'Spitting Image': Marcus Rashford and Gareth Southgate become puppets after Euro 2020 success

·Contributor
·3-min read
Three lions are coming to 'Spitting Image', as Marcus Rashford, Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane become puppets. (Mark Harrison/BritBox/Avalon)
Three lions are coming to Spitting Image, as Marcus Rashford, Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane become puppets. (Mark Harrison/BritBox/Avalon)

Several of the stars of the England football team's thrilling Euro 2020 success story — as well as manager Gareth Southgate — will become puppets for the next series of Spitting Image.

Co-creator Roger Law revealed images of the new creations in a Royal Television Society panel session, showcasing caricatures of Southgate, captain Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford.

Read more: Spitting Image creator says he doesn't just target right-wing politics

The new faces will join politically-oriented puppets including Boris Johnson, Priti Patel and Michael Gove on the satirical comedy show.

Law joked that the next Spitting Image series, which begins on streaming platform BritBox in September, will be "in line with Boris's 'levelling-up' policy".

Gareth Southgate as portrayed by Spitting Image (Mark Harrison/BritBox/Avalon)
Gareth Southgate as portrayed by Spitting Image. (BritBox/Avalon)

He added: "In line with Boris, this series will go massively over budget with the full support of BritBox.

“We will also be levelling off the number of our political puppets by introducing puppet characters that have a grasp of what they do for a living – the English football team along with Gareth Southgate for starters.

“With lunacy rife, it is a tough time for satire but someone has to do it.”

Read more: Prince Charles praises Marcus Rashford's work

The England players have been added to the Spitting Image roster in the wake of their Euro 2020 campaign, in which the men's team made it to the final of a major tournament for the first time since the World Cup win in 1966.

Marcus Rashford as portrayed by Spitting Image (Mark Harrison/BritBox/Avalon)
Marcus Rashford as portrayed by Spitting Image. (BritBox/Avalon)

England lost to Italy in the final after a penalty shootout, with Rashford one of the three players who missed their spot kicks alongside Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka.

All three were subjected to vile racist abuse after the match, which drew condemnation from celebrities and political figures.

A mural of Rashford in Manchester was targeted by vandals, but was subsequently covered in uplifting messages of support.

Read more: Jason Sudeikis explains England football red carpet shirt

Spitting Image returned to TV screens last year on BritBox, more than two decades after its initial run came to an end in 1996.

At its peak in the 1980s, the show attracted 15 million viewers with its parodies of Margaret Thatcher and the royal family.

Harry Kane as portrayed by Spitting Image (Mark Harrison/BritBox/Avalon)
Harry Kane as portrayed by Spitting Image. (BritBox/Avalon)

Nana Hughes, ITV head of comedy and BritBox commissioning executive, said: “We welcome the return of Spitting Image to BritBox this autumn.

“With the twists and turns of the current political climate I have no doubt that Roger’s puppets and Jeff’s writing team will produce sketches that will make us laugh a lot and squirm as much as watching Matt Hancock’s secret snog.”

Read more: Piers Morgan reveals his take on Spitting Image puppet

The revived series features the voice talents of impressionists and comedians including Matt Forde, Debra Stephenson and Guz Khan.

It earned mixed reviews when it debuted on the streaming service, but has proved successful enough to return for a second run.

Watch: Piers Morgan unveils his Spitting Image puppet