SATIRE Fatigue ... now that sounds like fake news.

One tabloid headline recently screamed this description of our bogged-down-by-Brexit nation.

But surely they can't be serious if they are referring to the current state of cutting humour in the UK.

The return of the prodigal, perennially relevant and much-loved Spitting Image is positive news for our democracy.

It made its ITV debut in 1984 and ended 12 years later.

It was taken from us far too early.

The latex puppets were pensioned off to a Cambridge University care home where Margaret Thatcher was laid to rest with Ronald Reagan.

I interviewed co-creator Roger Law in the controversial show's heyday, who told me the puppets could do things actors simply couldn't do.

Today he believes it even more.

Now, like your favourite band reforming Spitting Image is making a comeback.

Roger, a law unto himself, always maintained that everyone was 'fair game' - from royalty to religion and sport to celebrity.

They took no prisoners.

A powerful pilot is in the can ready to rant and be rolled out.

I hope Sky Atlantic or Netflix don't grab it first.

Everyone should get a chance to see it.

UK audiences have never lost their appetite for ridiculing those who deserve it while applauding the humiliation of hypocritical, serial self-servers.

The public are not fatigued of satire at all but are fit and well thanks to enduring metaphorical miles on the Brexit referendum treadmill for the past three years.

Spitting Image 2020 will have no strings attached, but sharper scripts.

There's plenty of vibrant writers out there who could add real punch to these expressive puppets.

Armando Iannucci of The Thick of It fame and Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge would help certainly make it 'must see' television for a new generation.

There's also more charismatic leaders to attract universal followers.

Boris and Jeremy will be joined by irony-denier Donald Trump and a tattooed Vlad-the-lad Putin.

Meanwhile, Private Eye is in wickedly good health as editor Ian Hislop - a Spitting Image veteran - happily refuses to keep his opinions to himself.

As we await the next series of the long-running panel show Have I Got News For You, it's worth tuning in on Monday night when BBC4 presents his documentary called Fake News - A True Story which delves back 200 years to its causes and consequences.

Topical programmes Mock the Week, The Mash Report and The Last Leg have become too self-indulgent and dated.

There has never been a better, topical time for Spitting Image to reclaim its cultural crown.

In May, a key minister in India proposed a law regulating satirists.

It could not happen here ...

Spitting Image is now in the driving seat - deemed a 'satire juggernaut' by its top caricaturist Andrew Teal.

So is Britain in the grip of satire fatigue?

Don't make me laugh.


INFERNO question time ... who is this prose writer describing?

"From his very emergence as a young Tory he had bashed and satirised his own party.

"There were too many Tories who thought of him as an unprincipled opportunist. His enemies detected in him a titanic egotism.

"He did behave with a death-defying self-belief, and go farther out on a limb than anyone else might have thought wise."

Answer: It's from biographical book The Churchill Factor by ... Boris Johnson.

Now that's what I call satire.


YEARS before I-Player helped to diversify our viewing habits, I received preview tapes of programmes to assist me in my duties as a TV critic.

I once astounded other couch potatoes by predicting - in reverse order - the winners of a Stars in Their Eyes final that I had seen only hours earlier.

Derren Brown would have been proud.

Yesterday I enjoyed a curtain-raiser on BBC's I-Player for the new series of The Apprentice which starts for real tonight.

It was a delightfully cringe-inducing insight into the mind-sets of the 16 deluded Gordon Gekkos.

One power-dresser calls herself a 'pocket rocket' another graduate from the Jeffrey Archer Arrogance Academy regards himself as the 'epitome of luxury.'

These are the type of Love Island contemporaries you would avoid at parties and pray that you never get stuck in a lift with.

But when it comes to staying in for a laugh-out-loud night in in front of the telly, Lord Sugar has provided us with hilarious voyeurism of the vacuous kind.

I'm fired (up that is) for the next 12 weeks.


ELECTRONIC gadgets continue to baffle us, but the biggest dread for technophobes like me are passwords.

A recent survey says we consistently forget them and many have panic attacks but mentally compile them - as Eric Morecambe once said - not necessarily in the right order.

My first ever 'strong' code contender was inspired by a security manual ... alas, I could not understand why the following creation was rejected: Oliver Twist, Jack Reacher, Harry Potter, Hamlet, Postman Pat, Jane Eyre, Sooty, Legs Eleven and Moscow.

It was not easy coming up with nine different characters - one of which had to be a number and the other a capital.


And finally ...

IT'S 'Goodnight Vienna' for money-making Mozarts.

The Viennese council has orchestrated a plan to reduce those who dress up like Amadeus Wolfgang to plug local concerts.

One tourist said he had spotted so many Mozarts in one day that when he told fellow travellers they thought he was Brahms and Liszt ...

Peter Grant