October 2013 [26]
Complete Series 1–71119841989642 November 2009 [27]

Characters[edit]

Politicians[edit]

Many British politicians in parliament during Margaret Thatcher's tenure were parodied. By far the most prominent was Thatcher herself, portrayed as an abusive tyrant and cross-dresser (she wore suits, used the urinals and was portrayed as a cigar-chomper). The Thatcher puppet had a strong dislike of anything French (agreeing with Hitler about 'teaching those Frenchies where to go' and throwing an apple out the window because it was French).

In the first series, Thatcher sought advice from her enraptured neighbour Herr Jeremy Von Wilcox (who is actually an elderly Adolf Hitler) about the unions and the unemployed. Mr. Wilcox/Hitler compares the Trade unions with the Soviet Union and advises not to attack in winter. Regarding unemployment, he says that people out of work should be put in the army, and tells Thatcher that he thinks the SS (meaning SAS) are a "great bunch of guys".[28]

Alongside Thatcher were her Cabinet, which included:

Thatcher's successor John Major was portrayed as a dull, boring grey character who enjoyed a meal of peas with his wife Norma and was constantly mocked by Humphrey, the Downing Street cat. Before Thatcher's resignation, Major had been portrayed as robotic with a spinning antenna on his head (it was explained in a sketch that Thatcher used it to control Major, standing behind Thatcher in the crowd of sycophantic cabinet members, eager to repeat whatever the Thatcher puppet screeched).

The Opposition (Labour Party) politicians included:

Arthur Scargill, who was a member of the Labour Party until 1997, appeared as head of the National Union of Mineworkers, and was portrayed as a big-nosed egotist who was ignorant about mining.

In 1994, a puppet of Tony Blair made his appearance. He was originally a public school boy, wearing grey shorts, blazer and cap. His catchphrase was "I'M THE LEADER" in reference to his attempt to lead the Labour Party. When Blair did become Labour leader, the puppet changed and he was portrayed with his grin replaced with an even bigger smile if he said something of importance. The deputy leader, John Prescott, was portrayed as a fat bumbling assistant, along with a squeaky voiced Robin Cook, and an enormous glasses-wearing Jack Straw.

The SDP-Liberal Alliance was portrayed by the election-losing, populist, arrogant and undecided David Owen, with whining, bedwetting David Steel in his pocket. They were soon replaced by Paddy Ashdown, whose "equidistance" from the larger parties was satirised by his frequent appearance at the side of the screen during unrelated sketches, saying: "I am neither in this sketch nor not in it, but somewhere in-between". This running gag was used when Ashdown's extramarital affair was revealed, and his puppet commented that "I didn't touch her on the left leg, or the right leg, but somewhere in-between."

Former Prime Ministers Harold Wilson, James Callaghan, Harold Macmillan and Alec Douglas-Home were depicted as living in a highly restrictive retirement home named Exchequers. Wilson constantly attempted escape, whilst Callaghan took delight in tormenting him.

Royal Family[edit]

The main characters were:

Other members who were parodied include: Prince Andrew, Duke of York, The Duchess of York, The Princess Royal, Prince Edward, and Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, who was always tipsy.

International politicians[edit]

Spitting Image lampooned US President Ronald Reagan (voiced by Frank Welker in the Ronnie and Nancy special) as a bumbling, nuke-obsessed fool in comparison with his advisors Edwin Meese and Caspar Weinberger. Next to his bed were red buttons labelled 'Nuke' and 'Nurse'. His wife Nancy was the butt of cosmetic surgery jokes.

Mikhail Gorbachev had his forehead birthmark in the shape of hammer and sickle. All other Russians looked like Leonid Brezhnev, often said "da" ("yes") and talked about potatoes. In Russia it was snowing even indoors and the Soviet television had extremely low-tech visual effects.

François Mitterrand was wearing a beret and a garlic wreath. P. W. Botha was shown as a racist cleverly disguising his views (once he had a badge "anti-anti-apartheid"). Adolf Hitler incognito had a house at 9 Downing Street. Some appearances were also made by Idi Amin, Robert Mugabe, Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, Ruhollah Khomeini, Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi.

Other international caricatures included Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger; George H. W. Bush and Dan Quayle; Konstantin Chernenko, Raisa Gorbachova and Boris Yeltsin.

Sport[edit]

England manager Bobby Robson was a senile worrier nicknamed 'Rubbisho'. Player Paul Gascoigne appeared, frequently crying - a parody of the World Cup semi-final against West Germany in which he famously cried after being booked, which would have ruled him out of the final had England won the game.

Ian Botham was a violent drug addict, while Mike Gatting spoke with a high voice. Lester Piggott had to be subtitled. Boxing characters included Frank Bruno with his trademark laugh and catchphrase "where's 'Arry?", and Chris Eubank, with his lisp. Snooker player Steve Davis was boring, upset because he had no nickname, but thought himself interesting.

Celebrities[edit]

News reporters were also depicted. Alastair Burnet was sycophantic towards the Royal Family and with a nose that inflated. Sandy Gall was effeminate, always worrying what coat he would wear. John Cole was incomprehensible and had to be dragged off-screen when he talked too long. Nicholas Witchell was always turning up during a strike to work rather than report. Kate Adie was a thrill-seeker, BBC Head of Bravery. Jeremy Paxman appeared as uninterested and self-loving.

