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‘I can out-gross Trump’ - Norfolk-based Spitting Image creator says show may be revived in America

PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:05 17 November 2018

Roger Law, co-creator of the TV satire series Spitting Image with his Donald Trump puppet. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Roger Law, co-creator of the TV satire series Spitting Image with his Donald Trump puppet. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Roger Law, the co-creator of Spitting Image, has revealed the outrageous satirical puppets may be set for a television return - in America.

Roger Law made his name with the Spitting Image satire series on TV back in the 1980s. Picture: Ian BurtRoger Law made his name with the Spitting Image satire series on TV back in the 1980s. Picture: Ian Burt

Mr Law, who lives in Wells, on the north Norfolk coast, said the time is right for a US revival of the show.

Despite the current Brexit turmoil in the UK, Mr Law has President Donald Trump firmly in his sights.

He said: “I can out-gross the Donald - and that’s quite a challenge.

“Armando Iannucci said you can’t satire Trump because he does it to himself, but with puppets I think it’s do-able. He’s got a massive backside, for a start.”

He added: “Trump has made America so divisive, not unlike how it was with Thatcher here.

“When you have people who are really abrasive and irresponsible, they work well as disgusting and violent caricature puppets.

“And Trump absolutely hates the idea of being mocked, which makes it even better.”

Mr Law, 77, has already created a Trump puppet, which was displayed in an exhibition at Norwich’s Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts last year, but said: “It was far too kind and dignified.”

Spitting Image was originally on ITV from 1984 to 1996 and attracted 15 million viewers at its peak.

Talks with NBC about taking the show to America have fallen flat, but Mr Law said there remains strong interest elsewhere.

He said; “The timing is right. When there is such an appetite for it, I can’t ignore it.

“Spitting Image was very demanding work and although there were great laughs, I didn’t have much of a life due to the working hours, and it wasn’t much fun a lot of the time. You have to really want it and the energy that went into Spitting Image is what made it a success.

“I was back in a studio recently and felt the buzz again. I could put together a team of people to do it - get the old boys back together again.

“I did it for 13 years in this country. I don’t think anyone here would put up the money for something really revolting and funny and we wouldn’t get away with some of the stuff that we did back then.

“It would have to be on a channel like Amazon or Netflix where you can take more risks. I’m too old to have someone telling me what I can and can’t say.”

Spitting Image archives donated to Cambridge University Library

Roger Law has donated an enormous archive from Spitting Image to Cambridge University Library.

The collection, which includes original scripts, puppet moulds, drawings and recordings, will be conserved and held in the library.

Among the archives is a rubber puppet of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, caricatured with a wide-eyed stare and prominent nose.

Much of the donated collection has been kept in boxes at Mr Law’s Norfolk home.

It includes every script from the show, including that of a 1985 pilot that was never broadcast.

There are thousands of images, as well as individual sketches, magazines and books and more than 400 videos.

The University’s library is home to some of the world’s most important public records, including the original work and correspondence of Charles Darwin, and the papers of Sir Isaac Newton.

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