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Palin says Cleese was 'difficult'


Michael Palin, left, and David Walliams at Bafta in London

Michael Palin, left, and David Walliams at Bafta in London

Michael Palin, left, and David Walliams at Bafta in London

Monty Python actor Michael Palin has told how co-star John Cleese could be "very difficult" to work with at the height of their fame.

Speaking at a Bafta Life in Television event tonight, the Bafta-winning actor, writer and presenter talked of a divide in the Python camp when the actors began to lead very different lives.

He said: "John and Eric (Idle) had a lifestyle that was slightly more, how shall we say, complicated than ours.

"They were stars and we weren't and the trouble with stars is they can be very difficult."

Palin, who was being recognised for his long career in television at a night hosted by fellow comedian David Walliams, explained that while Cleese and Idle were jetting off on exotic holidays, he and Terry Jones were "happy to go down the pub".

Speaking of his long-time comedy partner, Palin joked how in the writing room, no idea got through without Cleese's approval.

When asked by Walliams how many people had to like an idea for it to work, he said: "John, and then the others."

Palin, who reconvened with the Pythons for 10 nights at the O2 last July, added that he did not think the comedy group would be getting back together again any time soon after learning in Cleese's book that he had not enjoyed the tour.

He said: "Having just read his very attractive if slightly overpriced autobiography, I could tell he wasn't really keen to do a lot more. He'd got enough money by then."

But Palin, whose career in television spans five decades, will soon be back on our screens as the narrator of a remake of the children's TV series The Clangers.

He said: "I'm not going to give up. I'm going to try and keep going. I want to be remembered for laughter."

PA Media