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2DTV (title card)
Created byGiles Pilbrow
Georgia Pritchett
Directed byTim Searle [1]
StarringJon Culshaw
Jan Ravens
Mark Perry
Lewis MacLeod
Kate O'Sullivan
Enn Reitel
Terry Klassen
Dave Lamb
Alistair McGowan (Pilot)
Jimmy Hibbert
ComposersWillie Dowling
Peter Baikie
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series5
No. of episodes36
ProducerGiles Pilbrow
AnimatorsTim Fancourt
Joe Brumm
Steven Lenton
EditorChristopher Scott
Running time10–30 mins
Original networkITV
Original release14 October 2001 (2001-10-14) –
23 December 2004 (2004-12-23)

2DTV is a British satirical animated television series which was co-created and produced by Giles Pilbrow for ITV. It premiered on 14 October 2001.

The programme was considered the spiritual successor of Spitting Image, the series of the 1980s that also featured work by Pilbrow.[2] It also paid homage to the studio Hanna-Barbera in the way the show was animated.[3] The voice cast included the talents of Jon Culshaw, Jan Ravens and Mark Perry.

The programme ran for five series before being cancelled on 23 December 2004 due to falling viewing figures.[4] It was succeeded in the spring of 2008 by the short-lived series Headcases.[5][6] The show was first announced in August 2001 as part of the new autumn lineup for ITV1.[7] The show was nominated for the Rose d'Or Award in both 2002 and 2003.[8][9]


2DTV employed the same satirical style as Spitting Image, but used animation rather than puppets. The animation was produced by using computer graphics, frequently with animators working up to the day of broadcast. The producer for the series, Giles Pilbrow, was one veteran of Spitting Image, as were some of the voice artists on the show.

The series was directed by Tim Searle. 2DTV was first broadcast in March 2001, but an unbroadcast pilot episode was recorded nearly six months earlier. The pilot episode featured the resident newsreader played by Alistair McGowan, but the character was not carried over when the full seven part first series was commissioned by ITV. Each episode in the first series lasted ten minutes.

A seven-episode second series began broadcasting in April 2002, once again with each episode lasting ten minutes. The series then spawned its own official single in July 2002, Shoot the Dog, which was performed by George Michael.[10] The music video features an animated Michael plus several other characters from 2DTV performing the song.[11]

One commercial for the home media compilation The Best of 2DTV was banned by the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre in November 2002.[12] The commercial depicted George W. Bush taking one VHS out of its case and putting it in his toaster. Ofcom stated that advertisements for products cannot appear to be endorsed by someone without their permission – in this case, George W. Bush.[13]

The original advert was reworked into a sketch in which Bush writes a letter complaining about being portrayed as a moron by the media, then proceeding to post the letter in his toaster. The programme creators then proposed another commercial, this time satirising Osama Bin Laden, but they were informed that this would also be banned on the grounds that Bin Laden would have to give permission for his image to be used.[14]

Another commercial satirised David Beckham compiling his list for Christmas asking his wife; how do you spell DVD?.[15] The banning was later overturned on the grounds that the commercial was legitimate satire and the commercial was shown unedited. The programme creators claimed that the controversy generated more interest in the show than the adverts could ever have done alone.[16]

For the third series each episode was extended to twenty minutes, including advertisements. After the third series many of the original cast members, including Jon Culshaw, Jan Ravens, Mark Perry decided to depart the series, following an announcement that the fourth series would be extended to thirty minutes per episode.

New cast members Lewis MacLeod, Kate O'Sullivan and Enn Reitel then took over. They appeared alongside the only remaining original cast member Dave Lamb. All four returned for the fifth series at the end of 2004, but due to falling ratings, its broadcast occurred in the graveyard slot and the show was officially cancelled in December 2004.


Series 1–3[edit]

Series 4–5[edit]

All Series[edit]


  1. ^ "Tim Searle". IMDb.
  2. ^ "ITV's satire show Headcases to be more than Spitting Images lookalike". thetimes.co.uk. 5 April 2008. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  3. ^ "Tom and Jerry 'were works of art'". news.bbc.co.uk. 19 December 2006. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  4. ^ "Official 2DTV Website (the website is currently unrelated to 2DTV)". www.2dtv.co.uk. 19 November 2020. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  5. ^ "Headcases is awful". theguardian.com. 8 April 2008. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  6. ^ "CGI stars inhabit ITV satire show". bbc.co.uk. 18 May 2007. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  7. ^ "Drama leads ITV1 autumn line-up". bbc.co.uk. 21 August 2001. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  8. ^ "Golden Rose 2002: UK nominees". news.bbc.co.uk. 7 March 2002. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  9. ^ "What the ITC said". news.bbc.co.uk. 8 April 2003. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  10. ^ "Shoot the Dog: Your views". bbc.co.uk. 31 July 2002. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  11. ^ "George Michael video rages at US policy in Middle East and attacks 'poodle' Blair". theguardian.com. 2 July 2002. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  12. ^ "Satire ads banned for Bush 'insult'". news.bbc.co.uk. 27 November 2002. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  13. ^ "Satire ad ban 'too hasty'". news.bbc.co.uk. 29 November 2002. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  14. ^ "2DTV ad irks regulators". marketinglaw.osborneclarke.com. 17 December 2002. Retrieved 20 June 2022.
  15. ^ "2DTV ad irks regulators". osborneclarke.com. 12 December 2002. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  16. ^ "YouTube". www.youtube.com. Archived from the original on 14 September 2020.

External links[edit]