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October 10, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

The members of Monty Python, the British satirical comedy team of the ’70s and ’80s, are in ill humor over the BBC’s forthcoming Holy Flying Circus, a drama based on the controversy over their 1979 movie, The Life of Brian. The London Independent reported today (Monday) that Python member John Cleese was particularly upset with the drama, which is due to air on the BBC October 19. A source told the newspaper that Cleese was “disappointed by its content,” since he regarded it as “not a fair reflection of the facts” and “full of inaccuracies.” Terry Gilliam told the Independent that most members objected to the drama “because it’s not us.” He said that “Michael Palin didn’t want to be involved in the project. John [Cleese] would have liked to have been consulted but wasn’t.” The Independent did not indicate how Python members Terry Jones and Eric Idle had reacted to the production. Another member of the group, Graham Chapman, died in 1989. Gilliam said that he himself had been assured that the program would be mounted along the lines of “Frost/Nixon,” the play and movie that never strayed far from what actually occurred in the 1977 encounter between interviewer David Frost and former President Richard Nixon. He said he himself raised questions about the accuracy of some of the scenes, including its take on the encounter between the Pythons and the Christian watchdog Nationwide Festival of Light. “Why bother to put in made-up material? They could’ve researched it properly and it would’ve been just as funny,” he said.