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Putin does not watch caricatures of himself, Kremlin says of BBC show


Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a joint press conference with his Austrian counterpart following their talks in Sochi on May 15, 2019. (Photo by Alexander NEMENOV / POOL / AFP)

Vladimir Putin is unlikely to watch a new BBC comedy chat show hosted by a cartoon version of the Russian leader as he “does not look at caricatures” of himself, the Kremlin said Thursday.

The British broadcaster on Wednesday announced a new semi-scripted show called “Tonight with Vladimir Putin”, set to be aired on BBC Two channel next month.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian media that Putin “does not read the books written about him and does not look at caricatures.”


“He does not want to resemble them in any way,” he said.

The star of the show will be a 3D digital cartoon version of Putin, created using motion-capture technology.

This will enable him to walk around and sit behind a desk “interviewing real human guests in front of a studio audience, all in real-time,” the British broadcaster said in a statement.

“Everybody’s favourite bear-wrestling global strongman Vladimir Putin has finally achieved his ultimate goal -– a chat show on the BBC,” it said.

“Forget global politics, landing two pilot episodes on BBC Two of his soon to be world-famous chat show marks the ultimate victory for Vlad, leader of the free world.”

The short pilot episodes will each feature two guests, the broadcaster said, with British spin doctor Alastair Campbell set to appear in the first episode.

A preview of the show showed a 3D image of Putin in front of Buckingham Palace.

“Greetings, people of the United Kingdom,” the cartoon says in a simulated Russian accent.

In one of the shows, the fictional Russian president is shown trying to get his head around feminism — in another he thanks Campbell “for his part in making such a mess of things,” the BBC said.

Britain and Russia are at loggerheads following the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the city of Salisbury last year.

Putin has honed an image of a steely man-of-action. While he enjoys telling sometimes coarse jokes at public events, he apparently is less keen on laughing at himself.

Shortly after he came to power in 2000, a Russian television channel was forced to axe a popular satirical show called “Kukly,” or puppets, that included a Putin character. The Russian leader was thought to be irked by his depiction in the programme.

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