Spitting Image Election Special – Monty Python – Porterhouse Blue – tape 418

This tape opens with a young Jon Snow standing outside what looks like a scout hut. Or a community centre. Yes, it’s 1987’s general election, and ITV are out in force.

JON SNOW: Now to Paul Davis on Plymouth.

*Picture transition to PAUL DAVIS who is at least indoors*

PAUL DAVIS: (blah blah Doctor David Owen blah blah) No onto Michael McMillan in Ettrick Bridge.

* Another picture slide to MICHAEL MCMILLAN who is outside. And Muted.

MICHAEL MCMILLAN: ——————————————-

Cut to Alistair Burnett in the studio.

ALISTAIR BURNETT: We’ll be hearing from Ettrick Bridge… (slight nod) …later.

There’s great excitement over the ITN exit poll which is trailed almost like an X-Factor announcement. All it misses is a music bed.

They have this graphic too. I wonder why they didn’t just spell out ‘Alliance’ in full. perhaps they tried ‘All’ first, realised that was confusing, and started adding letters until it was understandable, but didn’t feel that they could grant the Alliance all their letters as if that would be some form of partisanship.

Election Forecast

This is immediately followed by a Spitting Image election special, which does appear to contain some live segments, since they refer to the exit poll results. There’s also a sketch which features Mrs Thatcher talking to Steve Nallon, who does the voice for Thatcher. He doesn’t come out of it well.

Mrs Thatcher and Steve Nallon

It also reminds me that in 1987, the Green party was called The Ecology Part. Because, of course, Prince Charles is voting for them.

And this episode ends with Tomorrow Belongs To Me from Cabaret, sung by a young tenor in a suit, carrying a bowler hat, one of the most depressing songs Spitting Image ever did.

Here’s the episode.

After this, recording switches to the end of an episode of Cagney and Lacey (13 June 1987 21.05). Then there’s a trailer for daytime repeats of Dallas. Then there’s a typically impassioned plea from Bob Monkhouse for your votes for that evening’s Bob Says Opportunity Knocks. As if we weren’t sick of voting.

Then, an episode of Monty Python’s Flying CircusBBC One London, 13 June 1987 21.55

It coincidentally features an election announcement. This tape is somewhat thematic, isn’t it?

Jethro Q Walrustitty

After this episode, we switch to Channel 4 in the middle of a TV Times advert.

There’s a trailer for Hill Street Blues.

Then, the second broadcast of episode 2 of Tom Sharpe’s Porterhouse Blue, starring David Jason, Ian Richardson and John Sessions. This was yet another Malcolm Bradbury adaptation – with this, Cols Comfort Farm and The Green Man he seems to be as ubiquitous as Andrew Davies was.

After this episode, there’s a trail for Cheers and a guest appearance by John Cleese.

There’s a trailer for The Jesse Owens Story.

Then, a movie. Ray Milland stars in The Lost Weekend, directed by Billy Wilder. I confess, I’ve never seen it. There’s about 35 minutes of the movie before the tape finishes.


  • Racal Vodaphone
  • NatWest
  • Junior Disprol
  • Pepsi – Michael J Fox
  • Access
  • Brut 33
  • Sealink – “The new privately owned Sealink. We’re fleets ahead.”
  • Lilt
  • Barclays – Mark Williams

Mark Williams and a poodle

Featruing their new innovation, Barclay’s Connect card – it’s like a cheque you don’t have to write. although you do have to fill in an awkward triplicate form and run it through the slider.

Barclays Connect

  • Holsten Pils – Griff Rhys Jones – High Noon
  • Seven Seas vitamins
  • Renault 21
  • Sodastream
  • Nescafé – Diane Keen, Gareth Hunt and Christopher Blake
  • Tandem Computers
  • Murphy’s Tumblebug
  • Sealink
  • Ford Montego
  • Yellow Pages – J R Hartley
  • Cristal tiles
  • Pilkington – bullet resistant glass with Timothy West.

  • Daily Express
  • Barclays Bank
  • Turtlewax
  • Esso – Anneka Rice
  • Honeywell Bull
  • Pan Am

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