BritBox announces 'Spitting Image' will return for a second series

Albertina Lloyd
·Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
·2 min read
The satirical puppet show is making its comeback on BritBox. (BritBox. PA)
The satirical puppet show is making its comeback on BritBox. (BritBox)

Rebooted comedy show Spitting Image has been renewed for a second series just days after its first series was launched.

Producers of the revival of the 1980s satirical puppet show, which debuted on Saturday 3 October on UK streaming service BritBox, have announced that a second season is already in the pipeline.

Reemah Sakaan, group director of ITV SVoD and chief creative officer of BritBox, said: “The fantastic response to Spitting Image just goes to show how much the world needs public service satire.

“Not only can subscribers look forward to another nine weeks of anarchy but also now another series in 2021.”

Watch: Piers Morgan unveils his Spitting Image puppet

The announcement comes as executive producer Jon Thoday revealed that NBC had pulled out as Spitting Image’s US broadcast partner just weeks before the launch.

Read more: Piers Morgan reacts to his Spitting Image puppet: 'It bears no relation to me!'

Thoday, founder of production company Avalon, which makes the show, said there was “too much nervousness” about its satirical content among NBC executives.

Greta Thunberg will be portrayed as a weather girl in 'Spitting Image. (ITV)
Greta Thunberg is portrayed as a weathergirl in Spitting Image. (ITV)

The new series features puppets of Boris Johnson and Donald Trump, along with celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, Kim Kardashian, Ed Sheeran and former royals Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Environmental activist Greta Thunberg, 17, has also been given the Spitting Image treatment, which has led to criticism against the show for lampooning a teenager who is on the autistic spectrum and has spoken openly about her battles with mental health.

Watch: The trailer for the new series of Spitting Image

BritBox bosses defended putting Thunberg in the show, with Sakaan saying: “It’s a very straightforward joke and is nothing to do with her as an individual.”

Read more: Spitting Image creator says programme won't just be ridiculing right-wing figures

The original Spitting Image – which in its heyday was watched by 15 million viewers – ran from 1984 to 1996 on ITV and featured puppets of everyone from the Queen Mother to Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

Prince Philip’s <i>Spitting Image</i> puppet was always clad in his naval uniform and was overtly Greek, going for kebabs, suggesting Prince Charles name his new baby Stavros et cetera. The satirical show also leaned heavily on Philip’s public blunders. Welsh comic Roger Blake took over voicing Philip in 1990, after Glover quit the show at the same time as Harry Enfield.
Spitting Image was watched by 15 million viewers in its 80s heyday. (ITV)

Ten series of the comedy show have become available on BritBox to coincide with the launch of the reboot.