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Last Updated: Friday, 18 May 2007, 12:37 GMT 13:37 UK
CGI stars inhabit ITV satire show
Animated versions of Helen Mirren and Kate Winslet
Helen Mirren and Kate Winslet are early targets for the show
ITV is to bring back political comedy with a new programme in the tradition of Sunday night satire Spitting Image.

But instead of the latex puppets that lampooned John Major and Norman Tebbit, the series will use computer animation.

Early tests have focused on actresses Kate Winslet and Dame Helen Mirren, but producers promise Gordon Brown and George Bush will also be targets.

Former Spitting Image writer Henry Naylor is behind the show, but ITV insists the programmes are not linked.

"We're not remaking Spitting Image," said executive producer Saurabh Kakkar, "that would be mental".

"Henry Naylor is the only link to Spitting Image and he's done a lot of stuff since then."

'Bleeding-edge'

The new show is due to be screened early next year, with animation being created in the week of transmission to make sure it is up-to-date.

"This is bleeding-edge software," said Kakkar. "One of the reasons no-one has done this before is the technology wasn't available.

More stills from CGI UK
Producers say no celebrity, film star or politician will be spared
"Nowadays, you can turn around higher quality, 3D images. It means we can have more characters and we can do more with them."

Spitting Image ran from 1984-96 and attracted up to 15 million viewers at its peak.

Several famous TV personalities, including Alistair McGowan, Steve Coogan and Harry Enfield, made their names voicing the puppets.

Writers included Ian Hislop from Have I Got News For You and novelist John O'Farrell.

It was succeeded by animated series 2DTV, which featured Dead Ringers impressionists Jon Culshaw and Jan Ravens.

A voice cast and writing team for the new show is expected to be assembled over the next few weeks.

The animation will be produced by Manchester-based company Red Vision, which won Bafta awards for its work on BBC series Hiroshima and Battlefield Britain.


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