BBC Four's Arena to mark 30th anniversary of TV series Spitting Image
This is a timely opportunity for Arena to look back at one of television’s most extraordinary satirical successes.” Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor, BBC Four
Reuniting the founding creative team, Arena: Whatever Happened To Spitting Image? will tell the vexed and frequently hilarious story of the genesis of the satirical puppet show, with exclusive contributions from caricaturists Peter Fluck, Roger Law and TV producer John Lloyd.
Spanning the early years of Margaret Thatcher’s government to the end of John Major’s, Spitting Image puppets became almost as famous as the politicians they lampooned. In 2000, the puppets were auctioned off at Sotheby’s and in the course of this programme the team sets out to discover where they now reside and who is taking care of them in their old age.
Revealing the extraordinary technical achievement of the series, Arena meets the caricaturists, puppet-mould makers, designers, puppeteers, impressionists, writers and directors who worked tirelessly to ensure the show landed its weekly jibes and punches at the politicians, royals and celebrities of the day. And, tracing its journey to our television screens, through 12 years of huge audience figures and weekly controversy to its eventual demise, BBC Arena will ask what Spitting Image got right, where it went wrong and whether its absence the last 17 years has left a hole in the schedules that has yet to be filled by modern broadcasting.
Anthony Wall, Series Editor of Arena, says: “I made a film about Fluck and Law in 1980, some years before Spitting Image was made, so it’s great to be able to revisit their distinctive contribution to Britain’s television history.”
Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor for BBC Four, says: “It’s a testament to Arena’s success and eclectic tastes that they’ve secured access to the Spitting Image team, and this is a timely opportunity for Arena to look back at one of television’s most extraordinary satirical successes.”
Notes to Editors
Arena: Whatever Happened To Spitting Image? will air on BBC Four in the spring.
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