John Cleese is known for shows like Fawlty Towers and Monty Python’s Flying Circus (Picture: S Meddle/ITV/REX)

John Cleese says Monty Python wouldn't be commissioned for TV if made today

by · Metro

John Cleese has said that Monty Python would not be commissioned for TV if it was produced today.

The comedy set’s creation Monty Python’s Flying Circus aired on the BBC from 1969 and 1974 and spawned several films.

Speaking on tonight’s episode of The One Show, 80-year-old Cleese said TV execs did not ‘know what they are doing’, hence surreal shows like Monty get passed over.

Don’t mince your words JC!

Asked directly whether the work of Monty Python would be commissioned today, Cleese replied: ‘No, I don’t think it would.

‘The problem with television and television executives has always been that they think they know what they are doing.’

Monty Python’s Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and John Cleese in 1970 (Credits: Ibl/REX)

The star – who recently spoke out against ‘woke’ culture – added: ‘They don’t know what they are doing and they won’t trust people, so they try to control the shows despite the fact they can’t actually write or act themselves.

‘The key thing is to choose people you think are really good – get Eddie Izzard or Steve Coogan – and say to them: “What would you like to do?”

‘Not come up with some executive idea that you think might actually be what the marketing people say people want.

John Cleese as Basil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers (Picture: BBC)

‘It’s got to come out of a real sense of confidence and saying to good performers and good writers: “What would you like to do? What would make you feel good?”

‘Then you will get something. Otherwise it will be like everything else.’

Asked whether he kept an archive of unused ideas, Cleese outlined one for a ‘light comedy about cannibalism called Yummy.’

‘The problem is a nice space where you can sit down and start thinking,’ he added.

‘The one I love at the moment, quite seriously, is the cannibal film.’

The One Show airs weekdays form 7pm on BBC One.

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