Main content

Roger Law

Michael Berkeley's guest is caricaturist Roger Law. His selection of music includes Mahler, Weill, Beethoven, Terry Allen and a song bought in a Chinese market.

Roger Law was the evil genius behind the mocking caricature puppets of Spitting Image, the award-winning TV series, which ran for over 12 years. No politician escaped: John Major was entirely grey and in underpants; Mrs Thatcher cross-dressed and chomped cigars; Tony Blair's grin was as wide as a shark's. When the show ended, in 1996, Law transported himself to Australia where he bought paint and brushes and - in his words - 'began chasing rainbows'. From there, a growing passion for ceramics took him to China, and for the last 15 years he has been completely immersed in making huge and beautiful ceramic pots, decorated with underwater plants and sea creatures.

In Private Passions, he talks to Michael Berkeley about the creative rebirth he experienced in Australia - where, unlike Britain, there was the freedom to fail. He looks back on Spitting Image and the period when it ended, when he was 'burnt out by alcohol and success'. And he discusses anger and revenge as motivations, and why there is something in Roger Law that Roger himself can't wait to escape.

Music includes Mahler's 5th Symphony, Kurt Weill's Threepenny Opera, Beethoven's Violin Concerto, a song by American satirist Terry Allen, and a pop song Roger Law bought in a Chinese market. He loves it (it's very catchy) without knowing what on earth it is. Private Passions had the sleeve translated - It turns out to be a test CD for a car hi-fi system.

Produced by Elizabeth Burke

A Loftus Production for BBC Radio 3

To hear previous episodes of Private Passions, please visit

1 hour

Last on

Sun 9 Nov 2014 12:00

Music Played

  • Anon.

    Unidentified chinese music for the car

  • Sergei Prokofiev

    Overture on Hebrew Themes

    Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic. Conductor: Claudio Abbado.
  • Eric Bogle

    The Band Played Waltzing Mathilda

    Ensemble: The Pogues.
  • Gustav Mahler

    Symphony No.5 (3rd mvt: Adagietto)

    Conductor: Georg Solti. Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Violin Concerto in D (2nd mvt: Larghetto)

    Conductor: Klaus Tennstedt. Performer: Kyung-wha Chung. Orchestra: Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
  • Kurt Weill

    Pirate Jenny's Song (The Threepenny Opera)

    Orchestra: Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Dennis Russell Davies. Singer: Marianne Faithfull.
  • Terry Allen

    I Just Left Myself


  • Sun 9 Nov 2014 12:00

What makes Boogie-woogie piano legend Jools Holland tick?

What makes Boogie-woogie piano legend Jools Holland tick?

For Private Passions, Jools Holland revealed his piano history to Michael Berkeley.

11 things we learned from Harry Enfield’s Private Passions

11 things we learned from Harry Enfield’s Private Passions

Harry doesn't usually give interviews – but he couldn't say no to Michael Berkeley.

Archive Unlocked: Two Decades of Private Passions

Archive Unlocked: Two Decades of Private Passions

Michael Berkeley introduces memorable interviews from Private Passions' archives.