This plan was hatched by the Famous Corporation, a cabal of the ultra-rich headed by Johnny Carson's foil Ed McMahon (in the show, Carson was his ineffectual left-hand man) who met in a secret cavern hollowed out behind the façade of Mount Rushmore. Series 1–7 individual releases are now deleted. For the 1992 Election Special, a studio audience was used; this format was revisited for two episodes in late 1993.  The idea for the series was rejected by many in the industry, who thought it would only be suitable for children, but the series was finally accepted for development and first broadcast in 1984.. The TV version of this song (featured in the second ever episode) was heavily censored by Central Television on broadcast but presented uncut on vinyl. Former Liberal MP Cyril Smith also made a few appearances depicted as a morbidly obese giant. Kenneth Williams was depicted with a large nose and big teeth, and Harry Secombe was depicted as overly religious.  Impressionist Steve Nallon recalls that "they were able to get away with no health and safety, so all of the building of the puppets with all the toxic waste from the foam was just in a warehouse. First broadcast in February 1984, the series was produced by 'Spitting Image Productions' for Central Independent Television over 18 series which aired on the ITV network. He hates the Warsaw Pact". From 2001 to 2004 the ITV series 2DTV had a similar style, but using computer animation instead of puppets. Writer and MP Jeffrey Archer appeared as an annoying, self-commenting writer whose books were not read by anyone. In 1994, a puppet of Tony Blair made his appearance. How dare they “take a swipe” at the Queen Mother, the Daily Mirror wanted to know. Some appearances were also made by Idi Amin, Robert Mugabe, Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, Ruhollah Khomeini, Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi. William Rees-Mogg was portrayed as a censorship-crazy person with eyes that would frequently pop out of the socket. This version was due to be resurrected by Sting at the Live 8 concert, and the parody lyrics were cleared with their writers Quentin Reynolds and James Glen, but plans were abandoned at the last minute.  On 25 June 2006, ITV transmitted Best Ever Spitting Image as a one-off special of Spitting Image which took a nostalgic look back at the programme's highlights. Next to his bed were red buttons labelled 'Nuke' and 'Nurse'. Eventually, their plot foiled, the famous corporation activated their escape pod – Abraham Lincoln's nose – and left Earth for another planet, but (in a homage to the beginning of the Star Wars movies) were destroyed during a collision with 'a nonsensical prologue in gigantic lettering'. Regarding unemployment, he says that people out of work should be put in the army, and tells Thatcher that he thinks the SS (meaning SAS) are a "great bunch of guys".. The waitress asks: "Would you like to order, sir?" Tony Benn, a Labour MP, recorded in his diary that “Parshin said he would like [it] to be available in the Soviet Union, because it makes fun of Soviet leaders”. , Before the first episode was broadcast, the parodies of the Royal Family were cut, as a courtesy to the Duke of Edinburgh, who opened the East Midlands Television Centre a few days later. The thing about Tony Benn is that you always knew what he stood for, and who he stood up for. The show was also aired in New Zealand on TVNZ in the 1980s. The producers dressed Major, skin and all, in shades of grey, and invented an affair between him and Virginia Bottomley. The collection is located in the university library, with its librarian Dr Jessica Gardner describing the collection as a "national treasure". "The image of slimy Kenneth Baker as a slug is one which will haunt him long after the demise of Spitting Image," Mr Pilbrow said. , The series features puppet caricatures of contemporary celebrities and public figures, including British Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major and other politicians, US president Ronald Reagan, and the British Royal Family; the series was the first to caricature Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (as an elderly gin-drinker with a Beryl Reid voice). In 1986, the Spitting Image puppets had a number one hit in the UK charts with "The Chicken Song", parodying "Agadoo" by Black Lace – one of several parodies to have featured in the programme, mimicking moronic holiday songs with an annoyingly unforgettable tune and completely nonsensical lyrics. All episodes and specials were broadcast on Sunday, usually at 10 pm. Snooker player Steve Davis was boring, upset because he had no nickname, but thought himself interesting. Ringo Starr was a drunkard, and Paul McCartney was always releasing albums and films that flopped. Adolf Hitler incognito had a house at 9 Downing Street. Sign up to our free daily newsletter, The Economist today, Published since September 1843 to take part in “a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress.”. And I think that's why he was admired right across the political spectrum.  The show premiered on the service on 3 October 2020, featuring the voice talents of Billy West, Debra Stephenson, Debra Wilson, Guz Khan, Indira Varma, Jess Robinson, John DiMaggio, Lewis MacLeod, Lobo Chan, Matt Forde, and Phil LaMarr. Emlyn Hughes was portrayed with a high pitched and annoying voice. The programme is rebroadcast on the digital network "PuppeTV" as a part of its "Puppets After Dark" post – watershed slot. The SDP-Liberal Alliance was portrayed by the election-losing, populist, arrogant and undecided David Owen, with whining, bedwetting David Steel in his pocket. So will Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s chief adviser, portrayed as a mad (and unsackable) scientist from outer space. Before Thatcher's resignation, Major had been portrayed as wearing a leopard print suit and swinging in on a trapeze, referencing his background as the son of a circus acrobat (which he would frequently remind everyone about). John Lloyd also held talks with a number of people who voiced the Spitting Image puppets, including John Sessions, Harry Enfield and Rory Bremner, with all responding positively. ", and Chris Eubank, with his lisp. Thatcher's successor John Major was portrayed as a dull, boring grey character who enjoyed a meal of peas with his wife Norma and was constantly mocked by Humphrey, the Downing Street cat. During the late summer, when viewership was traditionally low and the networks aired reruns of the previous season, NBC broke the special into two half-hour episodes and slotted them into its schedule on 30 August and 6 September of that year, following reruns of The Golden Girls. WHEN "SPITTING IMAGE", a satirical sketch show featuring puppets of the great and the not-so-good, first aired in 1984, Britain’s tabloids were outraged.