As previously established on numerous occasions, this year marks the thirtieth anniversary of 1988. It was a very busy time for so many of our favourite comedy talents, and shortly after the conclusion of the second series of Red DwarfSpitting Image preceded its forthcoming fifth series with a 45-minute special, broadcast on 29th October 1988, thirty years ago to this very day.

Of course, Rob and Doug had long since departed to create some sci-fi sitcom thing, but Chris Barrie was very much at the forefront of Bumbledown – The Life and Times of Ronald Reagan, marking and undoubtedly celebrating the end of the incumbent President’s second term – the election to find his replacement took place the following week. Let’s transport ourselves back to the halcyon days when nobody thought that the US could ever elect a worse President than this unintelligent, right-wing, lying celebrity.

As well as playing the eponymous President, arguably the most famous of his impressions, Chris also voices David Coleman, Barry Norman, Robin Day and a chimp called Bonzo, amongst others. Further Red Dwarf alumni found in the credits include puppet-maker Andy Emmony (later to add a “De” to his name and become a director), writers John “Jack” Docherty and James Hendrie, and impressionist Jon Glover.

Note that the best quality version on YouTube, embedded above, is from a subsequent VHS release – as evidenced by the adorably 80s ident and copyright warning at the start – rather than the original broadcast, which is also online. As a bonus, the video came as a double bill with a later special, May 1989’s The Sound of Maggie, which shares much of the same cast and crew, and that’s also included above.

3 comments on “G&TV: Spitting Image – Bumbledown

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  • I’m just about to settle down and watch this but I just want to thank you and John and Tania especially for curating choice comedy series from the past 30 years or so. I’m having fun watching series 1 of Drop The Dead Donkey at the moment, I will get around to Spitting Image soonest.

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