Spitting Image to be axed after two series

Virgin Radio

25 Oct 2022, 07:44

Boris Johnson's Spitting Image puppet

Credit: Rex

Spitting Image has been cancelled by ITV after just two series, a decision which the show’s impressionist, Matt Forde, does not agree with.

The political satire show first appeared on our screens in 1984 and became hugely popular before coming to an end in 1996. In the autumn of 2020, it returned with a new series on BritBox featuring brand new caricatures of the likes of Boris Johnson and Donald Trump.

Despite only airing for two series, the channel has told producers Avalon that it will not be commissioning a third instalment.

Matt Forde, who voiced Johnson and Trump for the reboot and sat on the writing team, has voiced his confusion at the decision.

Speaking to i Newspaper, he said: “There is a huge public appetite for Spitting Image in this country. I just can’t believe it’s not on a mainstream channel at a time like this.

“It got crazy numbers when the specials were on ITV and the online figures were going through the roof.”

He continued: “I thought it was madness not to have the whole series on mainstream ITV. They spent all that money bringing back this mega-brand only to hide it away on BritBox. It should have been on ITV, Channel 4, the BBC or Sky, where everyone could see it.”

Forde added it was “bonkers” not to have a topical comedy show on the TV, something which he thinks British television is lacking.

He said: “There’s a dearth of satire and it’s such a tragedy. There is a great public desire to see politicians lampooned but it’s not reflected on TV.”

A spokesperson for BritBox said of the decision: “BritBox won’t be airing any additional original commissions due to the impending launch of ITVX. A Spitting Image commission for ITV has not been confirmed or announced.”

Britbox is being rolled into ITVX, a new streaming replacement for the ITV Hub, which launches next month.

This comes after news that Margaret Thatcher's Spitting Image puppet will be going on public display for the first time ever.