Go on, guess what programme is on BBC Four tonight at 9pm? The clue is in my trademark unoriginal headline. More details on the BBC Arena site.

Usually we’re pretty useless at reminding you lot of stuff like this, but there’s a particular reason I’ve managed to remember this time – I was at the BFI in January where an early edit of this documentary was shown. I absolutely loved it – it’s not a straightforward clip-interview-clip-interview documentary, and all the better for it. Not only did it make me want to watch Spitting Image from scratch all over again, but it also made me realise that Arena is quietly making superb documentaries which I am entirely failing to watch. I fully intend to rectify that latter point.

Incidentally, the showing of the documentary at the BFI ended with a thrilling cliffhanger – the last part of the doc will be made up of highlights of the actual Q&A session at the BFI which took place after the showing. Rob Grant was present at this Q&A, but in the spirit of the excellent journalism which typifies this site I can’t remember a bloody word he said. I can remember that one particularly stupid audience member asked whether Spitting Image could ever be revived… in 3D. Why we didn’t all just pile in and kick the fucker to death is anyone’s guess.

As for the documentary itself, I don’t really want to give too many spoilers. But dare I say that when I saw it, there was a clip from one of the unbroadcast pilots…

4 comments on “Arena: Whatever Happened To Spitting Image?

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  • It started a bit slowly (they overdid the trains) but became engrossing. They’re definitely right about how it educated a generation about politics – I knew most of the Cabinet back then, mainly due to Spitting Image.

    It was nice to see Chris doing his Ronald Reagan voice in-vision, as it were. Shame they didn’t talk to him, Rob or Doug in the present day – if I hadn’t known that Rob was on the BFI panel, this would have left me none the wiser.

  • Rob didn’t say much at the BFI, sadly, but there were so many people there, it was difficult, especially when so many of them had strong personalities! If it hadn’t been for Mariella directing a question to him, he probably wouldn’t have said anything.

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