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Monty Python: John Cleese Calls Out BBC, Quickly Proven Wrong

Monty Python member John Cleese seems to be having a hard time remembering what goes on with BBC programming given his recent rage at the network, accusing them of not airing repeats of Monty Python's Flying Circus on social media, writing, "Can anyone (including BBC employees) tell me why the BBC has not shown Monty Python for a couple of decades?" John Hoare, a TV playout director, replied to Cleese about the time BBC celebrated the troupe, "I sat in BBC Two's pres suite on the 7th September 2019, prepped an episode of 'Monty Python' for transmission as part of an evening of Python-related programmes, and then put it on air, if that helps." So, contrary to what Cleese may believe, Monty Python content has been seen on the BBC since 2002.

Byline Festival, Pippingford Park, Nutley, Uckfield, East Sussex, UK - June 2/4 2017 - John Cleese (Raphael Moran /
Byline Festival, Pippingford Park, Nutley, Uckfield, East Sussex, UK – June 2/4 2017 – John Cleese (Raphael Moran /

Not the First Time John Cleese Clueless on Monty Python Broadcasting Rights

Cleese's tweet also didn't mention the exclusive streaming rights to Monty Python TV series and films on Netflix in the UK and That's TV's current exclusive rights on British television. The rights of the franchise are owned by Python (Monty) Pictures, which includes surviving members Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam, who serve as executive directors (with Graham Chapman passing in 1989 and Terry Jones passing in 2020). This isn't the first time that Cleese made this claim: in 2020, he wrote, "The BBC has not put Monty Python out on terrestrial television now for 20 years and young people don't know about it… Now young people have no idea who I am, and it seems odd as I think they would enjoy Python."

monty python

Founded in 1969, Monty Python found success during Flying Circus' original run on BBC (lasting until 1974) and then crossover success in the United States, leading to four feature films. They remained active until Chapman's passing but reunited for specials and other events. The final time the five members performed together was a series of 2014 stage shows titled Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down, Five to Go at London's 02 Arena. The actor, comedian, and apparent TERF is filming a documentary for UK's Channel 4 on cancel culture and announced plans to host a show on GB News, the right-wing UK news channel, to champion free speech.

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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