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Friday, 7 July, 2000, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Online sale for TV puppets
Spitting Image puppets
Hard Labour: The puppets get a final check
Baroness Thatcher's Spitting Image puppet is proving a hit at an internet auction of items from the satirical TV show.

The former Conservative prime minister's likeness has drawn a bid of 1,680 - at a sale being conducted online by Sotheby's.

The puppet is among over 200 being sold by the ITV programme's creator Roger Law, who is selling them and 100 sketches to help him start a new life in Australia.
Roger Law and his Tony Blair puppet
Good riddance: Roger Law now lives in Australia

Another hit in the auction was Prince William, who had drawn seven offers, with his price standing at 300 at 1600 BST on Friday.

Other popular puppets include musicians Sir Paul McCartney (825) and Prince (525), while Andrew Lloyd Webber is a snip at 110.

Other puppets on sale depict Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Royal Family, London Mayor Ken Livingstone, Sir Richard Branson, and a host of politicians and celebrities from the show's 14-year run during the 1980s and 1990s.

Sotheby's spokesman Christopher Proudlove said he hoped the sale would fetch at least 100,000.

Spitting facts
The show ran for 12 years from 1984
Its highest audience was 12 million
Among the puppet's voices were Harry Enfield, Steve Coogan and Rory Bremner
Roger Law first created the puppets in 1975 with his friend Peter Fluck. Now 60, he said he was glad to be getting rid of them.

"There isn't a sentimental bone in my body," he said, adding he hoped to raise enough money to buy a surfboard and to make a down-payment on a house on Bondi Beach, Sydney.

Law said he still had the master moulds, and was talking to museums about donating them.

"I wouldn't charge the museum which took them on," he explained.

"If they could offer to store them correctly that would be good enough. The models need to be kept at a regular temperature."

There are another 800 puppets left - which could become available if the show is a success.

But, he added: "If they don't sell, then maybe we will have a bonfire."

The sale will run until 20 July.

See also:

30 Dec 99 | Entertainment
Spitting Image puppets up for sale
05 Jun 00 | Media reports
Kremlin pulls strings on TV puppets
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