Tuesday 17 September 2019

John Cleese: British journalists write off comedy success

The Monty Python star said the series is not ‘going very strong’ in the country where it was first launched.

Actor and comedian John Cleese has questioned why Monty Python is not shown more. (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Actor and comedian John Cleese has questioned why Monty Python is not shown more. (Andrew Matthews/PA)

By Craig Simpson, PA

John Cleese believes there is more love for Monty Python outside the UK because home-based journalists seek to “write off” its success.

The actor and writer said the series is not “going very strong” in the country where it was first launched.

Cleese said the BBC series has not been shown by the broadcaster for decades, and questions the British attitude to its stars’ collective comic creation.

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The Monty Python team (PA)

Speaking to Radio Times magazine, he said: “It’s not really going very strong – one needs to point that out because, for reasons that I’m not very clear about, the BBC haven’t put us out on terrestrial television for the best part of 20 years.

“The moment you have a success in Britain, journalists try to write it off – like Charlie Chaplin was never that good anyway.

“For a long time there was that kind of ingrained negativity. As a result, I find that there’s a lot more enthusiasm for Python in America, Canada and Australia than there is in the UK.”

The full interview with Cleese is in Radio Times magazine, out now.

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