Tv & Show

Margaret Thatcher Spitting Image puppet is among 40 unflattering props up for auction


The RUBBER Lady! Margaret Thatcher Spitting Image puppet is among 40 unflattering props from Tom Hanks to Boy George heading to auction

  • Acerbic puppet show lampooned political and cultural figures from 1984 to 1996
  • Former Prime Minister was a popular target of the Bafta-winning ITV programme
  • Her less-than-flattering likeness could fetch thousands in the sale on February 14

Rory Tingle For Mailonline

A puppet of Margaret Thatcher which featured on satirical series Spitting Image is among 40 grotesques of well-known public figures from Tom Hanks to Boy George now heading for auction. 

Spanning 18 series, the acerbic puppet show lampooned political and cultural figures from 1984 to 1996, with former prime minister Baroness Thatcher making a prominent target.

Her less-than-flattering likeness is now up for auction and could fetch thousands alongside other puppets from the Bafta-winning show.

A Spitting Image puppet of Baroness Thatcher

A Spitting Image puppet of Baroness Thatcher

A grotesque of Salman Rushdie from the show

A grotesque of Salman Rushdie from the show

Spitting Image spanned 18 series and regularly featured high-profile figures such as Baroness Thatcher and Salman Rushdie. Pictured are their puppets, which are going up for auction 

Other mocking marionettes include those of the then-PM’s husband Denis Thatcher and novelist Salman Rushdie. 

The puppets have been acquired by collectors Prop Store and put up for auction, with around 40 going on sale.

Prop Store chief executive Stephen Lane said: ‘We’re thrilled to be offering such a fantastic selection of puppets from the legendary British television series Spitting Image.

‘Over 40 puppets and puppet heads are to be sold… including the iconic Margaret Thatcher puppet and many other famous faces, including Tom Hanks and Robbie Coltrane.’

A puppet of former chancellor Nigel Lawson is also in the auction 

A puppet of former chancellor Nigel Lawson is also in the auction 

A puppet of former chancellor Nigel Lawson is also in the auction 

Spitting Image attracted enormous viewing figures in its 12-year run on ITV, with millions tuning in to see famous faces from the royal family to Hollywood stars being ridiculed.

Chris Barrie and Steve Coogan were among the talents to lend their voices to the puppets, with the likes of Ben Elton and Private Eye editor Ian Hislop writing for the show.

There have been rumours of the show returning to ITV to cover current politics.

Baroness Thatcher’s puppet is expected to sell for around £3,000, with the others expected to fetch between £400 and £800.

Other puppets up for auction include former US vice president Dan Quayle, ex-chancellor Nigel Lawson, Scottish actor Coltrane, actress Tatum O’Neal and writer Alan Bennett.

There are several Thatcher puppets in existence that are now housed in various locations across the UK. Last year, one of them was entrusted to the archives of Cambridge University.  

The auction begins on February 14.

Puppet heads of Boy George and Tom Hanks, as seen in a preview for the auction at the Prop Store head office near Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire 

Puppet heads of Boy George and Tom Hanks, as seen in a preview for the auction at the Prop Store head office near Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire 

Puppet heads of Boy George and Tom Hanks, as seen in a preview for the auction at the Prop Store head office near Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire 

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