Spitting Image is returning to the screen after a 24-year absence this autumn, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson and Donald Trump among the targets of the satirical puppet show on the streaming service BritBox.
The show, one of the signature programmes of the Thatcher era, is the first original commission to arrive on BritBox, as partners ITV and the BBC look to boost its content amid increasing competition from new rivals such as Disney+.
The first of two new series will be available on the £5.99-a-month service this autumn, with a second to follow next year.
The new show will lampoon famous figures including Vladimir Putin, Prince Andrew, Adele, Beyoncé, the Tesla founder, Elon Musk, Kim Kardashian, James Corden and the US presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. The climate change activist Greta Thunberg will be satirised as a “roving reporter giving regular weather updates”.
Roger Law, the co-creator of Spitting Image who is executive producing its revival, said: “The new Spitting Image will be global through a uniquely British eye. It will be more outrageous, audacious and salacious than the previous incarnation. The timing ie right. The puppets are ready, the people have spoken. This autumn we will get Brexit done.”
The original show ran on ITV for 18 series between 1984 and 1996. It was watched by as many as 15 million viewers at its peak, ridiculing public figures from Margaret Thatcher and Paul Gascoigne to Ronald Reagan and Mick Jagger.
ITV, which will report its full-year 2019 results on Thursday, invested £25m in BritBox last year and has committed £40m this year.
“We are thrilled that BritBox can provide the opportunity for British creativity to truly run wild,” said Kevin Lygo, ITV’s director of TV. “We are looking forward to enticing new subscribers with the news series and service.”