The classic comedy had been set for a return after the broadcaster secured rights to use the puppet idea and format. They had also asked co-creator Roger Law for permission to make last year's Best Ever Spitting Image.
What they had not got the go-ahead for, however, was the inevitable creation of Ant and Dec puppets to present the show. John Lloyd, former producer, said he had told ITV's entertainment chief it may be possible to persuade Law, but this had never been followed through.
"When Paul Jackson came into the role I said to him we might persuade Roger into the fold if the money was right," Lloyd told Broadcast. "It may well have happened if ITV Productions hadn’t gone ahead with the new puppets, directly against Roger’s wishes.
"As a result, it has blown away the possibility of a new series. Whoever made that decision should be fired."