Spitting Image 'alters Ed Sheeran puppet over fears it was offensive’

Kimberley Bond
·2-min read
ITV
ITV

The team behind Spitting Image were forced to make last-minute alterations to the Ed Sheeran puppet after it could have been perceived as offensive.

The satirical puppet show, which is returning to streaming service BritBox after 24 years, is famous for lampooning the famous – with the new series bring Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and Gwyneth Paltrow to felt form.

However, a source has since claimed the puppet for Sheeran was altered over fears it could have upset ginger-haired viewers.

“It was thought to be gratuitously offensive so we ordered them to rejig the puppet. The puppeteers didn't seem too happy about the changes,” an insider told The Sun.

Reports have suggested the Ed Sheeran puppet was altered for fears of offending people (ITV)
Reports have suggested the Ed Sheeran puppet was altered for fears of offending people (ITV)

“But it's a fine line when you're making comedy. It's one thing poking fun at the rich and powerful but it's another insulting some viewers. It cost quite a lot of money to change. But it's worth the expense.”

The report suggests the original puppet saw The Shape of You singer with carrot leaves sprouting from his head – which has since been changed to a turnip.

Standard Online has contacted ITV for comment.

The new series of Spitting Image sees a number of new celebrity victims that will be pastiched, with Kanye West, Billie Eilish and even Baby Yoda all looking to feature.

The producers have had to defend their Greta Thunberg puppet (PA)
The producers have had to defend their Greta Thunberg puppet (PA)

However, the show has been on the receiving end of criticism for including a puppet version of environmental activist Greta Thunberg, who is 17 and has autism.

In response, ITV group director of streaming video on demand Reemah Sakaan said that the Swedish teenager was fair game – appearing in the show as a “weather girl” as she discusses climate change.

“It’s a very straightforward joke and is nothing to do with her as an individual,” Sakaan told the Broadcasting Press Guild.

Thunberg also appeared to give the puppet her blessing, after ‘liking’ a picture of her in felt on the Spitting Image Twitter page.

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