Chance to snap up an original Spitting Image puppet

Kangaroo Spitting Image puppet SUS-170320-120856001
Kangaroo Spitting Image puppet SUS-170320-120856001

They were among the best-known puppets of their time - and now fans of the long-running comedy TV show Spitting Image are being given a unique chance to get their hands on some of them.

Five original puppets from the television series are to go under the hammer at Summers Place Auctions in Billingshurst this week.

Among them is an original 14-inch-tall David Attenborough puppet which is expected to sell for between £1,500 - £2,500.

There is also a puppet of Zimbabwean politician Robert Mugabe, which has a price tag of between £800 and £1,200. Spitting Image ran for 18 years and is fondly remembered as one of the most original and funny TV satire shows.

The show itself was first conceived by artists Peter Fluck and Roger Law. They were working as freelance illustrators when they hit on the idea of creating comic caricatures of prominent people.

The series featured puppet caricatures of celebrities of the 1980s and 1990s, including Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major, along with other politicians, US president Ronald Reagan, and the Royal family.

The series famously caricatured the Queen Mother as an elderly gin-drinker with a Beryl Reid voice.

The series won numerous awards during its run including 10 BAFTA Television Awards, and two Emmy Awards in 1985 and 1986.

The final series ended in 1996 and most of the puppets were auctioned at Sotheby’s - but others will be auctioned in Billingshurst tomorrow and Wednesday (March 28 and 29). As well as the Attenborough and Mugabe puppets, there are also Spitting Image puppets of a car salesman stoat; a Kangaroo head with paws and a turtle head with flippers. Each of them is thought to be worth between £800 - £1,200.

Also in the sale are props featured in a BBC3 comedy/thriller series called Funland which was screened in 2005. The show featured a taxidermist called Amrose Chapfel whose name adorns the props being offered for sale. They include rock musician Jerry Lee Lewis as a stuffed and dressed cockerel playing a grand paiano titled ‘Rock-a-doodle-doo.’

Another is Aussie singer Kyle Minogue as a stuffed cat, pole dancing to her single ‘Spinnning Around.’

Also featured is singer Kate Bush as a stuffed duck. Each is expected to sell for between £500-£800.

The auction also includes a wax head of Elvis Presley, expected to sell for up to £800. And there are also wax heads of 60s singer Helen Shapiro and Lord Snowdon, former husband of the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret which are each expected to fetch between £300-£800.