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ITV bosses banned Spitting Image makers from showing Boris Johnson naked

Producers bringing Spitting Image back to our screens have been banned by ITV bosses from showing Prime Minister Boris Johnson naked.

A scene where a naked Boris Johnson would wrestle Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in a sauna was axed after TV bosses had a problem with the puppets of the politicians being undressed, according to the Sun.

The surreal scene was meant to be part of a launch trailer commissioned for the show which is due to return to televisions later this year.

An ITV source told the paper that the show creators had been told to take no prisoners with the trailer but that senior executives ‘couldn’t handle the fact’ that the puppets were fighting while naked.

They also described the scene as ‘eye-popping stuff’ but the four-minute clip is now having to be re-filmed.

The satirical series will air later this year on BritBox after originally running for 18 series between 1984 and 1996.

Programme-makers previously said: ‘With the world getting smaller and more turbulent, the time couldn’t be more appropriate for an iconic British satirical take on global events.’

The show is the first original commission announced by BritBox UK, the streaming service launched by the BBC and ITV.

Spitting Image co-creator Roger Law is back on board for the show, which was watched by 15 million viewers in its heyday.

At £300,000 an episode, Spitting Image was TV’s most expensive light-entertainment show.

However, producers of the show have also held a ‘curious meeting’ with ITV bosses about how to best lampoon black characters without being accused of racism. 

There are concerns that depicting black celebrities such as rapper Kanye West, the Duchess of Sussex and Beyoncé as grotesque puppets could trigger controversy.

Kevin Lygo, ITV’s director of television, told a TV diversity session: ‘The producers called me and said we need to have a conversation. We discussed with the writer and the producers about how to portray black people as viciously caricatured puppets.

‘What is OK? What is not OK?

‘Some of the answers are unclear, it is difficult, everybody is trying their best.’

Mr Lygo said bosses had considered if black voice actors should have to voice black characters.

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