An advert for Spitting Image, which featured Boris Johnson, Vladmir Putin and Donald Trump wrestling naked, has been pulled by ITV.
Hailed as the “people’s programme” by creator Roger Law, the award-winning comedy series, which first aired in 1984, has been revived following a 24-year hiatus. At its height of popularity, 15 million viewers tuned in per episode. The new series will appear on BritBox, the subscription service launched in a joint venture by the BBC and ITV, in autumn 2020.
According to The Independent, the advert depicted all three politicians in puppet form. Following a naked sauna, a wrestling match ensued with full frontal nudity from all parties.
An ITV source said that producers of the advert were told to “take no prisoners with the trailer”, according to The Sun. The source described the advert as “eye-popping stuff” and confirmed that, despite the advert delivering on the brief, some senior executives “couldn’t handle it”.
The insider also detailed a size contest between the three puppets, describing the latex penises of Boris and Trump as “tiny”, while Putin’s was “monstrous”.
Original creator of the show, Law, has returned for the new series, which will see the likes of Dominic Cummings, Prince Andrew, Elon Musk, James Corden, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle depicted in puppet form.
Previous series’ mocked former Prime Ministers, Margaret Thatcher and John Major, as well as The Queen Mother and US President Ronald Reagan.
Discussing the return of the show in 2019, Law said that current political climate created the perfect environment for the come-back.
Regarding the revival, he described the current political state as “chaotic”, stating “it’s better than shouting at the television set, isn’t it? So I thought, ‘Let’s give it a go'”.