Arena: Whatever Happened To Spitting Image?. Copyright: BBC
Arena: Whatever Happened To Spitting Image?

Arena: Whatever Happened To Spitting Image?

  • TV documentary
  • BBC Four
  • 2014
  • 1 episode

Documentary celebrating the 30th anniversary of ITV's era-defining satirical puppet-based sketch show Spitting Image. Features Peter Fluck, Roger Law, John Lloyd, Marcus Prince, Dick Fiddy and more.

Key details

BBC Four
Peter Fluck, Roger Law, John Lloyd, Marcus Prince, Dick Fiddy, Jon Blair, Charles Denton, Louise Gold and more
Anthony Wall
Anthony Wall

BBC Four's flagship arts documentary series Arena celebrates the influence of Spitting Image, marking the 30th anniversary of its first transmission.

Reuniting the founding creative team, Arena: Whatever Happened To Spitting Image? will tell the vexed and frequently hilarious story of the genesis of the satirical puppet show, with exclusive contributions from caricaturists Peter Fluck, Roger Law and TV producer John Lloyd.

Spanning the early years of Margaret Thatcher's Government to the end of John Major's, Spitting Image puppets became almost as famous as the politicians they lampooned. In 2000, the puppets were auctioned off at Sotheby's and in the course of this programme the team sets out to discover where they now reside and who is taking care of them in their old age.

Revealing the extraordinary technical achievement of the series, Arena meets the caricaturists, puppet-mould makers, designers, puppeteers, impressionists, writers and directors who worked tirelessly to ensure the show landed its weekly jibes and punches at the politicians, royals and celebrities of the day. And, tracing its journey to our television screens, through 12 years of huge audience figures and weekly controversy to its eventual demise, BBC Arena will ask what Spitting Image got right, where it went wrong and whether its absence the last 17 years has left a hole in the schedules that has yet to be filled by modern broadcasting.

Anthony Wall, Series Editor of Arena, says: "I made a film about Fluck and Law in 1980, some years before Spitting Image was made, so it's great to be able to revisit their distinctive contribution to Britain's television history."

Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor for BBC Four, says: "It's a testament to Arena's success and eclectic tastes that they've secured access to the Spitting Image team, and this is a timely opportunity for Arena to look back at one of television's most extraordinary satirical successes."

Additional details


Broadcast details

First broadcast
Thursday 20th March 2014 at 9pm on BBC Four
Episode length
1 hour
Most recent repeats
  • Tuesday 24th November 2020 at 11:00pm on BBC4
  • Monday 1st July 2019 at 2:00am on BBC4
  • Sunday 5th August 2018 at 11:00pm on BBC4

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