Jess Phillips has been inspired to call for a general election after attending the satirical Spitting Image stage show last night. 

The outspoken MP for Birmingham Yardley was in the audience at the Rep theatre on Thursday (16 February) after which shared her views about the current crop of politicians after seeing the sidesplitting satirical show.

Phillips headed backstage to meet her own doppelganger following the world premiere of Idiots Assemble: Spitting Image Saves the World which uses red hot comedy to tackle serious topics such as the plight of refugees and migrants, racism, climate change, political corruption, and the current state of the nation.

MP Jess Phillips with a likeness of Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and the team of Spitting Image puppeteersJohnathan Williams
MP Jess Phillips with a likeness of Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and the team of Spitting Image puppeteers

Despite being lampooned in the production, Phillips, 41, said she “loved the show” – which she used to watch on television with her family when growing up – adding it was “the greatest honour of her life” to have a Spitting Image puppet and to be included in the live show.

Speaking at the gala opening night at the theatre, Phillips made some pointed remarks about the failure of the current government and called for a general election: “Stand down, call an election,” she declared. “The [Spitting Image] puppets are genuinely better than the actual people.”

She mischievously and gleefully went further and added: “If those puppets and puppeteers would like to take over from the cabinet, I’m there for that!”

Jess Phillips feels the Spitting Image puppets and the puppeteers would do a better job than the current governmentMark Senior
Jess Phillips feels the Spitting Image puppets and the puppeteers would do a better job than the current government

In the scathingly funny show, world famous celebrities are thrown together as Mission Impossible star Tom Cruise is tasked by King Charles with saving Great Britain.

The stage show boasts a cast of world leaders, members of the British royal family, Hollywood celebrities, singers and sports stars.

Climate justice activist Greta Thunberg duets with British rapper Stormzy while Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping watch the show from their premium seats in the theatre stalls. Have they just come out for a night on the town? Or will they wipe out all of civilisation? A show simultaneously inspired and appalled by real events.

MP Jess Phillips has 'called for a General Election' after watching the Spitting Image stage showJohnathan Williams
MP Jess Phillips has ‘called for a General Election’ after watching the Spitting Image stage show

Birmingham Rep Artistic Director, Sean Foley –  who also directs the show – said: “To be premiering this theatrical extravaganza in Birmingham, the home of the original ground-breaking television series of Spitting Image, is proving to be a wonderful thrill.

“During previews the audience reactions have been wonderful – huge laughs and a genuine sense of raucous delight in the show… the chance to gleefully be part of pointing out that our various Emperors have nothing on – in the world of politics, celebrity, and in our biggest soap opera of them all, the Royal family – is an infectious, crazy ride that the show takes people on every night.”

Co-writer of the show Matt Forde added: “We are living through an insane, abnormal, infuriating period, so the timing of this show couldn’t be better.

“It’s vital that we see our leaders lampooned with cutting satire and yes, whacked over the head with a big stick.”


Idiots Assemble: Spitting Image Saves the World is currently running at The Rep in Birmingham until 11 March

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