David Coleman had a very loud ear prompter and sometimes didn't know what he was commentating on. Frank Bough was portrayed as being a drug user. Bruce Forsyth spoke every sentence as though it was a catchphrase. Film critic Barry Norman was not a fan of his puppet, because it had a wart on its forehead.[30] Paul Daniels did not mind jokes about his toupée but took offence to a sketch depicting him nuzzling his assistant Debbie McGee's breasts.[30][32]

Comedian Billy Connolly was portrayed as a jester, and Jimmy Tarbuck was said to use old jokes and always take part in Royal Variety Performance. Bernard Manning was an obese racist, Ben Elton was always shown with a microphone. Writer Jeffrey Archer appeared as a very annoying self-commenting writer whose books weren't read by anyone. Alan Bennett was shown at home as watching Spitting Image on TV.

A Mick Jagger character seemed perpetually high, and Keith Richards so old and haggard that he thought he was dead. Ringo Starr was a drunkard, and Paul McCartney was always releasing albums and films that flopped. Madonna changed her hair and clothes with every episode, and Michael Jackson's skin turned lighter. Luciano Pavarotti was hugely overweight and ate everything he saw.

Actor Dustin Hoffman spoke nasally and was parodied for his method acting. John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier were lamenting their friends, even their own death. Roger Moore was shown as an actor "with a wooden delivery" – only his eyebrows moved. Arnold Schwarzenegger was muscle-bound but insecure about the size of his genitals.

Archbishop Robert Runcie, Mary Whitehouse and Cliff Richard were portrayed as Christian censors. Ian Paisley was always shouting and dressed in black. Pope John Paul II was a banjo-playing womaniser who spoke with a Texan accent.

Media moguls Robert Maxwell and Rupert Murdoch were also on the show, the latter depicted as an extremely flatulent individual encouraging obscenity in his mass media.

The songs[edit]

Spitting Image album cover for "Da Do Run Ron" satirical parody of Ronald Reagan

The first single from Spitting Image, released in 1984, was a rework of the Crystals' "Da Do Ron Ron".[33] The Spitting Image version, "Da Do Run Ron", was a spoof election campaign song for Ronald Reagan, featuring Nancy Reagan listing reasons why "you gotta re-elect him", with lyrics like "Yeah! He can really act, Yeah! He lowered income tax, Yeah! He hates the Warsaw Pact". The cover of the single featured Reagan as a biker with Nancy riding pillion.

The B-side of this single was entitled "Just A Prince Who Can't Say No" and poked fun at the sexual indiscretions of The Prince Andrew. The TV version of this song (featured in the second ever episode) was heavily censored by Central Television on broadcast but presented uncut on vinyl.[34]

In 1986, the Spitting Image puppets had a number one hit in the UK charts with "The Chicken Song", parodying "Agadoo" by Black Lace – one of several parodies to have featured in the programme, mimicking moronic holiday songs with an annoyingly unforgettable tune and completely nonsensical lyrics. The Chicken Song hit number 1 in the charts for 3 weeks from 17 May 1986 – 3 June 1986 and VH1 US named it as one of the worst number 1 nominations.

The other songs released by Spitting Image were "I've Never Met a Nice South African" (which was on the B-Side of "The Chicken Song" and was a savage indictment of the apartheid-ridden country), "We're Scared Of Bob" (a parody of "Do They Know It's Christmas?") and "Hello You Must Be Going" (which mocked Phil Collins's divorce ballads and was on the 12" release of The Chicken Song), "Santa Claus Is On The Dole" (backed with "The Atheist Tabernacle Choir"), "The Christmas Singles" and "Cry Gazza Cry" (based on footballer Paul Gascoigne's tears in the 1990 World Cup).

"The Chicken Song" was by far the most successful of all of their music and not-so-subtle references were made to it in subsequent sketches in the show itself. In 1986, a compilation LP "Spit In Your Ear" was produced, featuring some of their sketches over time along with a few of their songs, followed in 1990 by "20 Great Golden Gobs", a songs-only collection from the 1986-1990 series.

In 1986, the Spitting Image team experienced some "real" musical success when they created the video for "Land of Confusion" by Genesis, a song which implied that Thatcher and Reagan were about to bring the world to a nuclear war. Phil Collins saw a disfigured version of himself on the show and contacted the show's producers with the idea to produce the video. The video was depicted as a nightmare Reagan was having, which left him completely immersed in sweat from worrying.

The end of the 1987 election featured a young boy, dressed as a city banker, singing "Tomorrow Belongs To Me", a parody of the film Cabaret, when a member of the Hitler Youth starts singing the same song. In a season 5 episode, Labour leader Neil Kinnock is portrayed singing a self-parody to the tune "My eyes are fully open" from Gilbert and Sullivan's Ruddigore, supported by members of his shadow cabinet.[35]

In one instance Sting was persuaded to sing a re-worded version of "Every Breath You Take", titled "Every Bomb You Make" (series 1, episode 12), to accompany a video showing the Spitting Image puppets of world leaders and political figures of the day, usually with the figure matching the altered lyrics "Every bomb you make. Every job you take. Every heart you break, every Irish wake. I'll be watching you. Every wall you build, Every one you've killed, Every grave you've filled, all the blood you've spilled, I'll be watching you." The video ended with the grim reaper appearing in front of a sunset. This version was due to be resurrected by Sting at the Live8 concert, and the parody lyrics were cleared with their writers Quentin Reynolds and James Glen, but plans were abandoned at the last minute.

The end theme of season 9 episode 4 was "Why Can't Life Be Like Hello?", sung by June Brown (commonly known as the EastEnders character Dot Cotton).[36] The song pastiches Hello magazine, in satire of post-Big Bang UK consumerist culture.

Other musical parodies featured Michael Jackson, Kylie Minogue, The Monkees, Pulp, Brett Anderson of Suede, Pet Shop Boys, R.E.M, Björk, East 17, Elvis Presley, Oasis, ZZ Top, Prince and Barbra Streisand.

Staff[edit]

Spitting Image launched the careers of and featured many then-unknown British comedians and actors, most notably Hugh Dennis, Steve Coogan and Harry Enfield.[37]

Voices[edit]

The voices were provided by British and American impressionists including:

Performers[edit]

The puppets were operated by popular British performers, including:

Writers[edit]

Producers[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "British TV scoops Emmys". The Times (London). November 26, 1986. p. 11. 
  2. ^ a b "Ant and Dec stunt ends 'Spitting Image' return". Digital Spy. 17 November 2006. 
  3. ^ Jones, Mark. "Latex Lampoonery (Spitting Image Giveaway Special, Part 1)". Broken TV. 
  4. ^ "Interview: Steve Nallon #2 – ‘Comedians are all lunatics’". Giggle Beats. September 28, 2013. 
  5. ^ Nikkhah,, Roya (18 Nov 2012). "TV bosses rejected Spitting Image as 'kid’s stuff' before hit show aired". The Telegraph. 
  6. ^ a b "Royal Family cut from TV satire". The Times. Feb 25, 1984. p. 3. 
  7. ^ "Spitting Image and Beyond". The World of Puppets. 
  8. ^ "Online sale for TV puppets". BBC News. 7 July 2000. 
  9. ^ "Spitting Image to auction bin Laden". BBC News. 23 November 2001. 
  10. ^ AUSTIN, SUZY (18 May 2004). "Spitting Image back to haunt Blair". Metro. 
  11. ^ Deans, Jason (17 May 2004). "Spitting Image plans TV comeback". MediaGuardian. 
  12. ^ VERKAIK, ROBERT (20 FEBRUARY 2006). "Politicians beware! 'Spitting Image' set to return". The Independent. 
  13. ^ "Spitting Image back in spotlight". BBC News. 2006-02-20. Retrieved 2009-03-16. 
  14. ^ Matthewman, Scott (November 16, 2006). "Spitting Image return scuppered by Ant’n’Dec". The Stage. 
  15. ^ "ITV to make CGI version of Spitting Image". British Comedy Guide. 17 May 2007. 
  16. ^ "Spitting Image: The Complete Series 1". Network DVD. Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
  17. ^ "Spitting Image - Series 1 - Complete [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  18. ^ "Spitting Image - Series 2 - Complete [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  19. ^ "Spitting Image - Series 3 - Complete [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  20. ^ "Spitting Image - Series 4 - Complete [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  21. ^ "Spitting Image - Series 5 - Complete [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  22. ^ "Spitting Image - Series 6 - Complete [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  23. ^ "Spitting Image - Series 7 - Complete [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  24. ^ "Spitting Image - Series 8 - Complete [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  25. ^ "Spitting Image: The Complete Series 9". Network ON AIR. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  26. ^ "Spitting Image: The Complete Series 10". Network ON AIR. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  27. ^ "Spitting Image - Series 1-7 - Complete [DVD] [1984]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  28. ^ "Spitting Image". 3. Episode 1. 1986. 2 minutes in. ITV. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2DnW5uC1_A. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  29. ^ Comedy Connections: Spitting Image
  30. ^ a b c Best Ever Spitting Image: TV Documentary. Released 25 June 2006 (UK).
  31. ^ Rossington, Ben (12 Apr 2013). "Roy Hattersley and wife divorce after 57 YEARS". Daily Mirror. 
  32. ^ English, Paul (Jun 24, 2006). "Victims of a puppet state: Best ever Spitting Image". Daily Record (Glasgow). Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  33. ^ http://www.45cat.com/record/e9713
  34. ^ Da Do Run Ron on http://www.qsulis.demon.co.uk/Website_Louise_Gold/
  35. ^ "Neil Kinnock in Spitting Image - Series 5", 1988, YouTube, uploaded 26 March 2009, accessed 16 January 2012
  36. ^ Spitting Image (season 9, episode 4):
  37. ^ "Impressions are back in fashion: The great pretenders". guardian.co.uk. 30 September 2003. 

External links[edit]