Here’s when the new series of Spitting Image will air on Britbox - and new puppets set to feature

Wednesday, 5th August 2020, 3:37 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th August 2020, 3:38 pm
(Photos: BBC)
(Photos: BBC)

Satirical puppet show Spitting Image is coming back after 24 years away from TV screens.

Famous for its caricatures of public figures from the 1980s and '90s, this time around, political figures such as Donald Trump and Prince Harry will be in the firing line.

The once-controversial programme will be launched on the BritBox streaming service in the autumn (the first BBC commission for the ITV-run service), and the first images of some of its new puppets have just been released.

Here's everything you need to know:

What is Spitting Image?

At the height of its popularity, Spitting Image pulled in 15 million viewers and was nominated for nine BAFTAs (it won four) and four Emmys.

The programme's most famous caricatures were those of former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her successor, John Major.

The series was axed in 1996, due to declining audience numbers, but it has been given a new lease of life during a similarly confusing political time.

It's unlikely the new version of the show will reach the same heights as the original, as Britbox is only available to an audience which currently numbers fewer than 600,000 households.

However, the programme makers will be introducing viewers to a “global” cast of latex characters designed to help sell the show to an international audience.

Why is it being brought back now?

In a statement, the programme makers said: "With the world getting smaller and more turbulent, the time couldn't be more appropriate for an iconic British satirical take on global events."

ITV director of television Kevin Lygo said he was "thrilled" to be able to provide the chance for "British creativity to truly run wild".

Co-creator, Roger Law - who is on board as executive producer for the new show - said: "I've refused to resuscitate Spitting Image for years but when my pension ran out and my palm was crossed with silver what could an old man do?

"The new Spitting Image will be global through a uniquely British eye, it will be more outrageous, audacious and salacious than the previous incarnation."

Who will be featured this time around?

The new series will mimic global figures, such as Vladamir Putin and Bernie Sanders, as well as politicians closer to home, from Boris Johnson to Dominic Cummings.

Celebrities like Adele, Kim Kardashian, Jurgen Klopp and young activist Great Thunberg will also be transformed from public figures into satirical puppets.

Ahead of the show's return, a number of puppets from the series have been shared.

Spitting Image has revealed its Prince Andrew, Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings, with the Prime Minister's puppet sporting a mass of spiky blonde hair, while Mr Cummings is seen in his trademark hoodie.

When can I see it?

The revived Spitting Image will be available to watch through BritBox in the autumn, although nothing more specific has been confirmed as yet.