John Cleese has ruled out a return for his Ministry of Silly Walks routine in the Monty Python reunion shows because he does not think it is very funny.

The comic told Alan Yentob in BBC1’s Imagine documentary he did not want to do the sketch – one of the comedy group’s most famous – during the shows at the O2 in Greenwich, south London.

John said: “The one thing I’m glad I won’t have to do is the silly walk sketch, which I never thought was as funny as everybody else did.

“I pointed out to Terry Jones – I think it was his idea – the only reason it became so iconic was the brilliance of my performance because I never thought it was a very good sketch.”

The cult comedy troupe – John, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones (pictured in rehearsals) – announced their comeback for a string of gigs last year.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus was made for TV between 1969 and 1974 and generations of fans can recite lines and whole sketches.

Sixth Python Graham Chapman died of cancer in 1989 aged just 48.

Eric said the reunion show had “become sort of a musical with Python in the middle, which is what I like”.

He added: “It won’t just be five 70-year-olds trying to do a sketch show.”

Imagine…Monty Python, BBC1, Sunday, June 29, 10.25pm



– Press Association