At 10pm on a Sunday night in 1984, Peter Fluck and Roger Law’s caricatures of the famous were unveiled to British audiences. Frequently crass and tasteless, but just as often hilarious, the caricatures of Spitting Image were to offend, outrage and amuse for another 12 years, before being laid to rest in 1996, making it the most successful adult orientated puppet television programme ever.
Its format, a satirical comedy sketch show with latex puppets rather than live actors, was inventive and at times surreal. Some of Spitting Image’s sketches were shot and edited only hours before the show went on the airwaves, thus ensuring a fresh up-to-date topicality.
Spitting Image preyed on well known faces, from the Royals to MPs.
In spite of its detractors, over 12 million viewers (a quarter of England's adult population) watched Spitting Image on Central Independent Television, a subsidiary of ITV. Its spin-off records, books, comics and videos sold in the millions. It won an International Emmy for "Outstanding Popular Arts" program in the 1985-86 season, and spawned a Number 1 hit in 'The Chicken Song'.