Spitting Image started in the Kite
Fluck and Law started making puppets in Victoria Street in The Kite
Spitting Image Official ‘Don’t talk to me about politics’ mug.
If you were around and watching TV in the 1980s and 90s, you’ll remember Spitting Image. The whole nation was glued to their TV sets at 10pm every Sunday watching politicians, celebrities and members of the royal family mercilessly satirised. My favourite scene was when Margaret Thatcher was in a restaurant with the members of her Cabinet. She ordered a steak and the waiter asked, ‘What about the vegetables?’ With a dismissive wave at her colleagues she replied, ‘They’ll have the same as me!’
Where Fluck and Law made their first puppets
But did you know that Spitting Image started in The Kite? Yes, Roger Law bought the Temperance Hall in Victoria Street for the princely sum of £1,500 declaring it to be ‘an abandoned monument to dry rot.’ Nonetheless, he and fellow Cambridge School of Art student Peter Fluck worked there for ten years making wickedly grotesque puppets of famous people. They were often used in political and other newspapers and magazines.
Then in 1981 graphic designer Martin Lambie-Nairn approached them about making a TV show. They hired a raft of great writers, who included Ian Hislop, Rob Grant and Doug Naylor (who later wrote Red Dwarf). Voice artists included Steve Coogan and Harry Enfield.
Paddy Ashdown saying ‘Speak no politics’
Fluck and Law moved their workshop to Canary Wharf but sadly the show eventually stopped in 1996. But you can find many great scenes on youtube.
Do you have any stories about Fluck and Law? Did you know them? Did you ever do any work for them? Do you have any of the Spitting Image crockery like the mugs in these photos? We’d love to hear from you.