John Cleese has come under fire after publicly questioning why the BBC has not aired Monty Python “for a couple of decades”.
The 83-year-old English actor, comedian, and screenwriter, turned somewhat controversial political commentator, is well-known for his roles as Basil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers, as a performer on The Frost Report, and for appearing in several Harry Potter, James Bond, and Shrek films.
But to the majority of people, he is most famous for being one of the founding members of the six-piece Monty Python comedy troupe.
Alongside fellow members Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Graham Chapman, Cleese starred in the troupe’s popular TV sketch series Monty Python and the Flying Circus, as well as five films and a number of touring stage shows.
Flying Circus originated on the BBC, but according to Cleese – who is set to present a show on right-wing news channel GB News in 2023 as he wants to “promote proper argument” – the show hasn’t appeared on the network it quite a considerable amount of time – “a couple of decades”, he seems to think – and it appears as if he was a bit in the dark as to why this is the case.
So he took to Twitter for some answers and to call the broadcaster out.
Cleese asked his 5.6 million Twitter followers: “Can anyone (including BBC employees) tell me why the BBC has not shown Monty Python for a couple of decades?”
While it may seem like a simple question for the comedian to ask at first, many people picked up on what was likely Cleese’s intended critiquing, derogatory, and politically-inclined tone, and were quick to explain to him the reason the BBC has not aired any repeats of the sketch show.
Monty Python’s Flying Circus may have originally aired on the BBC between 1969 and 1974, but the rights to it were later sold to streaming platform Netflix in 2019, along with the rest of the comedy troupe’s movies, collections, and specials.
With Netflix owning exclusivity, this therefore prevents the show from being broadcast on any other channels – including the BBC.
Some people couldn’t believe Cleese apparently wasn’t aware of this.
Others took to mocking Cleese for questioning this when there is a good chance he already knows the answer and just intended to stir the pot.
“You know why though John, they don’t own the broadcasting rights do they,” one person wrote, “Can you tell us why you’re asking a question in very bad faith? Is it because you want attention again? Do us all a favour and be quiet mate.”
Some used this as an opportunity to call Cleese – who has aligned himself as a vocal critic of “woke culture” – out on his intent to voice his political views and his upcoming GB News show.
Sir David Jason set for TV return in Only Fools and Horses documentary Christmas special
In a surprise bit of festive news, the only and only Sir David Jason is returning for an Only Fools and Horses Christmas special this December. Lovely jubbly!
The best-loved and most-watched British comedy of all time will be back on our screens in documentary form this festive season, with Del Boy himself David Jason revisiting the iconic comedy character after 20 years he last played him on screen.
While the legendary sitcom was broadcast on BBC back in the day, the highly-anticipated Only Fools doc will be airing on Channel 5 right before Christmas as a special one-off programme.
Looking back on the show’s incredible run on UK screens over seven series and the several ‘Christmas Cracker’ specials, specifically, the latest Only Fools and Horses documentary will see Jason and a number of other guests appearing to chat about the legendary show.
While it’s still unclear how many of the original cast will be appearing, Jason’s on-screen wife Tessa Peake-Jones (Raquel) is confirmed to be appearing along with other special guests including newscaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Bendiorm‘s Sherrie Hewson.
Sadly, a full theatrical reunion just isn’t on the cards following the deaths of Roger Lloyd Pack (Trigger), Kenneth MacDonald (Mike the Landlord) and Buster Merryfield (Uncle Albert) in the 30 years since the show ended its run.
Only Fools writer John Sullivan also sadly passed away aged 64 in 2011 and fellow co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst, a.k.a. Rodney Trotter, told Metro: “We can’t. John is no longer with us. John was the driving force of the show and we have also lost quite a few cast members now.
“I don’t think I could do it without them and I certainly couldn’t do it without John. At the risk of depressing everyone, I think the last two times I’ve seen David has been at funerals.”
Simply entitled, ‘The Story Of Only Fools And Horses At Christmas’, the 90-minute special is yet to have its broadcast date fully confirmed but you best keep your eyes peeled on the TV guide — we’ll let you know as soon we do.
Jason, 81, has only just recovered from hip surgery earlier this year, so it’ll be nice to see his familiar grin back on our screens.
Right, we’re off to binge a whole series on UK Gold.
Scott McTominay jokes he’s ‘fuming’ he didn’t score a hat-trick against Chelsea as he reflects on Man United’s mentality
Scott McTominay has joked he’s “fuming” with himself after failing to score a hat-trick in Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Chelsea on Wednesday nightand shed some light on the mentality around Old Trafford.
McTominay starred in the Red Devils’ win over Mauricio Pochettino’s side on a cold night at home, managing to bag a brace with a goal in the first and second half to get his squad over the line, but he himself said he could have had more.
Speaking to MUTV after the game, the 26-year-old said he and the squad knew they needed to drum up a reaction after the Newcastle disappointment, adding that contributing more goals is something he wants to keep working on and insisting that plenty of people back him to do so.
Confessing that his mum, dad and grandad have all been encouraging him to “get in the box” and that he just needs to “believe in [him]self and go for it”, the Scotsman did go on to quip he was “fuming” to not grab a third as he shook his head went on to shake and reveal a wry smile.
Commentator and presenter Stewart Gardner went on to list McTominay’s impressive stats this season, having now scored 14 goals in his last 33 appearances for club and country. A seriously good rate from a midfielder typically entrusted to help link play and break things up in the middle of the park.
Now boasting half a dozen goals and an assist across all competitions so far this campaign, he sits as the club’s leading goalscorer in the Premier League with five finishes to his name — with only Bruno Fernandes having contributed more (five goals and five assists) — he’s genuinely become one of Man United’s main goal threats.
While he recently rubbished talk that he played as a striker regularly coming up through the youth academy, simply having been deployed for the odd game in reality, he has always had a shot on him and it isn’t the first time he’s bagged a winner or a big goal for the Reds. This wasn’t a bad one either:
Chatting with the pundits on Amazon Prime Sport, he reiterated that he could have had “one or two more” on another night and agreed that the performance against Newcastle in the previous fixture was “pretty abysmal”, holding his hands up to admit that it was “no way near good enough”.
Reflecting on the later chance he had to seal the hat-trick towards the end of the game, he said he simply needed to “calm down on the last one”.
As for the mentality to get the result during a difficult period where the club remained under a lot of scrutiny from pundits and fans alike, McTominay went on to say that the manager is responsible for the way they played and some “lighter training sessions to keep energy levels up” definitely helped.
Regardless, he was sure to not get ahead of himself and assured ten Hag‘s team were still taking things a game at a time. You can watch the full highlights from Manchester United vs Chelsea down below: