||This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.
Spitting Image album cover for "Da Do Run Ron" satirical parody of Ronald Reagan
|Voices of||Chris Barrie
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||18|
|No. of episodes||131|
Spitting Image Productions
Central Independent Television
|Running time||30 to 60 minutes|
|Original run||26 February 1984 – 18 February 1996|
Spitting Image was a British satirical puppet show that aired on the ITV network from 1984 to 1996. It was produced by Spitting Image Productions for Central Independent Television. The series was nominated for 10 BAFTA Awards, winning one for editing in 1989.
The series featured puppet caricatures of celebrities famous during the 1980s and 1990s. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and fellow Tory politicians, American president Ronald Reagan, and the British Royal Family were the most prominent targets.
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.
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.
In the early years of Spitting Image, in 1984 and 1985, the show was not doing well and was 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, 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.
Shows were recorded at Central's studios in Nottingham with last minute additions being recorded at the Limehouse Studios at Canary Wharf, London. It was at these latter facilities that Spitting Image Productions were based. The first series was recorded at Central's Birmingham studios - the appearances of EMI 2001 cameras in several first series episodes confirm this as Nottingham had brand new Hitachi cameras, whereas Birmingham still had its original cameras, installed with the launch of colour on ITV, back in 1969.
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).
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.
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. The final episode featured "The Last Prophecies of Spitting Image" in which Labour moved into Number 10.
All episodes and specials were broadcast on Sunday, usually at 10pm.
|Series 1||1984||26 February - 17 June||12 episodes||Mostly 10pm|
|Series 2||1985||6 January - 24 March||11 episodes||Mostly 10pm|
|Series 3||1986||6 January - 2 Nov||18 episodes||Mostly 10pm|
|Series 4||1987||1 November - 6 December||6 episodes||Mostly 10pm|
|Series 5||1988||6 November - 11 December||6 episodes||Mostly 10pm|
|Series 6||1989||11 June - 9 July||5 episodes||Mostly 9.30pm|
|Series 7||1989||12 November - 17 December||6 episodes||Mostly 10.05pm|
|Series 8||1990||13 May - 24 June||6 episodes||Mostly 10.05pm|
|Series 9||1990||11 November - 16 December||6 episodes||Mostly 10.05pm|
|Series 10||1991||14 April - 19 May||6 episodes||Mostly 10.05pm|
|Series 11||1991||10 November - 15 December||6 episodes||Mostly 10.05pm|
|Series 12||1992||12 April - 17 May||6 episodes||Mostly 10.05pm|
|Series 13||1992||4 October - 8 November||6 episodes||10.05pm|
|Series 14||1993||16 May - 20 June||6 episodes||10.45pm|
|Series 15||1993||7 November - 12 December||6 episodes||10pm|
|Series 16||1994||1 May - 5 June||6 episodes||10pm|
|Series 17||1994||6 November - 18 December||7 episodes||10pm|
|Series 18||1996||14 January - 18 February||6 episodes||Mostly 11.15pm|
|Down And Out In The White House||1986||14 September||9.45pm||45 minutes|
|The Spitting Image 1987 Movie Awards||1987||Saturday 4 April||10.45pm||30 minutes|
|Election Special||1987||Thursday 11 June||10pm||45 minutes|
|A Non-Denominational Spitting Image Holiday Special||1987||27 December||10pm||30 minutes|
|The Ronnie And Nancy Show||1988||17 April||9.30pm||30 minutes|
|Bumbledown - The Life and Times of Ronald Reagan||1988||Saturday 29 October||10.15pm||45 minutes|
|The Sound Of Maggie||1989||Saturday 6 May||10.10pm||45 minutes|
|Election Special||1992||Wednesday 8 April||10.40pm||30 minutes|
|The Spitting Image Pantomime||1993||26 December||10pm||30 minutes|
|Ye Olde Spitting Image||1995||1 January||10.45pm||30 minutes|
Legacy and repeats
From October 1996 to January 1998, Spitting Image Series 1-11 were on UK Gold, repeated on UK Gold from January to September 1998 but shown three times per week. Edited episodes from Series 1-3 and 7 were on Granada Plus from 2001-2003.
On 25 June 2006, ITV transmitted Best Ever Spitting Image. Speculation that a new series would follow was dismissed.
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.
From 2001 to 2004 the ITV series 2DTV had a similar style, but using computer animation instead of puppets.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
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 third series, Thatcher sought advice from her enraptured neighbour Mr. 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".
Alongside Thatcher were her Cabinet, which included:
- Willie Whitelaw, with fluffy eyebrows and wearing a tartan dressing gown to cabinet meetings.
- Nigel Lawson, panicking about a financial crisis he had apparently caused.
- Geoffrey Howe, boring, bland and talked to sheep.
- Douglas Hurd, famous for his Dalek-style voice and his hair shaped like a "Mr Whippy" ice cream.
- Norman Tebbit, appearing as a leather-clad skinhead loyal to Thatcher, referring to her as "Leader" and often beating up other politicians.
- Michael Heseltine, growing more manic with every series (and wearing a flak jacket as Defence Secretary).
- Leon Brittan, constantly fawning towards Thatcher.
- Norman Fowler, portrayed during his time as Health Secretary as a hospital-murdering Jack the Ripper-style lunatic.
- Cecil Parkinson, having a sexual interest in every woman he sees.
- Edwina Currie, portrayed as a vampire.
- Paul Channon, childish.
- Kenneth Baker, transforming into a slug over the series.
- Nicholas Ridley, smoking and developing the countryside for houses.
- Kenneth Clarke, obese and drunk despite being Minister for Health.
- Colin Moynihan, minuscule and childlike, called "miniature for sport"
- Tom King, portrayed while Employment Secretary as The Invisible Man
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).
- Neil Kinnock, the 'Welsh Windbag', talking for hours about anything other than policies.
- Roy Hattersley, spitting with every word because of his lisp (on 'Best Ever Spitting Image', Hattersley praised his puppet for 'putting the spit into Spitting Image').
- Michael Foot, aged and senile, ending sentences with "Yes! Argh!".
- Tony Benn, a rampant socialist with eyes that never looked in the same direction.
- Ken Livingstone, whose living room was filled with salamanders and snakes.
- Denis Healey, with giant eyebrows, who helped to make Kinnock look foolish.
- Gerald Kaufman, portrayed as a Hannibal Lecter-style maniac.
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."
The main characters were:
- The Queen, wears a CND badge, always seemed slightly mad and picked clothes from rubbish bins
- The Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen's husband, was a blunderbuss-toting Greek-obsessed buffoon in naval uniform
- Charles, Prince of Wales was a pseudo-hippie then a taxi driver in later episodes
- Diana, Princess of Wales was a publicity-hungry Sloane Ranger
Other members who were parodied include:
- Prince Andrew, Duke of York
- The Duchess of York ("Fergie"), who was always snuffling for truffles
- The Princess Royal
- Prince Edward, a petulant teenager
- Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, who was always tipsy
- Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, who was generally seen with a bottle of Gordon's Gin, a copy of the Racing Post, a Beryl Reid voice; this was a running joke from a sketch in which the Royal Family's desire to conceal her Birmingham accent was the reason she was very seldom heard speaking on television. In the series she is seen with jockey Lester Piggott with whom she has an affair.
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.
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.
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. Paul Daniels did not mind jokes about his toupée but took offence to a sketch depicting him nuzzling his assistant Debbie McGee's breasts.
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. John Cleese and Stephen Fry appeared from time to time with no added peculiarities of character.
Writer Jeffrey Archer appeared as a very annoying self-commenting writer whose books weren't read by anyone. Ray Cooney was criticized for strikingly similar and far-fetched farces. 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. Andrew Lloyd Webber was said to have his face inside out.
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 dressed black and shouting. Pope John Paul II was a banjo-playing womaniser who spoke with a Texan accent.
Rubber News was a recurring short news feature which ran from series 1, episode 7, to series 2, episode 9. The presenters included well-known newsreaders such as Alastair Burnet and Robin Day, as well as more incongruous celebrities such as Saint and Greavsie, Roger Moore and Sooty.
The first single from Spitting Image, released in 1984, was a rework of the Crystals' Da Do Ron Ron. 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.
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" and "Hello You Must Be Going" (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".
"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.
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.
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.
Video and DVD releases
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 complete ninth series is due for release on 8 July 2013. .
DVD release dates
|DVD||Discs||Year||Ep. #||Release Date|
|Complete Series 1||2||1984||12||28 January 2008|
|Complete Series 2||2||1985||11||28 July 2008|
|Complete Series 3||3||1986||18||29 September 2008|
|Complete Series 4||1||1987||6||3 November 2008|
|Complete Series 5||1||1988||6||23 March 2009|
|Complete Series 6||1||1989||5||11 May 2009|
|Complete Series 7||1||1989||6||17 August 2009|
|Complete Series 8||1||1990||6||19 October 2009|
|Complete Series 9||1||1990||6||8 July 2013|
|Complete Series 1–7||11||1984–1989||64||2 November 2009|
- Peter Fluck and Roger Law spoonerised as Luck and Flaw
- Martin Lambie-Nairn (On the credits, his credit was "Based on the original lunch with Martin Lambie-Nairn")
The voices were provided by British and American impressionists including:
- Chris Barrie (1984–1991) (Arnold Rimmer in Red Dwarf)
- Roger Blake (1990–1996) (plays Duke of Edinburgh/Jim Royle in Big Impression)
- Rory Bremner (1987) (Bremner, Bird and Fortune)
- Phil Cornwell (1986, 1993–1996) (Dead Ringers)
- Steve Coogan (1988–1993) (Alan Partridge)
- Jon Culshaw (1994–1996) (Dead Ringers, 2DTV, The Impressionable Jon Culshaw, Headcases, The Impressions Show.)
- Hugh Dennis (1989–1991) (The Mary Whitehouse Experience, My Hero, Mock The Week, Outnumbered)
- Harry Enfield (1985–1989) ("Harry Enfield's Television Programme", "Harry Enfield and Chums", "Kevin and Perry Go Large"
- Chris Emmett (1984, 1990)
- Michael Fenton Stevens (singing voices only, mainly backing vocals) (Radio Active and KYTV)
- Fogwell Flax (1984–1985) (Tiswas)
- Jon Glover (1984–1989)
- Louise Gold (1984–1986) (The Muppet Show)
- Alistair McGowan (1991–1996)
- Jessica Martin (1985–1988)
- Steve Nallon (1984–1996) (best known as voice of Margaret Thatcher)
- Philip Pope (1984–1991, singing voices only) (KYTV)
- Jan Ravens (1984–1993) (Dead Ringers)
- Enn Reitel (1985–1990, 1996) (Mog)
- Kate Robbins (1986–1996)
- Peter Serafinowicz (1996)
- John Sessions (1986–1988)
- Cliff Taylor (1988) (Bumbledown: The Life And Times Of Ronald Reagan)
- John Thomson (1990–1996) (Cold Feet)
The puppets were operated by popular British performers, including:
- Anthony Asbury
- Don Austen
- Chris Barrie
- Michael Bayliss
- Kevin Bradshaw (later credited as Kaefan Shaw)
- Simon Buckley
- Patrick Comerford
- Richard Coombs
- Craig Crane
- Sue Dacre
- Phil Eason
- Alistair Fullarton
- Louise Gold
- Barnaby Harrison
- Brian Herring
- Mark Jefferis
- William Todd Jones
- Terry Lee
- Steve Nallon
- Martin H Oates
- Nigel Plaskitt
- Gillie Robic
- Martin P. Robinson
- Richard Robinson
- Tim Rose
- John Thirtle
- Ian Thom
- Robert Tygner
- Mak Wilson
- Francis Wright
- Geoff Atkinson (1984–1993)
- David Austin
- Debbie Barham
- Alistair Beaton
- Colin Bostock-Smith
- Jo Brand
- Mark Burton (1985–1993)
- Kevin Cecil (1993–1996) (The Armando Ianucci Shows)
- Paul John Clark, journalist and writer (Rory Bremner, Kate and Ted's Show, The New Politics: The May Revolution, Week Ending, Hale and Pace)
- Richard Curtis (1984–1985) (Blackadder, Four Weddings and a Funeral etc.)
- Terence Dackombe (1984–1989) (Week Ending, News Huddlines, Friday Night Live, etc.)
- Paul B. Davies
- (John) Jack Docherty and Moray Hunter (Absolutely, Mr. Don & Mr. George)
- Chris Edge
- Ben Elton (1984–1985) (Blackadder, The Young Ones)
- Stevie Fowler
- Patrick Gallagher (co-creator, co-writer and graphic designer on Round the Bend, a children's puppet show produced by Hat Trick Productions with puppets made by the Spitting Image Workshop)
- Dan Gaster
- Rob Grant (1984–1986) (Red Dwarf)
- Sean Hardie
- Ray Harris (1987–1993) (Babyblair)
- Ian Hislop (1984–1989) (Private Eye, Have I Got News For You, My Dad's the Prime Minister)
- Will Ing (The Now Show)
- Donnie Kerr
- David Kind (Hale and Pace)
- Wayne Kline
- Paul Lewis
- Victor Lewis-Smith (only one episode: Series 5 ep.5)
- Doug Naylor (1984–1986) (Red Dwarf)
- Henry Naylor (1984–1986)
- Nick Newman (1984–1989) (Private Eye)
- John O'Farrell (1984–1993) (author of Things Can Only Get Better, etc.)
- Andy Parsons (1993–1996)
- Paul Powell
- Georgia Pritchett (1986–1992)
- Steve Punt (1989–1993) (The Now Show)
- Neil Raphael (1984–1987)
- Keith Rees
- Andy Riley (1993–1996) (The Armando Ianucci Shows)
- Laurie Rowley
- Tony Sarchet
- Stuart Silver
- Paul Simpkin
- Pete Sinclair
- Andrea Solomons
- Guy Jenkin
- Johnny Mack (The Dave Allen Show)
Similar shows elsewhere
||This section may contain original research. (May 2013)|
- Kuklalar was a short-life week-end show on Lider TV, similar to Russian NTV's Kukly. Only Azerbaijan opposition leaders and celebrities' puppets were presented in the program. Puppets-making and filming were both made in Kukly's base in Moscow, while script, voicing, and editing were made in Baku.
- Talking Heads (TV7)
- Agildo no País das Maravilhas (Rede Bandeirantes, 1987–1989)
- Cabaré do Barata (Rede Manchete, 1989–1990)
- Canada (Quebec)
- Et Dieu créa… Laflaque
During the 1990s, an imitation of the Spitting Image show, called Los Toppins, was aired on the television network Megavision. More successful, although oriented to a younger audience was the 31 Minutos show, which aired on TVN.
- Los reencauchados (Cenpro Televisión, 1995)
- Noticiero NP& con los reencauchados (Caracol TV, 2009-present)
- Czech Republic
- Spitting Image Japan (Fuji Television) - aired in the program Raster Tunnels 94 in 1994 and followed the same format as Spitting Image but satirised Japanese politicians instead.
- The XYZ Show, a 15-minute political satire programme created by Godfrey Mwapembwa- a cartoonist whose pseudonym is Gado- produced by Buni, and aired on Kiss TV.
- Teletubi (One TV) A puppet show that poked fun at local politicians and celebrities. Was banned but the puppets still make the odd appearance on TV.
- New Zealand
- Public Eye - aired in the 1980s and followed the same format as Spitting Image but satirised NZ politicians instead. Facelift (tv show)
- South Africa
- Riksorganet aired on SVT in 1998 right before the general election the same year. The show mocked the party leaders along with people working in the media. The voices were provided by Sissela Kyle, Claes Ljungmark, Anders Mårtensson, Johan Wahlström and Katarina Ewerlöf.
In the United States
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, entitled 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 (a musical based episode parodying several musicals such as "Oliver!" , West Side Story and many others)
The Canadian puppeteers Sid and Marty Krofft later had a degree of success with a vaguely satirical show called D.C. Follies which ran from 1987 to 1989, was clearly inspired by Spitting Image, but was far less acerbic in its humour.
- "Ant and Dec stunt ends 'Spitting Image' return". Digital Spy. 17 November 2006.
- "Entertainment | Spitting Image back in spotlight". BBC (BBC News). 2006-02-20. Retrieved 2009-03-16.
- "Spitting Image". 3. Episode 1. 1986. 2 minutes in. ITV. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2DnW5uC1_A. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- Comedy Connections: Spitting Image
- Best Ever Spitting Image: TV Documentary. Released 25 June 2006 (UK).
-  Roy Hattersley divorces wife
-  Best ever Spitting Image
- Da Do Run Ron on http://www.qsulis.demon.co.uk/Website_Louise_Gold/
- "Neil Kinnock in Spitting Image - Series 5", 1988, YouTube, uploaded 26 March 2009, accessed 16 January 2012
- "Spitting Image: The Complete Series 1". Network DVD. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
- "Spitting Image: The Complete Series 9". Network ON AIR. Retrieved 2013-04-25.
- "Impressions are back in fashion: The great pretenders". guardian.co.uk. 30 September 2003.
- Chester, Lewis. Tooth & Claw - The Inside Story of Spitting Image, Faber and Faber, 1986 ISBN 0-571-14557-4
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Spitting Image|
- Walker, John. "Spitting Image". Glossary of Art, Architecture & Design since 1945, 3rd. ed.
- Spitting Image at the Internet Movie Database
- Spitting Image at the BFI's Screenonline
- Spitting Image at the British Film Institute's Film and TV Database
- Spitting Image v. Headcases
- Encyclopedia of Television