Following the successful return of the show last autumn, Spitting Image is set to hit BritBox UK on 11th September, with new puppets of prominent figures already rolling off puppet production line including: Olivia Colman, Sajid Javid, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Tom Cruise, Tom Daley, Jess Phillips, Ariana Grande, Gary Lineker, Bill Gates, Ellen DeGeneres, and Raheem Sterling, to name a few, to add to the existing cast of hundreds puppets of global figures including: Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, Cristiano Ronaldo, Prince Andrew, Harry Kane, Vladimir Putin, Harry & Meghan, Beyoncé, Angela Merkel, Dwayne Johnson, Gareth Southgate, Ed Sheeran, Jürgen Klopp, Elon Musk, Adele, Covid-19, James Corden, Emmanuel Macron, Mark Zuckerberg, Donald Trump, and Dominic Cummings.
With widespread social media acclaim, notable commentators including: Lewis Goodall (BBC Newsnight) said, “Was so worried I’d be disappointed or it’d be lame. Thank God, it’s anything but. It’s really funny”; Henry Mance (The Financial Times) cited a favourite sketch as a “nice example of how satire doesn’t have to lean left”; Tim Stanley (Historian/The Daily Telegraph) declared that he was “Loving Spitting Image so far”; Keith Humphreys (Washington Post/Professor at Stanford University) said, “The new Spitting Image series is funny because it follows the first rule of political satire: Be unspeakably rude to everyone”; and Gary Lineker shared the Piers Morgan puppet while commenting, “The first time I can recall a Spitting Image puppet to be actually quite flattering.”
Spitting Image has delivered record subscribers for BritBox UK, the BBC and ITV created streaming platform, and a 4.4 million audience for ITV with a one-off US Election Special, the highest Saturday night ratings at that time in four years (one of ITV’s biggest Saturday night ABC1 audiences of 2020). Across official social media channels, Spitting Image content has been hugely popular with over 200 million views globally and three No. 1 trending videos on YouTube.
With the world getting smaller and more turbulent, last year celebrated Spitting Image co-creator Roger Law returned to head up the show’s creative team, while multi-award-winner Jeff Westbrook (The Simpsons, Futurama) joined as Showrunner, leading the international writing team on the iconic British satirical take on global events. A next generation of satirical writers and voice artists are working with established talent to drive a new wave of ‘public service satire’. Writers on the show include: Al Murray, Bert Tyler-Moore (The Windsors), Bill Odenkirk (The Simpsons), Brona C. Titley (The Tracey Ullman Show), Jason Hazeley & Nico Tatarowicz (Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe/Murder in Successville), Karl Minns (Russell Howard’s Good News), Keisha Zollar (Astronomy Club), Laura Major (Famalam), Matt Forde, Patric Verrone (The Simpsons), with many more joining the growing team. Voice artists include: Billy West (Futurama), Debra Stephenson (The Impressions Show), Debra Wilson (Family Guy), Tom Stourton (Pls Like, Horrible Histories), Eshaan Akbar (Mock The Week) Indira Varma (Game of Thrones), Jess Robinson (The Imitation Game), John DiMaggio (Futurama), Lewis MacLeod (Dead Ringers), Lobo Chan (Killing Eve), Luke Kempner (The Imitation Game), Matt Forde (The Political Party) and Phil LaMarr (Pulp Fiction), with many more joining as the puppet cast grows. The show is ultra-topical with scripts being written and new puppets made as close to each episode as possible.
Internationally, it was also announced earlier this year that a bespoke German language version would be made for Sky Germany “Spitting Image: The Krauts’ Edition”, including the globally resonating content from the English language version (redubbed by Germany’s leading voice artists), with new topical local sketches (written by German comedy writers) added – all filmed in the UK-based Spitting Image studio as close to transmission to ensure maximum topicality. The debut of the first series drew the second-best channel audience figure in Finland for its time slot and was hailed by the leading Finnish newspaper as being, “As vicious and risqué as before” and successfully launched in Belgium with a 22% of total TV audience share, as well as seeing millions of views in the USA via YouTube.
Produced by Avalon (Taskmaster, Starstruck, The Russell Howard Hour, Breeders, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver), Executive Producers are Jeff Westbrook, Joanna Beresford, Jon Thoday, Richard Allen-Turner and Roger Law. BritBox Commissioning Executive is Nana Hughes.