Spitting Image sculptor: ‘Bad guys’ are easier to send up

The “bad guys” are easier to caricature than figures who evoke a weaker reaction from the pubic, a Spitting Image sculptor has said.

The revived satirical show, which reflects on the weekly news cycle through the use of puppets, is returning to the BritBox subscription service for a second season.

When first broadcast in the 1980s, Spitting Image was famous for lampooning politicians including Margaret Thatcher and John Major.

The satirical show reflects upon the weekly news cycle (Mark Harrison)
The satirical show reflects upon the weekly news cycle (Mark Harrison)

Christy Matta, a sculptor on the rebooted Spitting Image, said some figures were easier to caricature than others.

She told the PA news agency: “When I had to do Michael Gove, that one came out really easily, same with Priti Patel.

“All the ones that you know a lot and you have a particular feeling about, especially if you know the direction they want to go with the character, it makes it a lot easier.

“When somebody is kind of neither here nor there, it’s actually trickier because, also you have your own feelings about them, you like them so you don’t really want to make them look terrible.

Each puppet will go through a 10-stage process to be brought to life (Mark Harrison)
Each puppet will go through a 10-stage process to be brought to life (Mark Harrison)

“So other people have to step in there and kind of say, ‘Go on, push it, make it look like the caricature’.

“So there is a part of you that reserves a little bit when it comes to those characters, but when it comes to the bad guys let’s say, they’re great, they’re just good fun.”

Jess Robinson is a voice artist on the show, responsible for vocalising a range of celebrities and politicians, including Greta Thunberg, Adele, Kim Kardashian West, Angela Merkel, Nicola Sturgeon, Jess Phillips and Gwyneth Paltrow.

She admitted some stars were treated more harshly than others.

More than 170 puppets have been prepared for the upcoming series (Mark Harrison)
More than 170 puppets have been prepared for the upcoming series (Mark Harrison)

Robinson told PA: “I think people like Boris, Trump, they are fair game, 100%.

“But we’ve got people like Greta, Marcus Rashford, Tom Daley and they’re more like heroes of the piece.

“They might be the voice of reason, so will we treat them in a different way.”

The new series of Spitting Image is available exclusively on BritBox UK from September 11.