Britain Stringing Along

Making puppets of potentates

Princess Margaret tipsily suggests that the new royal baby be christened Johnny Walker, then collapses in a drunken heap. The Pope comes on as just another hipster in wraparound shades, with a banjo and a Texas drawl. And Ronald Reagan spends most of his time in pajamas searching for his missing brain.

Such are the stars of Spitting Image, the British television program in which some 400 latex and foam-rubber puppets reduce the antics of the powerful to a mess of funny faces, pratfalls and spasmodic jerks. Breaking satirical ground and television rules with equal relish, the weekly show regularly strings...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!