Political cookery 101 – Take a pinch of the news, add some rubber puppets, add the truth as the average Joe Bloggs saw it, and there we have it. Spitting Image.
How Spitting Image went on for as long as it did God only knows. While the news was trying to be diplomatic about sensitive situations, Spitting Image just came out and said what had to be said. Anyone in the limelight was just ripped to shreds and had the blatant piss taken out of them. That’s the way it should be!
To be honest, if the show wasn’t so popular it would have probably been pulled pretty damn quick. This obviously terrified the authorities, because if it was to be cancelled, then it would prove without a doubt that the government had definitely something to hide.
On the other hand though, Spitting Image spelt out in plain English exactly what the government didn’t want the general public to hear. Sort of like a no-win situation really.
That aside, Spitting Image has to be one of the all time classic TV programmes ever. As a kid the news bored me stupid, but thanks to the latex wonders, I still knew what was going on in the world. Probably a bit too much than most people would have liked, but hey.
This show was definitely part of my childhood. I would probably be a lot more educated now if it wasn’t for Spitting Image. Countless lessons were spent, not doing the set work, but re-enacting scenes from that weeks episode with a couple of friends. It’s quite sad really, to this day we still know some of the scripts off by heart. In fact, one particular phrase from a “Some of our puppets are missing” sketch is in regular use. The phrase “not a good idea” no long exists in my and my friends vocabulary, since it is now replaced with “Don’t do that, we’re on a hill”.
“Hey, Brian, fancy going out and tipping some cows?”, “Don’t do that, we’re on a hill”. Hmm, yes, you had to be there really.
Although the Spitting Image episodes of my day (btw, do you remember when all this was fields?) was classic, the quality unfortunately went down hill during the 90s. Instead of hearing “Did you see last nights Spitting Image?”, “Yeh, it was great. Is there a street through the door (in a John Cole accent)”, things deteriorated into “Yeh, it’s not as good as it used to be”.
To be honest, I’m glad that they cancelled the series when they did before it got to a stage where it was so rank that I refused to watch it. It’s just great to look back and realise how good the early stuff (well, it was early to me) actually was.
Spitting Image – picking up teaching politics, news and sarcasm where teachers and parents left off.