Spitting Image puppet of Margaret Thatcher up for auction

A Prop Store employee adjusts a Spitting Image puppet of Margaret Thatcher during a preview of the forthcoming Spitting Image auction at the Prop Store head office near Rickmansworth. PIC: PA
A Prop Store employee adjusts a Spitting Image puppet of Margaret Thatcher during a preview of the forthcoming Spitting Image auction at the Prop Store head office near Rickmansworth. PIC: PA
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A grotesque puppet of Margaret Thatcher which featured on satirical series Spitting Image is up 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.

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Other mocking marionettes include those of the then-PM’s husband Denis Thatcher, novelist Salman Rushdie, actor Tom Hanks and singer Boy George.

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.”

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.

The auction begins on February 1