NICOLA Sturgeon is difficult to satirise as she is too “stateswoman-like”, whereas Boris Johnson is already a “cartoon character”, a leading comedian has said.
Matt Forde, who writes for the new series of Spitting Image and voices some of the puppets, said imitating the First Minister presented a “challenge” while Johnson is already silly enough that “there’s not much exaggeration needed”.
Speaking to The Daily Record, Forde said: “With people like Boris and Trump, you don’t even have to make up the silly things they do as they are already doing them and, as for characterisation, there’s not much exaggeration needed. They are already scarily funny.
“Nicola Sturgeon, on the other hand, now there is a challenge. She is much more disciplined and stateswoman-like.
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“She is not a cartoon character like Trump or Boris so making her puppet believable would not be easy, unlike her predecessor Alex Salmond, who would be a much less difficult puppet transformation.”
The comedian voices Johnson, Donald Trump, and Keir Starmer on the show. Forde’s revelation has sparked speculation that Sturgeon may yet appear in puppet form, though it has not yet been confirmed.
The political comedian went on: “I’ve been trying to perfect my Nicola impression and it is getting better.
“She’s got a slight lisp, which is barely noticeable but makes her voice recognisable.
“I would love to give voicing her a go. I think Nicola might make an appearance on the show but who knows?
“We are all working from home and have no idea who the other puppets are going to be or what they are going to say until the episode airs. Everything is being kept under wraps so as not to spoil the surprise.
“She was a guest on my podcast show at the Edinburgh Fringe last year. She has a real discipline that does not drop but I did manage to coax out her sense of humour.
“We were talking about a fictional book we had both read called The Power about a world where girls have the ability to electrocute folk. With a little bit of persuasion, she revealed she would like to shock Boris’s and Trump’s balls.”
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The first episode of the new series of Spitting Image aired on Saturday on BritBox, a joint venture between the BBC and ITV, to mixed reviews.
The Guardian gave it four stars for its willingness to “gleefully take a swipe at anyone”, but The Daily Mail gave it just two stars, saying it was too biased against Conservative figures.
It was initially cancelled in 1996 after 18 seasons and, except two special episodes, has not been on screen for 24 years.
Commenting on the return, Forde told the Record: “2020 is the year it needed to come back. It’s been the darkest collective experience for the world since the war.
“We are all in dire need of a topical show that takes the piss out of people in charge.”