ITV Headcases: A new cast of computer-generated characters is satirising the media

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Chris Green talks to the show's creator, Henry Naylor

Headcases, (ITV1 Sundays 10pm), is the first satirical sketch show with a cast of entirely computer-generated characters. Billed as a Spitting Image for the 21st century, the animated programme casts its net widely, poking fun at everyone from Gordon Brown to Heather Mills. It received a reasonably warm critical reception after its first episode aired three weeks ago, and has already reported encouraging audience figures of around four million.

Henry Naylor, the creator and series director of Headcases, was also a lead writer on Spitting Image for three series. Although he still remembers the iconic puppets of his old programme with great fondness, he believes that only computer animation is versatile enough to hold the attention of modern audiences who are again longing for a sharp dose of irreverent satire.

"I think the puppeting tradition of Spitting Image was great," he says, "but it's not right for this age. When I first saw Toy Story at the cinema, I thought: that's the way it's going to go, that's what satire is going to evolve into. Spitting Image had a ramshackle feel – that was part of its charm. But it belongs to an older tradition, and puppets are quite limited: you're restricted in terms of what sets you can use, and in the movements that the characters can go through. We've been sending up President Sarkozy as a medallion-wearing disco dancer – you couldn't do that with a puppet."

Although Naylor admits that his new programme has the same aim as Spitting Image at its heart – to make political figures accessible to the public through satire – he also wants it to be a lot more ambitious and wide ranging in its scope. In one sketch, the ageing Hollywood actors Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone are tortured by a medusa-like Heather Mills. Cinematic sketches like this one have to be prepared months ahead of schedule, but modern animation technology allows a good portion of the show to be produced the week before going on air. This means that anyone in the public eye is a potential target, including media figures.

"We live in a very personality based culture now," says Naylor, "and as a result people know much more about public figures than they ever did before. When even David Cameron is inviting cameras into his home, you can see there's been a major change in the culture – you couldn't dream of Thatcher doing that.

"In an age with a real PR culture and a strong sense that people are being lied to all the time, the public needs a redress against certain figures: I think it's important that there's a vehicle for this, not just to slag them off, but to hint at the truth."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Guru Careers: Lead Systems Developer / Software Developer

COMPETITIVE + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Lead Systems Developer / Sof...

Recruitment Genius: Social Media & Engagement Manager - French or German Speaker

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: The world's leading financial services careers...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive - 6 Months Contract

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Digital Marketing Executive...

Guru Careers: Account Manager / Senior Account Manager

40-45K DOE + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Manager / Senior Account Manag...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory