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Thatcher had profound effect on popular culture

April 9, 2013 • Entertainment


FILE – This is a Thursday June 28, 2007 file photo of The Spice Girls, from left Victoria Beckham, Melanie Chisholm, Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton, and Melanie Brown as they pose for the photographers on the grounds of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. Geri “Ginger Spice” Halliwell paid tribute to “our 1st Lady of girl power, Margaret Thatcher. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, whose conservative ideas made an enduring impact on Britain died Monday April 8, 2013. She was 87. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

LONDON (AP) — Margaret Thatcher was not just a political titan, she was a cultural icon — skewered by comedians, transformed into a puppet and played to Oscar-winning perfection by Meryl Streep.

With her uncompromising politics, ironclad certainty, bouffant hairstyle and ever-present handbag, the late British leader was grist for comedians, playwrights, novelists and songwriters whether they loved her or — as was more often the case — hated her.

SATIRICAL TARGET

Thatcher’s free-market policies transformed and divided Britain, unleashing an outpouring of creative anger from her opponents. A generation of British comedians, from Ben Elton to Alexei Sayle, honed their talents lampooning Thatcher.

To the satirical puppeteers of popular 1980s TV series “Spitting Image,” Thatcher was a cigar-smoking bully, a butcher with a bloody cleaver, a domineering leader ruling over her docile Cabinet. One famous sketch showed Thatcher and her ministers gathered for dinner. Thatcher ordered steak. “And what about the vegetables?” the waitress asked. “They’ll have the same as me,” Thatcher replied.

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