Gift of the gob

Spitting Image 'set for return'

Spitting Image could be heading for a TV comeback, according to newspaper reports.

One of the original producers, John Lloyd, has held talks with ITV executives about bringing back the show in autumn 2005, after nearly a decade off the screens.

And he says some of the mimics who provided voices for the puppets, including John Sessions, Harry Enfield and Rory Bremner, are keen to become involved again.

Lloyd told the Guardian: "There's enormous enthusiasm from ITV to do it.

"Everybody seems to have residual affection for Spitting Image. It could be scrappy and uneven, but it's rather like a newspaper. You don't expect it to be brilliant every time, but there's something delicious in every edition.

At its peak in the Eighties, the satirical show attracted audiences of up to 15 million, but that figure had slumped to around 6 million viewers by the time the plug was pulled in 1996.

Lloyd believes the political climate is right for a comeback, adding:  "The way things are happening at the moment is much more interesting and dangerous. It's not that Spitting Image has any better answers, but it's a thoughtful and amusing way of looking at stuff.”

One stumbling block for the return could be the high cost of producing scores of new puppet, but Lloyd is optimistic a deal can be struck. “The budget is about to go off to ITV," he said.

Published: 17 May 2004

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