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Cult British TV puppet show mocks up PM Johnson and adviser Cummings

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his adviser Dominic Cummings will be portrayed in puppet form as a dishevelled buffoon and a scheming mastermind, pictures released by the makers of the cult satirical TV show Spitting Image showed on Wednesday.

The programme, which during its original 1984-1996 run lampooned then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher as a tyrannical boss who ate raw steak and called her ministers “the vegetables”, has been resurrected for a new series starting this year.

Pictures from the new incarnation showed an overweight rubber-faced Johnson flapping a badly-knotted neck tie beneath a messy shock of blond hair.

His chief aide Cummings, in contrast, has his hands pressed together in contemplation under his chin, paired with steep arching eyebrows and an enlarged cranium.

The portrayal reflects what some see as the relationship between the two men at the top of government.

Cummings, architect of the 2016 Brexit campaign, is regarded by critics as the most powerful unelected man in government with an outsized influence over his boss.

Johnson cultivates an eccentric, comedic, yet intellectual persona that often divides opinion but helped win the trust of British voters in a landslide election victory last year.

The new series will air on BritBox, a streaming service created by the BBC and ITV broadcasters

At its peak, Spitting Image drew audiences of 15 million viewers - roughly a quarter of the population - who tuned in to see its no-holds-barred caricatures of politicians, celebrities and even the royal family acting outrageously on screen.

Queen Elizabeth was mocked up as a middle-aged housewife and her son Prince Charles as a hapless victim of his growing ears.

The new series promises a more global lineup and has already unveiled mock-ups of Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg will provide weather updates.

Reporting by William James; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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