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Last Updated: Monday, 22 October 2007, 09:19 GMT 10:19 UK
Spitting Image 'Diana' to be sold
Spitting Image mask of Princess Diana
The auction has sparked interest from the US
An auctioneer has denied the sale of the Spitting Image mask of Princess Diana next month is in bad taste.

The puppet used in the long-running comedy series will go under the hammer in Shropshire on 1 November with a guide price of 5,000 to 10,000.

Auctioneer Mullock's denied the sale was poorly timed, despite it being held during the inquest into the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed.

The sale at Ludlow Racecourse has sparked interest from the US, it said.

Satirical show

Richard Westwood-Brookes, from Mullock's, said there was never a good time to auction that type of lot.

"We have had this so many times before.

"Unfortunately we seem to be in a culture these days when somebody somewhere has always got to find whatever you do as offensive or bad timing," he said.

In June Spitting Image puppets of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher and current PM Gordon Brown sold at auction in London.

The puppets, used in the long-running ITV satirical show, sold for 5,040 and 4,800 respectively in a Film and Rock 'n' Roll Memorabilia sale at Bonham's.

Sale of Princess Diana mask

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