BBC hasn’t shown Monty Python for 18 years because it’s ‘too funny’

BBC hasn’t shown Monty Python for nearly two decades because it’s ‘too funny’ and would show up modern comedies, claims John Cleese

John Cleese, pictured with his wife Jennifer and daughter Camilla, lamented the BBC for refusing to broadcast Monty Python

Its laugh out loud sketches and often controversial humour won a place in the hearts of millions of viewers.

And John Cleese has now claimed the BBC has refused to show Monty Python for 17 years because it’s ‘too funny’ and would show up modern comedies.

The comedian, 78, lamented the corporation for refusing to broadcast the hit sketch series, saying the ‘only explanation’ is because it is funnier than the BBC’s new shows.

No reruns of the programme have been shown for nearly two decades, with executives admitting it would be unlikely to be commissioned now.

Speaking on Radio Four’s Today programme, the actor said: ‘It’s not been shown for 17 years, maybe it’s too funny.

‘It might not contrast well with some of the comedy they’re doing now, that’s the only explanation I’ve got. People might not laugh at modern comedy.’

The star, who recently announced he is moving to the Caribbean to protest Brexit, defended claims Monty Python was not diverse enough.

He said: ‘Terry has decided he is a black lesbian, and Graham Chapman – I’m not allowed to use the word p***, what do I say? Graham was homosexual and also dead, so there’s a certain amount of diversity.’

Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones, Eric Idle and Michael Palin in Monty Python’s Flying Circus

The BBC’s comedy executive Shane Allen said recently that the programme would be unlikely to be made today.

Speaking last month, he said: ‘If we’re going to assemble a team now it’s not going to be six Oxbridge white blokes, it’s going to be a diverse range of people who reflect the modern world and have got something to say that’s different and we haven’t seen before.’


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Cleese, a prominent supporter of the Hacked Off movement, went on to accuse the British press of corruption, calling it the ‘worst in Europe’.

He claimed one of the reasons he is moving to the Caribbean is because he is ‘fed up’ and angered that the UK didn’t bring in proportional representation or order a second Leveson inquiry.

The comedian will move to the sun-soaked island of Nevis in November.

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