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admin | Weight Loss Diet Program | 02.07.2013
It's been 30 years since Spitting Image burst onto television with biting satire that had (almost) everyone in stitches. In its most enduring sketch, Spitting Image imagines Margaret Thatcher treating her Cabinet to lunch. Spitting Image was essentially an impressions show using latex puppets that were grotesque caricatures of politicians and celebrities of the Eighties. Imagine a newspaper political cartoon brought to life before your eyes, and you’re pretty much there.
Then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was a despot with a cabinet of vegetables, while her successor John Major was depicted as a completely grey dullard who ate peas in bed with wife Norma. Hidden behind puppets, the writers were able to push the boundaries of a normal sketch show – Thatcher was seen sympathising with Hitler, Ian Botham was a drug addict and Edwina Currie was a vampire – giving the show licence to really stick it to their victims. But nothing like Spitting Image has been seen before or since, and I guarantee, when you hear the chorus of The Chicken Song again, you’ll be singing it all day.


His deputy Roy Hattersley ‘put the spit into Spitting Image’ because he was shown spraying everyone as he lisped.
We never heard any more.’As Spitting Image celebrates its 30th anniversary with a London exhibition and a BBC Arena documentary, the programme makers and some of its victims are happy to recall the golden age of political satire on TV. But with the Falklands, the miners and privatisation, Mrs Thatcher was divisive and we reflected that in Spitting Image. Recently a taxi driver who couldn’t be more than 30 and had no idea I was a politician said, “I remember you from Spitting Image.”’ But Hattersley wasn’t tempted to buy his puppet. It was pretty amazing how vicious Spitting Image was towards the royal family and what they got away with. Because of Spitting Image, they really believed I was a hard man, like them.’One person who loathed his depiction as a midget in the pocket of SDP leader David Owen was Liberal leader David Steel. His wife Judy complained the Spitting Image portrayal, ‘almost fatally wounded his career’.When Mrs Thatcher was ousted in 1990, Spitting Image lost its star turn and prime target.


They had considered using Edwina Currie (herself portrayed as a vampire) instead – not knowing that she and Major really had been having a secret relationship – but rejected the idea as too unlikely.  ‘Some of the punch went out of Spitting Image when Maggie was sidelined,’ says Law.
Plenty more survive in the Spitting Image Archive – actually three sea containers standing on the Norfolk Fens, with over 1,000 life-size moulds. After all, they are a complete guide to who was who in the 80s and 90s.’ The exhibition Spitting Image From Start To Finish is at London’s Cartoon Museum until 8 June.



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