The return of Monty Python

When I first heard that the surviving members of the original Monty Python team were going to reunite for a series of stage shows I wondered whether or not it would be such a good idea.

Was Monty Python not very much a programme of its time? And in any case all the team could not be there as Graham Chapman passed away in 1989.

However when tickets for one stage performance were announced and ended up being sold out in under a minute, it became clear that many people would welcome the team getting back together again.

Monty Python – the TV programme - only lasted for 45 episodes over four series. However this rather unusual comedy show – which often had no punchlines to its sketches but did have some rather strange animated sequences - had a huge impact both here and in America in its day. After the show ended its performers/writers went on to have very good careers in various areas of the entertainment business.

On Sunday night at ten thirty five, BBC1 is screening a special programme in the Imagine series where Alan Yentob will be interviewing John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Eric Idle and Terry Gilliam as they get ready for their reunion show which will be staged soon at the O2.

The stage show itself is also due to be televised later on with this programme acting as a prelude to the main event. What will the stage show comprise of?

Will it be mainly famous sketches? Will there be any new material?

Will the Imagine programme uncover the reasons behind this final Monty Python project and what its five stars hope it will achieve?

Ian K