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Fond memories revived

Simon Campion-Brown bends his knee to a graven Image

I was a huge fan of the satirical series Spitting Image, which celebrates its thirtieth anniversary with the opening of an exhibition Spitting Image From Start To Finish at London’s Cartoon Museum that will run until 8th June and BBC Arena documentary scheduled to be broadcast on BBC4 on 20th March.

The show, featured characturised puppets of politicians and celebrities made by Peter Fluck and Roger Law, ran on ITV between 1984 and 1996 and in its heyday won ten BAFTAs and two Emmies. Luminaries who cut part of their creative teeth on the show included writers Richard Curtis, Ben Elton and Ian Hislop, comedians Harry Enfield and Steve Coogan and QI producer John Lloyd.

For the amusement of both National Readers who can remember things that far back and anyone aged 20 or younger who is curious, see here for a representative sample of sketches from the series, courtesy of YouTube – SPITTING IMAGE

A few years ago, I can remember comedian/impressionist Rory Bremner regretfully admitting that he was finding it harder and harder to continue making his politically satirical shows for Channel Four because more modern politicians – such as Cameron and Clegg – were not particularly fruitful sources for fun, being ‘smaller’ characters and far too bland in comparison to their predecessors.

Bremner may have been right. It surely cannot be lack of suitable topics that are holding back the satirists. In the past ten years, everything from the Iraq War, the Blair/Brown feud, the MPs expenses row to the Scottish independence referendum and the Coalition government, have been rich plums there for the taking.

Here’s a link to an article on a survey upon voters’ views of the three main party leaders which appears today on the website of the DAILY MAIL

In my waters, I feel that the moment is potentially ripe for a return of Spitting Image to our television screens. I’d certainly watch it …



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About Simon Campion-Brown

A former lecturer in politics at Keele University, Simon now lives in Oxfordshire. Married with two children, in 2007 he decided to monitor the Westminster village via newspaper and television and has never looked back. More Posts