Fighting talk! Big T is still spitting about Spitting Image

There’s estate agent bashing and there’s hammering a stake – with the For Sale board still attached – through our hearts.

It must have been about late ’89 or maybe ’90 when the usually fantastic satirical show ‘Spitting Image’ fell below the line of acceptability (well, in my opinion anyway).

Their magnificent character puppets took the p… out of everyone in the news. Who could forget the tremendous rendering of ‘Mr’ Margaret Thatcher lunching with her toadying Cabinet, advising the waitress she’d have her steak ‘raw’ – and the ‘vegetables’ would have the same.

The depiction of the Royal Family was superb too, especially the gin-swilling Queen Mum and a homicidal Prince Philip: another time I shall recount what he told me of his opinion of estate agents when I was introduced at a reception!

BUT, I digress.

When, clearly in a quiet news week, ‘Spitting Image’ resorted to a sinister musical attack on us lovely estate agents, they had taken a step too far for me, and I exploded into action.

I have the dubious honour of being one of the only people ever to have received a written apology from Leslie Hill, the chief executive of Central TV (copied to Mary Whitehouse whom I had enlisted to help ) agreeing that “on this occasion we accept that the content of the ‘Estate Agent’ segment in our Spitting Image broadcast last week was below our normal standards”.

It went on to say that “this portion of the programme would be removed from any repeat transmissions”!

Quite a result I felt, and one that ‘grey’ John Major, ‘vampire’ Edwina Currie, Maggie et al never got…

Les Hill was famous for signing The Sex Pistols when a boss at EMI, and was regarded as a very tough operator. He needed to be to survive after his Pistols’ famous live “f…” interview with Bill Grundy on TV’s ‘The Today’ show.

Sadly, like everything else these days, the Spitting Image piece can be found on YouTube – see what you think about a song enticing any one ‘feeling low’, to cheer themselves up by going out and ‘killing an estate agent’.

First Utility yes, but estate agents NO!

What brought this unhappy memory back to you this week, Big T, you may be wondering?

Well, an extraordinary email by Landlord Action to be precise.

Apparently they are a legal service specialising in eviction and rent arrears collection for agents and landlords.

The dark arts of rentals (and commercial for that matter) are a mystery to me, so I think that’s what they do.

The fact is, their founder Paul Shamplina has put out a challenge to all and sundry under the title ‘Who Wants to Punch an Estate Agent?’

Mr Shamplina claims to be no stranger to the pugilistic arts himself, and has challenged 14 property professionals ‘if they think they’re hard enough’ to take him, and presumably each other, on ‘in the ring’ on Thursday, May 21, for charity.

Not wishing to have an unfair advantage, he suggests that participants contact the Punch London Boxing Gym for a three-month ‘fully structured training programme’ first.

He says the evening itself will consist of seven fights, a sit-down three-course meal (presumably if one has teeth left) with unlimited drinks, an auction, raffle, celebrity table and a disco afterwards.

Channel 5 have confirmed they will film the event, and there are still a few gloves yet to fill.

No, my flyweight frame will not be appearing for this ‘Rumble with the Agents’ despite a very worthy charitable cause – The Rainbow Children’s Trust.

It has been a long time since I’ve been flat out on my back on canvas seeing stars. Yes, my camping days are but a distant memory!

Enjoy your weekend folks, and if you’re planning to start training, don’t overdo it or you’ll be on the ropes sooner than you can count to ten.

Big T

Spitting image Maggie


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  1. hopperandco

    The youtube link has been removed

  2. Ewan Foreman

    Hard to feel too indignant – certainly made me laugh!


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