The real David Steel

The real David Steel with his puppet.

David Steel (b. 1938) is a British politician and leader of the former Liberal Party from 1976 to 1988.

He was lampooned regularly on the show as the small, adoring sidekick of David Owen, with whose Social Democratic Party, the Liberal Party had an electoral pact and later merged. Steel was caricatured as a naive, childlike little man who was always fooled by Owens' egotistic plans and literally lived in Owen's pocket. Originally his voice was close to Steel's real voice, but since it was a small puppet it changed into a squeakier voice to match the puppet's size.

The real Owen and Steel often blamed "Spitting Image" for people not taking them seriously anymore as politicians.