Spitting Image advert depicting naked sauna fight between Johnson, Trump and Putin ‘axed by ITV’

Puppets of world leaders described as too ‘eye-popping’ for viewers

Adam White
Monday 24 August 2020 09:57
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Spitting Image co-creator, Roger Law, talks about Donald Trump's new puppet

An advert for the revived Spitting Image, which would have depicted a naked sauna fight involving a Boris Johnson puppet, has been axed by ITV.

The revered satirical comedy series will debut later this year on BritBox, the subscription TV service co-founded by ITV and the BBC.

A four-minute advert for the revival has been scrapped, however, with ITV bosses expressing concern over its depiction of puppet nudity.

The ad would have depicted puppets of Johnson, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin sharing a sauna together, before embarking on a nude wrestling match. Full-frontal nudity from all three puppets would have reportedly been featured in the advert.

“We told them to take no prisoners with the trailer,” an ITV source told The Sun. “And they certainly didn’t. But some of the senior executives couldn’t handle [it] … It was eye-popping stuff.”

The new Spitting Image, which is being developed by original co-creator Roger Law, will feature puppets of Prince Andrew, Dominic Cummings, Elon Musk, James Corden, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, among others.

In 2019, Law said that the current political climate meant there had never been a better time for the show to come back.

The Boris Johnson puppet in the new ‘Spitting Image’

“It’s pretty chaotic out there,” Law explained. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s better than shouting at the television set, isn’t it? So I thought, ‘Let’s give it a go.’”

The original Spitting Image ran on ITV from 1984 until 1996.

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