Press Centre

Britbox announces critically acclaimed iconic British satire show, Spitting Image, to return in Autumn 2021

Britbox announces critically acclaimed iconic British satire show, Spitting Image, to return in Autumn 2021 following record breaking opening weekend.

“lost none of its savagery or willingness to shock… there are, blessedly, nine more weeks of this to come.”

★★★★ Mark Lawson, The Guardian

“Throughout, the puppets and the impressions are pleasures in themselves… … this opening salvo suggests that Spitting Image still has some fire lurking in its belly.”

★★★★ Dominic Maxwell, The Times

London – Wednesday 7th October – It was announced today that the uncompromising, fast-turnaround and uniquely British satirical take on global events, will return to BritBox UK next Autumn for series two.  Launching on Saturday (3rd October) in the UK to critical acclaim, new subscribers to BritBox increased ten-fold compared to the average daily rate for the BBC and ITV created streaming platform.

As well as a huge hit on BritBox, global social media stats over two weeks around launch have seen Spitting Image official content has reached over 30 million people, with seven and a half million views of content across official social media channels and four million organic views of the official trailer. 

Reemah Sakaan, Group Director ITV SVOD and Chief Creative & Brand Officer BritBox said: “The fantastic response to Spitting Image just goes to show how much the world needs public service satire. Not only can subscribers look forward to another 9 weeks of anarchy but also now another series in 2021.”

Jon Thoday, Executive Producer at Avalon, said: “We’re all very excited to be able to serve up more Spitting Image for BritBox.”

Roger Law added: “Steady employment at last!”

Spitting Image co-creator Roger Law returned to head up the show’s creative team, while multi-award-winner Jeff Westbrook (The Simpsons, Futurama) is the Showrunner, leading the writing team.  Produced by Avalon (Taskmaster, The Russell Howard Hour, Catastrophe, Breeders, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver) throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, over 100 puppets have already been developed by socially distanced teams of artists ready for launch, including: Adele, Angela Merkel, Baby Yoda, Barack Obama, Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, LeBron James, Boris Johnson, Boris Baby, The Johnson Dog, Brad Pitt, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, Chrissy Teigen, Covid-19, Cristiano Ronaldo, Dominic Cummings, Dominic Raab, Donald Trump, Dwayne Johnson, Ed Sheeran, Elon Musk, Elton John, Emmanuel Macron, Greta Thunberg, Grimes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Harry Styles, Idris Elba, Ivanka Trump, Jacinda Ardern, James Corden, Jeff Bezos, Joe Biden, Jürgen Klopp, Kanye West, Keir Starmer, Kim Kardashian, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Zuckerberg, Matt Hancock, Meghan Duchess of Sussex, Melania Trump, Michael Gove, Michelle Obama, Narendra Modi, Oprah Winfrey, Piers Morgan, The Pope, Prince Andrew, Prince Charles, Prince Harry, Prince William, Priti Patel, The Queen, Richard Branson, Rishi Sunak, RuPaul, Taylor Swift, Tiger Woods, Tyson Fury, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, all falling under the show’s legendary gaze.

A next generation of satirical writers and voice artists are working with established talent to drive a new wave of ‘public service satire’.  Writers on the show include: Al Murray, Bert Tyler-Moore & George Jeffrie (The Windsors), Bill Odenkirk (The Simpsons), Brona C. Titley (The Tracey Ullman Show), David X. Cohen (The Simpsons), Gemma Arrowsmith (The Tracey Ullman Show), Jason Hazeley & Nico Tatarowicz (Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe/Murder in Successville), Karl Minns (Russell Howard’s Good News), Keisha Zollar (Astronomy Club), Laura Major (Famalam), Matt Forde, Patric Verrone (The Simpsons), Phil Wang, Richard Herring, Sophie Duker (Frankie Boyle’s New World Order) and Travis Jay (Dave Chapelle and Friends) with many more joining the growing team.  Voice artists include: Billy West (Futurama), Debra Stephenson (The Impressions Show), Debra Wilson (Family Guy), Guz Khan (Man Like Mobeen), Indira Varma (Game of Thrones), Jess Robinson (The Imitation Game), John DiMaggio (Futurama), Lewis MacLeod (Dead Ringers), Lobo Chan (Killing Eve), Luke Kempner (The Imitation Game), Matt Forde (Unspun) and Phil LaMarr (Pulp Fiction), with many more joining as the puppet cast grows.  The show is ultra-topical with scripts being written and new puppets made as close to each episode as possible.

Spitting Image is directed by Andy de Emmony and Steve Connelly.  Executive Producers are Jeff Westbrook, Joanna Beresford, Jon Thoday, Richard Allen-Turner and Roger Law. BritBox Commissioning Executive is Nana Hughes.

Spitting Image is BritBox‘s debut original and available with a free trial to all new subscribers at www.BritBox.co.uk

What the press said about Episode 1 continued…

"it's more vicious than ever"

Ralph Jones, NME

"The first thing to say about the revived Spitting Image is that it works. This will come as a relief to those, including your reviewer, for whom the original show was a vital part of the 1980s and 90s"

Robert Hutton, The Critic

“it certainly did not disappoint… it was cracking, I loved it, I highly recommend people watching it… absolutely brilliant”

Ayesha Hazarika, Times Radio

“the use of on-screen tweets an effective way of keeping things as last-minute as possible. If that kind of ingenuity, along with the signature grotesque caricatures its talented puppetry department keep producing, can be maintained, there’s a chance this update could be as effective – or at least as offensive – as it was several decades ago.”

Ivan Radford, VODzilla

“its targets are once again gleaned from far and wide across the social spectrum… having merciless fun poked straight into them…  the buffoonery and entitlement of Trump and Johnson ceaselessly demolished. And fair play to the producers who probably thought this opening episode was firmly in the can by Thursday night, only for a new Covid statistic to send the world into a tailspin by Friday morning. So, there was just time for a cheeky quarantine gag about Melania and her husband's tweeting colon to be squeezed in.”

Brian Donaldson, The List

“The puppets are as brilliant as always”

Gerard Gilbert, The i

“I really enjoyed it again this time around… I love the look of the puppets, I like the fact that there’s still a lot of savagery there, they’re pretty merciless”

Fiona Shepherd, The Scotsman (on BBC Radio Scotland)

"some of it was very funny"

Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke/Evening Standard

[ends]

Notes to editors:

About BritBox

BritBox is a digital video subscription service created by the BBC and ITV. The service brings the very best in past, present and future British programming and award-winning content to viewers all in one place for £5.99 per month in HD. British TV boxsets from All 4 and British films from Film 4 will launch on the service in 2020. The service includes high quality factual and entertainment content from Channel 5 plus original British comedies from Comedy Central UK. BritBox features the biggest collection of British content available on any streaming service, and brand new commissions for British production companies specifically created for BritBox. BritBox also offers expert curation and playlists that will enable viewers to easily find programmes they know and discover new favourites via web, mobile, tablet, connected TVs and streaming devices including Fire TV, Apple TV & Chromecast.

About Avalon

Avalon is a multi-award-winning talent management, television production and live promotion group with offices in London, Los Angeles and New York.  Avalon and Artist Rights Group (ARG) represent a prolific roster of artists including comedians, actors, presenters, writers and directors, including Chris Addison, David Baddiel, Greg Davies, Rob Delaney, Adam DeVine, Jenny Eclair, Dave Gorman Richard E. Grant, Freddie Highmore, Alex Horne, Russell Howard, Toby Jones, Adrian Lester, Lee Mack, Lesley Manville, Marc Maron, Rose Matafeo, Al Murray, James Nesbitt, John Oliver, Daniel Radcliffe, Chris Ramsey, Iliza Shlesinger, Frank Skinner, Imelda Staunton, Reggie Watts.

Avalon’s numerous ground-breaking returning television shows currently in production include: Not Going Out (BBC), the UK’s longest running sitcom on air; Taskmaster (Channel 4), the BAFTA-winning hit entertainment format showing in 100 countries; multi Emmy-winner, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO); The Russell Howard Hour (Sky), the network’s most successful entertainment show launch since 2010; Starstruck, a new sitcom from the 2018 Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Rose Matafeo (HBO Max/BBC); Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, from creator Josh Thomas (Freeform); Breeders, a sitcom starring Martin Freeman and Daisy Haggard (FX/Sky); a new series of the iconic British satirical puppet show, Spitting Image (BritBox UK); and multiple comedy specials for Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max and Netflix. 

Other landmark Avalon shows include BAFTA winning and multi Emmy nominated Catastrophe (Amazon Prime Video/Channel 4), Fantasy Football League (BBC/ITV), multi BAFTA-winning TV Burp (ITV), and Workaholics (Comedy Central USA). Avalon also distributes its catalogue of programmes to over 150 countries worldwide.  Avalon has produced many globally successful podcasts and is at the top of the UK iTunes chart with the multi-award-winning Shagged. Married. Annoyed by Chris and Rosie Ramsey.

As a leading promoter of live comedy, Avalon produced Newman and Baddiel: Live at Wembley, the UK’s first arena comedy show; Jerry Springer: The Opera, the first West End show to win all four UK ‘Best New Musical’ awards; and has continued to produce and promote live shows globally, as well as promoting more winners and nominees of the prestigious Edinburgh Comedy Award than any other company.