BBC reveals plans for Monty Python's 50th anniversary

Comedy group Monty Python have announced plans to mark their 50th anniversary with a "BBC takeover" and a world record attempt.

Wednesday, 26th June 2019, 2:18 pm
Updated Wednesday, 26th June 2019, 3:18 pm
Monty Python's 'Gumbys'

The birthday of Monty Python's Flying Circus will be celebrated with a "BBC takeover" and a world record attempt.

Remaining Pythons John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Sir Michael Palin said: "Python has survived because we live in an increasingly Pythonesque world.

"Extreme silliness seems more relevant now than it ever was."

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Monty Python's 'Gumbys'

BBC Radio 4 will air new radio specials, executive produced by Sir Michael, featuring "never-before-released material from the Monty Python sound archives."

The "first official Monty Python Guinness World Record attempt" will take place on the anniversary date itself, with the "Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Gumbys" - a recurring character in Python sketches.

It is not known whether any members of the much-loved troupe will take part.

BBC Two will show "defining career pieces from the archives".

The Monty Python team imitate journalist and broadcaster Alan Whicker. Left to right: John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman (1941 - 1989) and Terry Jones

Surreal series Monty Python's Flying Circus altered the tone of British TV comedy when it first aired on BBC One on October 5 1969.

It ran for four series and spawned four original films including The Holy Grail and Life Of Brian, live shows and albums.

Anniversary events will begin on September 1 with a month-long season at BFI Southbank.

It's... Monty Python At 50 will feature the feature films, the entire Flying Circus series, "oddities" from the BFI National Archive, post-Python TV and films such as Fawlty Towers and A Fish Called Wanda, and an exhibition of Python material, including from The Monty Python Archive.

Terry Jones, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and Eddie Izzard dressed as Gumbies

In 2014, the remaining members of the troupe - Graham Chapman died of cancer in 1989 - took part in a live stage show.

In 2016, it was announced that Jones had been diagnosed with dementia.

Information on the world record attempt can be found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/gumbyworldrecord