Spitting Image Wiki

Steve Coogan • (1989 - 1993)
Alistair McGowan • (1994 - 1996)

John Major with SI puppeteer Nigel Plaskitt.

John Major sprayed grey.

John Major, as in real life.

John Major (b. 1943) was the Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1989 to 1990 and  Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1990 to 1997.

Portrayal on Spitting Image[]

When he first came in the cabinet in Series 10 , Major wore a leopard-print jacket with white gloves, entering via swinging on a trapeze. He said to the Cabinet, "My father was in the circus, you know!" to which the cabinet responded with, "We know!"

John Major was then portrayed as a very dull and boring man. From Series 13 onwards, the puppet was eventually painted grey to further emphasize his dullness.

The makers of Spitting Image had a lot of trouble with Major, as he wasn't much of an inspiring character to work with when compared with the previous Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. Because of this, they made Thatcher's puppet reappear in the show as the person who really controlled Major, issuing commands to him via an antenna on his head. At a certain point, in Series 15, the writers even invented an affair between Major and Virginia Bottomley to make Major more interesting in the show. (Years later, it turned out that John Major did have an affair in those years, but with Edwina Currie.)

The most famous sketch with Major featured him and his wife eating peas, while having an incredibly boring conversation. This skit became somewhat infamous that whenever the real Major makes a speech in the House of Parliament, the Opposition whispered the word "peas" and "more peas, dear?", whenever he started talking.


John Major's Peas