“I’ll tell you a nice story about China,” says Roger Law, who spent his post-Spitting Image years working on ceramics in Jingdezhen and is currently sporting a red-starred Mao skullcap, possibly in tribute. “I gave a talk at the university about the show, and there was complete silence afterwards. I said, ‘I’m not f***ing going unless you ask some questions.’ There were just two. One was: ‘Why do you hate everybody?’ The other question was very Chinese, very practical: ‘Who would pay you to do this?’”
Lots of people, it turns out, would pay him to do it — The Sunday Times, for one. Law served as in-house caricaturist for most of the decade between 1965 and 1975, building life-size satirical puppets for magazine shoots. “Getting them down the spiral staircase was a problem,” he recalls with grim humor. But it was television that really paid him the big bucks, commissioning his satirical puppet show Spitting Image for 18 series between 1984 and 1996, and now paying him again for Spitting Image mark II, which launches on Britbox today.