Magazine article The Spectator

Blast from the Past

Magazine article The Spectator

Blast from the Past

Article excerpt

If Margaret Thatcher is remembered by many more as a caricature than as her actual self, then blame Spitting Image. The show, which ran from 1984 to 1996, portrayed her variously as a cross-dresser, a fascist and a bully but, to her credit, she never complained. Or, if she did, there's no record of it. Of course it wasn't just politicians who were targeted; anyone in the public eye was also ripe for a takedown, from Kylie to the Queen. Deference - what's that?

To mark the programme's 30th anniversary, BBC4 has created an Arena documentary that takes viewers behind the scenes of the Spitting Image process; introducing us to the people who made the programme come to life, and the hellish hours they worked keeping the show on the road. But if the idea were pitched today, it's unlikely that it would get off the ground. …

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