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BritBox revives Spitting Image

The rebooted Spitting Image will feature a new cast of puppets

The UK version of BritBox, the streaming joint venture from broadcasters ITV and the BBC, has unveiled a reboot of satirical puppet sketch show Spitting Image as its first original commission.

The first season of the new series, produced by Avalon, will be made available exclusively on the streaming service this autumn, with a second season following in 2021.

“With the world getting smaller and more turbulent, the time couldn’t be more appropriate for an iconic British satirical take on global events,” BritBox said.

Spitting Image co-creator Roger Law will lead the show’s creative team as exec producer, while development of a new cast of puppets is already underway.

Among the figures set to ‘appear’ in the show are James Corden, Donald Trump, RuPaul, Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings, Beyoncé, Elon Musk, Harry & Meghan, Bernie Sanders, Prince Andrew, Adele and Vladimir Putin.

A “next generation of satirical writers and voice artists” are currently being assembled to drive a new wave of ‘public service satire,’ BritBox added.

Some scripts will be written and new puppets made close to delivery to ensure each week’s episode is as topical as possible.

Reemah Sakaan, group director of ITV SVoD and chief creative and brand officer for BritBox, said: “We cannot wait to bring back Spitting Image. BritBox is the natural home for the sharpest satirical wit and craft in the UK industry. The timing couldn’t be better to present a new series on a new service with a uniquely British point of view.”

Kevin Lygo, BritBox originals creative chief and ITV’s director of TV, added: “We are thrilled that BritBox can provide the opportunity for British creativity to truly run wild, and we are looking forward to enticing new subscribers with the new series and service.”

Law 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.”

Spitting Image ran for a total of 18 seasons between 1984 and 1996 on ITV and proved no one was safe from ridicule in puppet form, including Margaret Thatcher, Paul Gascoigne, John Major, Michael Heseltine, Ronald Reagan, Mick Jagger, Mikhail Gorbachev and the British royal family.

BritBox launched in the UK last year having debuted in the US and Canada in 2017 as a way to provide UK programming to viewers abroad.

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