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Spitting Image: From Start to Finish - Cartoon Museum

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by Bryony Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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It Looks Just Like Him

Satire comes in many forms, but one of the most entertaining is caricature. In 1984, ITV aired a controversial puppet show that both shocked and delighted viewers. Devised by Peter Fluck and Roger Law, each episode cost about 300,000 to make (the equivalent of 1 million today), and made politics accessible to the public through humour and crude behaviour.

Taking a walk down memory lane, the Cartoon Museum are showcasing a Spitting Image exhibit until the 8th June, featuring drawings and photos of many of the grotesque puppets used on the show. Highlights include Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Saddam Hussein, Billy Connolly, Rupert Murdoch, Jo Brand, and of course the Royal Family.

Despite offending thousands, and being bombarded with hate mail, the show endured for eighteen years before finally ending in 1996. Between 2000-2001, over six hundred puppets were sold in online auctions, some of which are now on display at the museum. See some of the best known puppets, such as Margaret Thatcher, The Queen, Princess Diana, and Mr Spock. Entry is 5.50 for adults, 4 concessions, and free for under eighteens. For your ticket, you will also be able to see the permanent displays, which makes for a good comparison on cariticature styles.
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Why? Remember the satire the TV show
When: Until 8th June
Phone: 0207 580 8155
Where: Cartoon Museum
Cost: 5.50 adults, 4 concessions, under 18s free
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